Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Surfing for Porn - AKA reading other ER blogs

I seriously Laughed My Ass Off reading THIS blog.  No seriously.  It slid down the back of my thighs, did a ski jump off my muscular calves, and landed with a greasy sounding PLOP! on the floor behind me.


OK, it really just slid off my backside like the blob it is and settled into the canyon between the couch cushions.  I'm still trying to find a way to reattach it.  Cuz I need my ass.  I truly do.

So props to Candice  and her amazingly funny blog.

(Plus - she uses the word fuck a lot and how can I resist a fellow trash mouth?  Huh?  How can I?)

Come to think of it, I haven't cussed much lately on my blogs.  Maybe that preachy woman actually did get to me.  Must remedy.  Pronto.

Sanctimonious Assholes.

I feel better already.  Sigh.........

Medical Screening Exams

At our facility, the RN's perform the Medical Screening Exam (MSE for short).  An MSE is the initial exam you receive in the ER to determine if your need is emergent or non emergent.  This must be done before any financial information is requested from the patient (such as insurance info).  Basically, it's a quick assessment and any testing that may be needed (such as a quick lab draw or xray) to determine if you truly need to be seen and use up ER resources.  An MSE is required by our government so that we don't dump you on some other hospital or refuse to treat your emergency if you don't have insurance.

Let us discuss......


Because some things drive me to drink and this is one of them.  

#1 - This does not, I repeat, NOT mean that you are entitled to a free ER visit.  We DO get to charge you.  We just cannot ask for financial info until after the MSE.  Some hospitals happen to not charge for MSE's that are not seen by a physician, but every facility is different and can choose what they charge for.

#2 - An MSE is NOT an ER visit.  It is a screening to determine if your situation is emergent or not.  Emergent means life or limb threatening, or acute pain.  Example:  A stroke is emergent.  A sprained ankle is not.

#3 - If we deem your visit as non emergent, we do have the right to tell you so.  We also may tell you (but not always) that there is NO need for you to be seen in the ER and that you should follow up with your primary provider.  Follow ups can even wait until Monday.  Yes - they can.  If you are seen in the ER anyway (either because you insist on it or because the facility allows it), you will probably have a tremendously long wait (think 6-8 hrs) because the emergent patients come first.  You come last.  Sorry, that's just the way it is. 

#4 - If you do not have a primary provider - get one.  If you do not have insurance to see a primary provider, what makes you think that going to an ER will be any cheaper?  We are usually 4 or 5 times the cost of going to a doctor's office.  Example:  office visit for sprained ankle approx $100.  ER visit for sprained ankle approx $600.  Most physician's offices will work with you to arrange payment options.  Yes, even those that ask for money up front.

Side vent - for those who say they cannot get in to see a physician because they have not established previously with the practice, take the time to do so on a day you have some free time.  That makes it so much easier for you to get that appointment for a sore throat when you call the doctor's office.  If they already have seen you and you've established care, they can put you into the open slots they save for daily immediate care cases.   

#5 - We'll ask for money too.  We just won't ask until the MSE is complete.  That means we may tell you that you need to pay your $100 copay (average ER copay) up front before being seen any further.  Yes, we are an ER but we are also a business.  

#6 - If your visit is deemed Emergent, then you will be seen regardless of insurance, ability to pay, or any other defined item.  You will be taken care of.  Period.  But...... it is our decision to make.  Not yours.  

#7 - Even if a physician performs your MSE, these same rules apply.

Now let's move on to the nurses, because we have some stuff to learn too.

SHHH - don't tell anyone I said that out loud.

#1 - Not every person needs to be seen in the ER.  It is OKAY to MSE them and discharge them out of the ER for follow up with their primary provider.  
#2 - YES - even if they have no insurance to be seen at a clinic.  Do you think that means we'll ever get paid?  We do not (yet) get government reimbursement for non emergent visits. 

#3 - Standing Orders may be used for MSE's.  As long as your policy says so, then do so.  Think of it this way - if you have a Chest Pain come in, do you wait for the MD to come up from the cafeteria and give you an order for an EKG before you do one?  Didn't think so.  I bet you use your cardiac standing order sets (or some such name). 

#4 - And for you overachievers out there....... when in doubt, have them seen by the ER doc.  We are not allowed to diagnose a patient.  Remember your scope of practice.  

