Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Embarrassing Moments in the ER..........

I've had a few brilliant moves and moments over the years. Times where I've just said the dumbest shit, or spilled a urinal on the floor - after my feet tried to keep the floor dry by absorbing it all. Brain farts and moments of none to graceful acrobatics, brought on by fatigue, being in a hurry or not seeing the puddle of ________ (fill in your body fluid of choice here) and falling on your ass. That sorta thing.

But maybe the most embarrassing moment I ever experienced was because of Velcro. Yeah, that wonderful spin off from the space program. Here's how it went .........

A small Community ER setting about 0430 or 0500 in the morning. It's been quiet for the last 1/2 hour and everyone is hoping the calm holds till 0700, so we can get the hell out of there.

A car pulls up to the back door. Shit. I slowly get up and start moving toward the direction of the doors, hoping it's someone who works here pulling up to unload something. No such luck. Here comes an older woman in the doors, saying that her husband is "Having chest pains!"

When you've worked in Emergency Care for awhile, you develop a pretty good sense of Radar about some things and I started moving quicker and snatched up a wheelchair while heading out to the car.
I saw the passenger door swing open and an older guy step out. He had, what we call, "THE LOOK". A sort of sickly, yellowish/Grey hue, profuse sweating and obviously having trouble getting his breath. Along with the classic - Holding his fist in the middle of his chest posture.

I really started moving then, scooped his ass into the wheelchair and hauled into the nearest Trauma/Cardiac room. I hollered for someone to bring the EKG machine and started peeling his shirt off and tossed him up on the cart.

While I was trying to untangle the monitor leads, which were knitted nicely together, the Tech put Oxygen on him and started getting the EKG together. I finally got him on the monitor and he was obviously having "THE BIG ONE". I started looking for an IV site that I knew we were gonna be needing soon.

I had left the blood pressure cuff off while looking for the IV site and the Tech was busy with the EKG. The Tech ran off with the EKG back to the Doctor, who was napping in his little area in back as I finished up the IV and drew the necessary labs. I snatched up the B/P cuff, that had fallen on the floor, by the hose to get it on his arm.

As all patients arms are not the same size, B/P cuffs use Velcro to make a snug fit. Generally speaking, that's a good thing. But if you try to swing the cuff up into one hand by pulling the connection hose with the other ...... and that Velcro gets ahold of the Drawstrings that hold your scrub pants up?

Oh yeah. Impresses the hell out of people, don'tcha know.

Like most Nurses, I carry a bunch of shit in my pockets. Big scissors, tape, my little cheat sheet book of calculations and such that I can never remember. That sort of shit adds weight.

Let me tell you, that velcro got a nice good grip on that drawstring and I, blissfully ignorant, kept right on pulling on that cuff to get it wrapped around his arm. And that knot on my scrubs came untied.

Down they went and there I was with my scrubs around my ankles. Just me and my BVD's.

Now, just what the hell do you say to a guy, who is obviously having a big heart attack, when your pants have just landed on the floor?

ME- "Have no fear. I'm a total professional."

Patient -

Patient's Wife - (running out of the room with her hands over her face) "BuWaaaHaHaHaHaaHaaa".

I can tell you this much, it makes a hell of an impression on 'em.
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