Monday, March 7, 2011

Tim Hortons "Double-Doubles" as Emergency Outpatient Department

Honestly, if I never eat another Timbit for the rest of my worldly existence, it will be too soon.
It seems no matter where I work in Canada there is always a rock-hard raisin Tim Bit to be found somewhere in the emergency department. You see it when you come on shift and wonder, "How many days has that been there? Where did it come from? Has it fallen on the floor? Where are the raisin doughnuts which supposedly give rise to these revolting timbits? Is that a sugar coating or a MRSA coating?" yet by three am the only question is "Where the HELL is that raisin timbit??" Gnom, gnom, gnom.

I think it is safe to say that most Canadian emergency departments are fueled mostly by T-ho's and *Bucks. So it seems like a natural (and horrifying) transition that a West coast emergency department had to actually use the Tim Hortons as an overflow department last week. In reality the headline (of course) is not really as shocking as it sounds; the coffee shop is right next to the ED, not open to customers at that hour, and the patients were separated by screens.

I have had to treat patients in much less civilized environments which never made headlines because they were considered 'part of the department'. But really, gangrene-limb dressing changes in a packed ultrasound waiting room, bed pan toileting in the main hallways under the 'privacy' of a blanket, infusing blood into demented septic geriatrics stuck on gurneys for days near the constant swoosh of the ambulance bay is all completely inappropriate and dangerous. Yet just part of the day to day challenges of the emergency department.

What baffles me is the shock that this has happened. Um hello, if you fire facilitate retirement of senior nurses, decrease medical floor staffing, and close or cut feeder hospital services in the face of the oncoming silver tsunami then, guess what? A lot of flotsam and jetsam is going to back up in the emergency departments.

The only question I have about this whole ordeal is how plopping the fast-tracks into the T-Ho's wasn't a major health code violation for the restaurant. I guess now the MRSA will come free with your extra large double-double. 

It is actually good that this happened because I can guarantee that for at least a few days some magical discharges will happen, beds will suddenly appear, staffing levels will be startlingly appropriate, and at least a handful of people who've been rotting as inpatients in the ED will finally get access to a room with a shower and a toilet in it. Oh, and the ability to turn off the overhead lights. What luxuries.

Damn though, now they also might want a honey cruller with that...


Anonymous said...

We have a Timmy Ho's actually inside our hospital. No, really. When our children's hospital opened last year, we got a Tim Ho's/Cold Stone Creamery franchise. While I have had plenty of coffee and Timbits, I have yet to have any ice cream concoctions.

Albinoblackbear said...

Yeah, I am pretty sure that one is inside the building as well (it's been ages since I've been in that ED so I am not 100%).

That is what I mean, it isn't shocking that they used it. Makes for a good headline though and a little political cat fight. Always needed.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Down here we call them Dunkin Munchkins. But they are similarly ubiquitous, including the rock-hard one leftover from a few days.

As far as the original goes- have to wonder how this played out in ER. Generally, once someone comes to ER they're told not to eat/drink anything until the doctor has seen them.

So I have images of patients with hypertensive crisis topping off with a large coffee while waiting. Or the diabetic screwing up their blood sugars by having a few donuts while waiting.

As far as the above comment goes- I trained in a hospital that had a McD's in it!

Cartoon Characters said...

I can still remember 20 years ago taking care of patients at the nursing desk because there were no *actual* beds for the patients...

And in response, the management(Ktown) saying " It's about time the nurses got off their butts and worked for a change"...unbelievable.

It's funny but people were more worried about the Timmy's not been "sanitary" enough for the patients....all I could think is "EWWWWWWW...I will NEVER eat a donut or get a coffee from THAT Timmys again....."

Anonymous said...

Haha, read about that last week.

And yes, my first thought was also "now, is it worth it to roll up the rim anymore for fear of MRSA"