#5 - Last but not least, an MSE is a whole different monster than Triage.  Triage determines who should be seen in what order.  An MSE determines if they should be seen at all.  

Of note for all you medical peeps out there:  Our state has determined that it is within the Scope of Practice for an RN to perform Medical Screening Exams as long as a proper orientation and monitoring program is set up and followed.  

And apparently I am supposed to remind you that this is my OPINION and not a teaching tool for MSE's.  If you'd like a teaching tool, you may contact me via email and I will share our MSE orientation packet and monitoring program.  It's not big, nor is it impressive.  Just warning you now. 

Alrighty then, I am off to pour a glass of vino because just typing this out made my head hurt.

Photo Blog

Just a quick note to post a link to a new photo blog.  There are some pretty neat pictures at Eastern Oregon Photos

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'll Just Get Right On That Suzy Q

If you are diagnosed with a fracture and the ER doc tells you to follow up with an ortho doc, it is NOT our job to arrange that referral for you.  We are busy.  Go to your primary care doc within 1 to 2 days and have their office staff arrange for the referral.

I do not have time (nor the ability on a weekend) to call your insurance, obtain approval, and then arrange an appointment with the ortho center.

I'm too busy doing CPR on this 21 year old who overdosed on sleeping pills.

And if you continue to be snippy with me, I will curse you in my prayers.

Just sayin'................  

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Time Machine and the Flu

2 years ago these same symptoms would have been called "A Virus" and everyone would have been told to go home and let it run it's course.  Now all of a sudden everyone has "the flu" and is getting rx'd for Tamiflu or hospitalized, sometimes unnecessarily.

I brought this up to Dr Q the other day at work.  

"I know," he responded.

Love how the media has determined how we treat patients this year.  


Monday, October 19, 2009


My new friend Richard, AKA Rich apparently, left me a comment asking I link to his post about iPhone apps for EMS personnel.

Hmmmm.... I thought.  Ah-ight.  Can do.

Alas, in my little Burg one cannot use an iPhone.  Piss poor service and reception I hear.  Our 4 bars of Verizon equals 0.25 bars for iPhone.  

But for the betterment of humanity, I shall overcome this little setback and post the linkyloo for those of you who can use it.  My selflessness is of benefit to you.  Yes, Yes.  I know.  

I deserve the Nobel Peace Prize too damn it.  

Update From The Burg

Well craptastic - it's been a while eh?  I guess my life in the ER has not been interesting enough to provide you all with a story or 2.  Either that or I'm just a lazy piece of work that hasn't had the inclination to log into my blog and share.  I'm going for the second excuse.  

Flu season has hit my little burg.  Not only at work, but at home.  I have 2 sickies home today skipping school.  I heard that 50% of my oldest kiddos class is out of school sick with flu like symptoms.  We also have about 15% of our staff out related to their own or their child's illnesses.  Oh boy - the joys of winter!

I've been spending a lot of time on the internet looking at non medical things - like facebook.  Sometimes you need a break from anything medicine related.  Right now is my Sometime.  

I had someone ask me a while back, "Do you think this is a trauma?" for a patient who was pitched over a motorcycle, into a barbed wire fence, and had 2 long bone fractures, a positive LOC (loss of consciousness for my non medical peeps), and a probable flail chest.   




Some people are dumber than a box of rocks. 

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's Not A Tumah! It's Not!

"OH MY GOD !  MY WIFE IS HAVING A SEIZURE IN THE CAR!  HELP ME!"  He screams as he runs through the ER doors.

Up we jump, 'cuz we're like Les Schwab Employees.........always running to greet you.

Lucy and I hop up out of the chairs at Nurse's Station, leaving our Peanut M&M's behind.  Sigh.....I had just opened that damn bag.  Now I won't get to finish it.

We walk out the double doors and into the drive up.  A blue '78 Caddy is idling with the front door open.  A large, no very large, lady is sitting in the front seat applying lipstick.  

"Is this your wife?" I ask.

"Yes ma'am," he replies.

"She's not having a seizure," Lucy says.  She's a smart one, that Lucy.  

"Well she was!"  he insists.  "She had a seizure at home so I threw her in the car and drove her up here!  It scared me!"

You threw her in the car? I was thinking.  How on God's green Earth did you do that alone? 

