Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Many (Inside) Faces of a Triage Nurse

So you've had this sore throat for 3 hours you say?

If your child was VOMITING why did you feed him CHICKEN NUGGETS?

You stare at me with your arms folded standing outside the curtain of your room for one more minute and I swear...I swear...buddy...

The 'nurses help line' told

you to

come in for your blister???


Some days I just want to let it out.

My sister in law used to be a flight attendant and when people asked her what her job was like she'd say "Smile! Now hold that for the next 14 hours".

That is how I feel sometimes when I am sitting at the triage desk.


Badger said...

Haha! Love the expression in the third picture, I use it all the time!

Albinoblackbear said...

Yup. THAT is actually the thing that makes me the most irate (people being looky-loos in the department).

In fact I don't hesitate walking up to people and telling them they need to stay behind the curtain because it invades the privacy of the other patients/families. It is right up there with 'auxiliary oglers'. Just because you are staff doesn't mean you should stand (in my way) while I try and work on a patient who is coding.

That is one thing that I like about being a bit older...a little street cred commeth.

Dragonfly said...

Haha. Didn't realise you were working in Eire. But MAN do you get those presentations everywhere.

Albinoblackbear said...

DF--I am actually not working here yet...I just don't want to continually bore people with highlights from my lectures. :) Yeah, just a little montage I did this summer after a particularly frustrating day in the ED.

Consequently I was in the hospital here yesterday visiting my housemate (appy) and had to chuckle as we drove up. The same chipping paint, the same parking situation, the same people smoking in tracksuits/hospital gowns in the front entrance. Yup. I felt right at home. :)

Maha said...

LOVE the expression in the second last picture! I'm starting to do triage and I find that my expression usually matches the one you so magnificently captured! And I hate the nurses' help line. Hate it with an intensity that's almost frightening - especially at 0200 when someone walks in with the sniffles while they're yapping on their cell phone.

Albinoblackbear said...

Maha--Indeed. When I used to live in Edmonton I had to drive past the building that housed the nurses help line on my way to work. I shook my tiny fist at it with monotonous regularity. The only words people ACTUALLY hear when they call is "wah wah wah wah wah go to emergency department wah wah wah..."

I also have NO time for people and cell phones in the ED. If someone answers their phone and says more than, "I'll call you right back" when I am triaging/assessing them I walk away and return at my latest convenience.

Dragonfly said...

The smokers. Yes.
My favourite is when it is someone waiting on an op for their Colles (who has just had a go at you about the fact that they have to wait for a few hours for theatre to be ready) and they are downing big ole pie. Sorry dude, you just got bumped.

OMDG said...

You know what's exciting? You're almost 1/2 done with 1st year.

I love the faces.

Albinoblackbear said...

"big ole Pie"--hahah--love it. Yup.

OMDG--Ah yes...good to be reminded. Eye. On. Prize.

I seriously think I have entered a time warp--umm..did anyone else completely MISS October??

Bongi said...

interesting to me the er frustrations remain pretty much constant in different parts of the world. and what you said about cell phone... i feel exactly the same. in fact if they don't red button the caller i get irate.

Albinoblackbear said...

The bonus for you lads though Bongi is that you actually get some really sick people in the mix as well, which lets you do some interesting and exciting things at work as well.

I know it's twisted but I didn't get a job in the ED because I like handing out Rx refills and looking down peoples sore throats.

And I know that some of my view on this will change I transition from nurse to's inevitable that a little monotony and lower acuity presentations can be a nice change of pace...