Friday, December 01, 2006

Rules for the ER .........................

I would so like to be able to post this in every room of the ER.

The following was sent to me by a former Boss. The name was deleted to protect the guilty. This is in no way an inclusive list of ER rules either. So feel free to add to 'em in the comments.

1) If it requires the ambulance team AND entire truck of firefighters to transport you and safely place you on a hospital is time to go on a diet.

2) When you present to the Triage nurse, do NOT tell him/her that your doctor called ahead. If you survey our waiting area, probably 50% of the people waiting said the same thing.....and the other 50% use the ER as their regular doctor.

3) When asked how much you weigh, please do not give the 'deer in the headlights' look and tell us you don't know. It's a simple question, simple answer.

4) Just because you have a phone and know how to call 911, we are NOT impressed by your arrival on an ambulance stretcher. You had BETTER be sick.

5) If you came escorted via EMS for multiple complaints that started more than one week ago and your entire family followed the ambulance to the hospital, you will be labeled a pussy and treated like one. Enjoy the waiting area with your family.

6) One complaint/ailment per visit, please.

7) Just because you came in an ambulance doesn't mean you're going home in one. You better start making arrangements now. I am NOT figuring out how to get you home. Cab vouchers are NOT an option.

8) If you have one of these four, go to your own doctor in the morning: A migraine; the Flu; a stomach virus; or a stuffy nose.

9) Do NOT ask us how long it will be. We don't know. I don't know what is coming through my door 30 seconds from now.....and so I sure as HELL don't know when you're getting a room.

10) We have priorities. We understand that you have been waiting for 2 hours in the waiting room. If you don't want to wait, make an appointment with a doctor. The little old lady that just walked in looking OK to you, is probably having a massive heart attack. THAT is why she goes first!

11) If your mother is a patient and we ask her a question.....let her answer it.

12) If your child has a fever, you had DAMN well better given it Tylenol BEFORE coming in.

13) If you are well enough to complain about the are well enough to go home.

14) Do not utter the words "it is in my chart." I don't have your chart! And I don't have time to call and get it! Just tell me.

15) We know how many times you've been to an ER. We can usually tell if you are faking it during the first 5 seconds of talking to you. Do not lie to us.

16) If you have diabetes and do not control it, you are committing slow suicide.

17) If you are a female between the ages of 16 and 42 and your last period was 28-35 days ago.....PLEASE don't waste our time if you are here for abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. Guess what???!!! You got your period again!!!

18) Do NOT bring your entire posse with you. One person at the bedside is all you need. It is really difficult to get around seven people in the event that you are actually really sick.

19) Every time I ask you a question, I learn more about what is wrong with you. I don't care if I asked you what day it is 4 different times! Just answer the questions.

20) If you want something, be nice. I will go out of my way to piss off rude people.

21) Our definition of "sick" is not your definition of "sick." If a member of the ER staff says that someone is sick, it means that they are in the process of DYING!!! They have had a massive stroke....are bleeding out....are having a heart attack....or have been shot!

22) We do not consider a kidney stone "sick." Painful, yes.....but sick, no.

23) At any given time, one nurse has up to 4 patients. One doctor has up to 15. There is a law (similar to Murphy's Law) in the ER: If you have 4 patients, one of them will be sick (see above definition) of them will be whining of them will be homeless....and one of them will be a delightful patient. DON'T be the whiner! Please.

24) If you see someone pushing a big cart down the hall at full speed and you hear bells/alarms going NOT ask for a cup of coffee. Someone is dying, you inconsiderate asshole. Sit down....shut up....and let us work.

25) If you can bitch about the blood pressure cuff being too tight, or the IV hurting, you are not in that much pain!

26) Physicians and nurses are NOT waiters. We are NOT customer service representatives. This is NOT McDonald's, and you very well may NOT have it your way. Our job is to save your life. If you want a pillow, two blankets, and the lights dimmed......GO TO THE RAMADA!!!!!

27) If you have any sort of stomach pain and you ask for something to eat, you are NOT sick.

28) Do NOT talk shit about the other members of staff I work with. That doctor that you hate? -- I work with him every day, and I know that he knows what he is doing. I trust him a LOT more than I trust you. I am NOT here to be your friend, and neither is he. I will tell him what you said, and we will laugh about it. If you want a buddy.....go somewhere else.

29) If you are homeless.....DON'T ask for a bus token or a cab voucher to get home, it just confuses the staff.

30) PLEASE don't tell us how to do our job. Do we come to your place of business and tell you how to do your job?

31) Please don't bring in a "show and tell." If you have to fish it out of the toilet, it's really not necessary to bring it in. We will take your word for it. If you did fish something out of the may NOT use my pen.

OK, there you have it. If this sounds a little harsh to you, you need to realize that we hear/see every single item on that list every single day.

Update: I cannot believe this item was left off the list. I'll add #32.

32) Please take a bath or shower sometime in the week prior to your ER visit. Proper hygine will make you feel better and it'll make us feel better too. If you smell like the ass of a skunk, don't be offended when the staff wears a mask into your room in self defense.

I did that this morning with a husband and wife that were just maggot bait stinky. When they asked me why I had a mask on, I, not being able to tell a lie, simply told them "Because you need a bath." They were not happy with me.

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