Finally his wife pipes up, "Oh yes, I had a seizure.  I'm so lethargic now.  I just can barely stand up honey.  You'll have to help me out of the car."

Um....... I call a bullshit. 

"No ma'am.  You'll have to get into this chair on your own.  I've got a bad back."

Up she pops and flops down into the chair.

"OK dear, you better hurry and get me in there because I feel another seizure coming on."

Oh Dear God.

Lucy and I escort her back to Exam 2 and get her onto a stretcher.  She pulls out her cell phone and calls her daughter as I'm trying to obtain her history.

"Sarah?  Sarah?  You better come up to the ER.  It's your mommy honey.  I can feel a seizure coming on and they have me in the ER.  Hurry baby, hurry!"

Oh for Christ's Sake.  Insert eye roll here.

I hooked her up to the monitor and got her vitals.  I finished her history and went out to talk to Dr. Q.  It was right about this time that her daughter showed up.  She walked into her mother's room and within 10 seconds was out in the hallway screaming "MY MOTHER IS HAVING A SEIZURE!  HELP ME!"

So Lucy and I leisurely make our way to her room.  By leisurely I mean we finished our bag of Peanut M&M's and downed the rest of our Diet Cokes.  We then scratched our butts and walked over there.

Now before you give me the whole uneducated attitude of "GASP!  What a shitty nurse.  Why would you not RUN?  Run, Forest Run!  That poor lady is having a seizure.", let me explain something to you........

This lady was having a seizure like I was winning the lottery.....

Not happening.

I did not for one second ever think this woman truly had a seizure.  Not once did she act post-ictal.  

Anyway - back to Exam 2.

Lucy and I walked in to the room and observed her "seizure."  And let me tell you, that's a loose word to describe this event.  I like to think that "Idiotic fake ass 3 year old fit thrower faker" would be more suitable.

Our patient's husband and daughter were standing beside her stretcher wringing their poor little hands while our patient was babbling and cooing like a baby.

I shit you not.

She was shaking her head back and forth and saying "wah wah wah bah bah bah momma momma dadda dadda wah wah wah bah bah" over and over.  And over.   Then she started kicking her legs.   And asking for her "ba-ba".

Oh Good Lord in Heaven above.  Help me please.

Right about that time, Dr. Q runs in to save the day.  "CT Scan STAT!"

"Dr Q - please observe the patient's seizure first."

He takes one look at her and orders a psych consult, then turns around and walks out the door.

Daddy and Sarah were not too happy with us.  "She doesn't need a psychiatrist!  She needs a doctor!  There's something wrong with her!  She probably has a tumor."

"It's not a tumah" I said in my best Arnold accent (points for throwing in the Terminator here).

"It's highly unlikely your mother has a tumor," Lucy replied.  "She is not having a seizure, she is having some type of mental event."

All of a sudden Mommie Dearest popped up and said "I am too having a seizure!"

Ho Boy.  We've got ourselves a winner here Bob Barker!

The end result of this visit was a psych consult, a discharge, and a family complaint that we did not offer her a CT Scan for her Tumah.    Two days later I was eating at our local greasy spoon when her daughter came on shift as our waitress.  Oh joy.  I got to hear her tell the guy next to us how the Hospital didn't take care of her mother and she wouldn't even take her dog there.  Well goody for you.  We don't want your dog there either.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dear Mr Resident: way to smack down the haughty x ray tech. I'm very proud of you.

Friday, July 31, 2009

At class. I'm cracking up listening to the med students sitting beside me discussing how much they know. I'm also getting an ear full about how much nurses suck. they obviously don't know as much as they think they do or they'd know nurses will save their asses through med school and fix their mistakes. Oh preach on dear med students. Preach on.

This is my Tom Tom. Cell phone on my shoulder, pen in hand, writing as i drive. I'm gonna end up one of my own patients. Stupid stupid nurse.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On my way to ATCN

Monday, July 27, 2009

It was a four pen day

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Busy Beavers

The ER has been busy this morning.  My first break into my 12 hour shift has occurred at precisely 6.5 hours into the shift.  Haven't sat down until now.  Not to bad actually.  We shall see what the rest of the day holds when I walk back out the doors into the mayhem.  

Monday, June 01, 2009

Paranoid Much?

My CNO followed me around on and off for a few hours today. Listened to me talking to patients, watched my technique on quite a few things.

Wonder what the stars hold for me now.

Key Music.....................

I always feel like
Somebody's watchin' me....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oh! To Be Restrained!

Remember when you were in high school and some group came in and put on one of those classes about car wrecks and tried to scare you into submission regarding wearing your seatbelt and following traffic laws to keep you safe? Yeah?

Well, that's me now.

I do a class every quarter for our local court system called Trauma Nurses Talk Tough. It was originally founded and developed by a group of nurses at my former workplace - Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon. It's an amazing program. The studies/analysis/review on it have shown that it truly does make an impact on some of the kiddos that go through it. There are different programs designed for each age group of kids ranging from Kindergarten through Senior Year. It also has specifically arranged classes for high risk drivers, seatbelt violaters, etc.

One of the main points I hit on in the older age groups is wearing your seatbelt properly. So many people do not know how to properly wear a seatbelt. They think if you just have it clicked and somewhat arranged over the front of your body, then all is well.

You people are wrong!

A guy I took care of in the ER once told me he never wears a seatbelt because "Dude, they cause more harm than they prevent. My buddy broke his back wearing a seatbelt and now I don't wear one. I don't want my damn back broken."

Let us discuss.......

Improperly worn seatbelts cause injuries. Improperly worn.........dude.

Officer Smith also talks about this on a recent blog post of his. It is not OK to put the shoulder portion of the belt under your arm or behind your back. It's not fun for a person to deal with the effects of broken ribs, a pneumothorax, lacerated liver, lacerated spleen, ruptured bowel, broken back, etc. These are just a few of the injuries you can receive from wearing your seatbelt improperly.

Another important point: Do not sleep with your head against the seatbelt and do not recline your seat and sleep in a car. Reclining seats are stupid. Shall I repeat this for my hard of hearing readers? Reclining your seat in a car is STUPID! I don't know why car manufacturers even give us the ability to recline. If you are reclining in your seat and have your seatbelt on, you can slip UNDER the seat belt in a crash and have horrible injuries from this (or even dun, dun, dun.......die). You can also get your head caught up in the seat belt in this position (and also when you are sleeping, laying your head against the seatbelt) and have a neck fracture resulting in paralysis.

This my friends, is not fun.

If the lap belt is not properly positioned you can also have major injuries. Many people like to wear it up over their belly. This is a big No No! Abdominal injuries, paralysis, and groin lacerations - oh my! The lap belt should be properly positioned across your hips. If you are pregnant, then under your belly and across your hips/pelvis area.

They have also found that kids raised in a rural environment are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel when they hit driving age. Why, you ask? Funny you should ask that, because I happen to have the answer. Amazing how life works, isn't it?

Rural families often drive long distances to get anywhere. Ask me how I know this......Our town is 2 hours from anywhere. So back to the topic......Rural families often drive foreeeeeeeever to get to their next destination. Mom and Pop encourage the kiddos to "take a little nap" during the drive. Thus, kids learn at a young age to sleep in a car and become accustomed to that. They think this leads to the body being more apt to fall asleep at the wheel because it is not trained to maintain alertness when driving. Kinda weird how things work, huh?

So sit upright, make sure you are alert, seatbelt properly across your shoulder, lap belt properly across your hips and you have a much better chance of not receiving injuries in a crash.

Oh and one more thing! 10 and 2 o'clock hand position no longer applies. Try 9 and 3 o'clock. The former position is shown to have more injuries now related from the expelling of the gas with airbags. Burns and fractures of hands/wrists. Reeducate yourselves to the 9 and 3 position to decrease those injuries.

OK Class.......Lecture over. There will be pop quiz on this. Get out your papers and pens.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Oh Pish Posh Applesauce

What a whiner! I re-read my last post and even I thought I was a big ole' crybaby. Buck up Julie! Toughen up and quit crying in your beer. I get irritated with people at work when they verbalize shit like that, and look at me - I did the same.

Well bend me over and whack my fanny with a wet noodle.

Wait, maybe I should save that one for my man. It could be fun.......right? NOT THAT I'M COMPARING YOUR WILLY TO A WET NOODLE DAVID! Seriously. Truly. I'm not. Um hmm. Nope, not at all.

I was slammed in the ER on Saturday. Lot's of little things, nothing really big or eventful which is surprising for a holiday weekend. Didn't even have a wreck until this evening. Weird, isn't it? Is the moon traveling out on a different track or something? Spinning a bit off course? Who knows. But apparently the man in the moon isn't talkin'.

My man is gone for the weekend, water skiing without me. Can you believe the gall of that man? He leaves me behind and goes and has fun in the water without me?!? Pashaw I say. Pashaw.

Of course, it COULDN'T have had anything to do with the fact that I had to work all weekend. Nah...... couldn't be that.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I worked on Mother's Day and we were busy as hell. Truly though, is hell busy? Are they all down there slaving away and constantly busy? Or is it just sluggish monotonous work? Hopefully I won't find out, though I'm heading down a path that will probably take me there.

12:23 PM the firestorm started, and it never stopped. When I left they were still filing through the door, limping with their broken limbs or clutching their chests. We were 2 nurses short and one of the nurses that was there felt it was her job to sit on her ass doing nothing. Now THAT's always a good time right there.

We're losing a couple of our nurses over the next few months but our manager doesn't know it yet. It will be interesting to see how our staffing shapes up by September. These are good nurses too and they will be sorely missed.

We're receiving email after email telling us that we need to change this or that, changing policies, implementing new QI measurements, etc. It would be great to have one week - just one week - with zero changes and zero emails telling us we suck. It would be great to hear "WAY TO GO GUYS!" every so often. I wonder what other careers there are where you get to go to work everyday and get beaten down? Hmmmm....... Anyone?

I still love my job though. I love working in the ER and I love taking care of patients. It is such a rewarding field in that aspect. I love learning about people and finding out where they come from related to life lessons.
Maybe I just need a vacation. Sign me up!

I am a blogging loser

Yes I know.

You don't have to say it.


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Simple Thoughts From A Simple Mind

If you are a veterinarian, do not tell me you are a medical doctor when your son is a patient in my ER.



I'm not stupid and I WILL figure it out. Rather quickly too.

(Nothing against veterinarians here. Don't get your panties in a twist.)


If you have admittedly stolen funds from your place of employment and then you are magically promoted............. you gotta be blowin' somebody.

Just sayin'.

The Boys in Blue

I found a new blog when I was surfing around tonight. Actually, I found a few new ones. I'm having a lot of fun reading the police blogs and looking at things from their point of view (which is often shared by little ol' me).

One of the blog posts caught my eye. The officer at Cop 'n Attitude wrote about Ticketing Doctors and Nurses. I must say that I am thoroughly embarrassed to be associated with the people in this story. They were complete and total assholes.

That being said, I must admit my downfall. I am a speeder. Oh how I love to push that gas pedal down to the floor. 50 in a35? Not a problem for me. It is a problem for the local boys in blue though. I constantly get appropriate lectures from them when they are in the ER (and they are the BEST smart asses in the world, better than me which is a near impossible feat). I've been pulled over by a few of them, getting put through the verbal wringer, and they are right - every time. I'm trying to do better, I truly am. It's a hard habit to break though.

But I must say with 100% conviction, I have NEVER used my position to get out of a ticket. Never. My father is an officer (the Chief in fact), my ex was an officer, one of my best friends is an officer. I know the shit they have to deal with. I know how people can be complete and total jerks. I also know that being nice and respectable goes a long way.

Honestly though, many of us medical professionals do get a "PASS" from Law Enforcement. Living in a small town we get it more often. Do we deserve it? Not really......... but we're all a team. Is that an excuse? No. It just is what it is. We all see each other quite often carrying out the duties of our jobs and that develops into a relationship that is truly unique.

We see them bringing in an out of control schizophrenic who has been threatening people on the street. We see them helping us restrain someone who is trying to harm themselves or others. We see them with broken hands, broken ankles, or God-forbid - Gunshot wounds. They see us dripping with sweat trying to resuscitate the 10 year old who was ejected from the car during the rollover. They see us telling wives that their husbands didn't survive the wreck even though we did everything we could. They see us helping out their buddies when they've been injured.

We all see that we share the same sense of humor to deal with the horrors and stress of our jobs.
And they take the doughnut jokes really well, too.

Seriously, Dude......Don't

For all of you out there who want to know when you should go to the ER, let me help you out.

You should go to the ER when................

You are dying.

Or close to it.

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT come to the ER for the following (or the nurse and the physician will not only think you are an idiot, but also bitch about how it is single handedly your fault that the medical system is in the shambles it is in):

  1. Runny nose that just started this morning.
  2. Fever that just started this morning.
  3. Cough that just started this morning.
  4. In fact, any cold symptoms at all - just wait it out. Seriously. We're not going to help you.
  5. The flu - stay away. You're going to contaminate everyone else and there is nothing we can do for you.
  6. A tiny little scratch on your finger
  7. A tiny little cut on your finger (ever heard of applying pressure? And by pressure I mean actually pressing down on the area for more than 10 seconds)
  8. Back pain you've been having for a few weeks. GO TO YOUR CLINIC DOCTOR.
  9. A cough you've had for a few weeks.
  10. Anything that has lasted for a few weeks - GO TO YOUR CLINIC DOCTOR. It is obviously NOT an emergency since you've lived through it for the last 21 days.
  11. Your 2 year old that is pulling on his ear on a Wednesday night. Wait until the morning and go to your clinic doctor. Tylenol - it's a good thing.
  12. Your 2 year old with a rash which he's had for a few days. Or even a rash he's had for a few hours. It......can.....wait.
  13. Ankle pain after falling off a porch and twisting the darn thing. If you can walk in, you don't need to be seen.
I know there are plenty more, that's just a few from my last day at work. I constantly shake my head in wonder at the very idea that people think they need to come to the ER for these things.

And before all you people start jumping on me about the .0000005% rare instances of some wild and crazy disease or near fatal instance of your child/niece/nephew/brother/sister/husband/mother/
father/dog/cat/parokeet in the above scenarios - just know this............ we're not gonna catch those either. And if we do, it's plainly a miracle from God.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


So the powers that be finally decided we can have a little variety in our scrubs at work. By variety, I mean same color - but different companies. So even though that may not seem like much of a choice, it's all the freedom in the world to those of us who have been stuck in a repressive sea of green for 5 years.

I think I'll shop HERE. Scrubs Gallery dot com. New sponsor and some pretty good prices to boot.

Now off to find some more green scrubs.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Life as a Groupie

Meandered my way to Portland for a concert this past weekend.   Saving Abel, Papa Roach, Buckcherry, and Avenged Sevenfold.  I do believe the man and I were the oldest ones there.  Grandma and Grandpa in the house.  LOL.  It's sad when you're old in your mid 30's.  

It was a great night though.  3 young 'uns carried out on stretchers.  Such is the life of over-chemicalized children.  One of the situations made me laugh (call me a bitch, call me evil, call me to dinner - whatever suits your fancy).  Picture the scene - loud rock music, screaming fans, one young girl laying on the ground........her friends franticly trying to administer CPR. 

She was drunk.  

And awake.

But apparently CPR was called for.  Who knew?

Hey - at least they knew to check her airway.

The concert was actually pretty good.  Saving Abel was impressive.  Personable.  

Papa Roach - gained a new fan here.  What great entertainers.  Never really listened to them before this but I immediately became a fan.  Good crowd interaction, great energy.

Buckcherry - sadly a bit disappointing.  This group is why I went to the concert.  I love Buckcherry.  But apparently, I don't love them live.  They were......okay......but reserved.  Minimal crowd interaction and they seemed rushed.

Avenged Sevenfold - ack.  Had to leave.  It was all screaming.  Minimal entertainment (besides the second girl who was carried out of the pit by her friends).  Even the 4 or 5 Coors Light couldn't keep me interested.  Ah well, I suppose I am getting old.   I do love the song "Dear God."  Stayed for that then took the back door back to the hotel.  

It was a good mini-vacation for this old haggard woman.  Snort.  God, being surrounded by high school kids makes you feel old really fast.   I need to get my ass to the spa for a seaweed wrap and a mud bath.  Maybe that'll strip a few years off this aging body.  Aw screw it.  I think a few shots of Crown and a six pack of Coors Light will cure what ails me.

Busy day at work today.  Rollovers, cardiacs, abdominal pains, and foreign objects unintentionally inserted into orifices.   Seriously people - if it doesn't have a handle, don't stick it in there.

And with that I'm done.  

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

If you come to the ER weighing 82 pounds at the age of 48, skin the color of freshly bloomed daffodils, vomiting blood, have a heart rate of 140, a blood pressure of 138/79, and have tremors so bad that you can't hold a cup without dropping it - I will not believe you when you tell me you do not drink alcohol on a regular basis. I will prove you wrong when the labs come back and your ETOH level is .280.

Don't go there.

Truth - it's a good thing.

Foul Language

I got a comment on another post basically saying that I cuss too much. So I read back through my posts from the beginning and I will have to say she was right. The question remains though - will I change?

Probably not. I work in an environment where cussing is a native language. I don't know a single one of my co-worker who has not uttered a foul word, even the "good girls." We are faced with people cussing us out almost on a daily basis because we won't give in to their demands for pain pills, work excuses, or other things. We get cussed out by people who have no medical training telling us that we are doing our job wrong. We get called bitches, fuckers, and the Queen of the mean - c.u.n.t. Why? Because we care.

We come to work ready to save lives, dress wounds, set broken bones, run our butts off all for the sake of getting called names when one person is unhappy because their morphine shot had to wait until we were done with CPR in the next room.

Are these valid excuses? Not really. But I tell you one thing. You will never catch me cussing at a patient or their family members. Never. I may cuss all day long on my little blog-a-roo here, but I will be respectful and professional with you if you are seeing me as a patient. I will probably continue my use of shit and such here, but I suppose that will expose you (my 12 readers) to the world I work in every day that I put those scrubs on my butt.

Welcome to the ER....... it's the place to be.

Monday, January 19, 2009


This post over at Emergiblog got me all fascinated and such. She makes some great points about ideas for health care for our new President.

I love it when someone can speak my mind better than I can.

Loved this one also. It is an amazing play by play of a trauma death.

And THIS video over at Mel's blog made me tear up. It's an amazing testament to the strength of women and their friendships.

Yeah, Sorry.

I suck.

At Blogging anyway.

The past 2 months have been extremely difficult at work. Actually the last 4 or 5 months have been. Too many changes, too many cooks stirring the soup. Getting emotionally punched in the face every few days by someone you used to be very close with but who now feels the urge to "take you down" takes it's toll. A new job is sounding better and better.

Enough of my useless prattle. Onward and upward they say! I just don't say it with them today.

16 year old drug into the ER by her parents. She is visibily shaking in Triage. I can see her heart pounding through her chest. Heart rate about 160, respiratory rate about 40. Glassy eyed, scared shitless.

"Emily says she took something but she won't tell us what," Mom says.

After an extensive workup we found............................. nothing. Nothing popped positive on the drug screen. No weird labs. Just crazy vital signs. Was she just nervous? Did she take something else that we can't test for? Salvia came to mind.

"Can I have some ice cream on my toes for my trip to Maine?" Emily asked.

Um....................... huh?

"I need some tiles for my eyes on Canada."

What the hell? She is as confused as Grandma Mabel - who thinks it's 1812 and that she's a man fighting in the war.

Little Emily gets admitted for a few nights stay at our overpriced hotel. I came back a few days later to check on her and they finally figured out what she took.

Hold on - are you ready?


Yep, you heard me right. Who knew? I've never had anyone come in that took Dramamine to try to get high. Holy crap. These kids will take anything. Do they not understand that almost anything can kill you if you take enough of it? I think they finally figured out that she took about 7 or 8 tablets.


I've been taking practice tests for my CEN (certified emergency nurse) exam. Apparently they were designed to make you feel like the dumbest nurse on earth. The other night our crew sat down and did them all together, reading the questions out loud and discussing them. We argued with the book many times on the correct answer. Is that a sign that we might not be right in the head?

"Oh bullshit! That is not the first thing you would do for that patient."

"What a load of crap. Who wrote these questions?"

"Close the book and let's go get chocolate!"

Yeah, I like the last one.


I've found my nursing soul mate. One of our night shift nurses moved to day shift and I'm finding that we work wonderfully together. I can read her like a book. We argue like sisters about practically everything, but when it comes down to the knitty gritty, we don't even have to speak. We get it all done for the code/trauma with little fussing and only relevant communication. We can briskly shout commands to each other without getting offended, which is the absolute frosting on the cake. I lubs her and she's my favorite team member now.

OK, I'll try to jump back on the blogging bandwagon, but I can't make any promises. My internet time lately has been limited to hours on Facebook and shaking my head at some of the responses on AllNurses.com. We'll see how it goes.