Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nurse Follies: The ER

I don't work in the ER, but I have friends that do. After hearing about some of the crap they have to put up with, I am eternally grateful I didn't take a job down there fresh out of school. It takes a special breed of nurse to stomach working there. While there are some really, really good nurses, there are also the assholes who have attitude over most other nurses because they have the "I save lives" complex.

Hey...I save lives, too. So, go blow yourselves!

But I digress...

I never cease to be amazed at some of the stories I hear coming from that department. Oh sure, you get the obligatory "seek and find" cases where the staff gets to delve into orifices in search of things deliberately put there, only to be told, "I was walking around naked, and slipped and fell. That's how that jar of grape jelly ended up in my ass."

Other asshat visits to the ER:
- a hang nail with no complaints of pain
- Gum stuck in long blond (bleached) hair
- a blister on the right toe
- child has lice
- female cut a fingernail to short and it hurt
- a paternity test, as he was due in court IN SIX HOURS!!
- totally well, but needing a work excuse for a sick day sometime last week
- mosquito bite
- A man with a ring on his penis- which was easily removed with lubricant
- "My girlfriend said her Doctor told her she had herpes. I wanna see if I got Herpes, too."
- came in wanting to have his blackheads removed
- wanted his ears cleaned
- Being drunk and requesting detox until social security check arrives
- "to have my wife checked out to see of she has been sleeping around"
- school vaccinations
- "When I get cold, my nipples get hard"
- chapped lips
- Daughter swallowed her gum
- Wanting Viagra

Again, I digress...

I was reading today about some blurb that proclaimed, "U.S. emergency rooms are understaffed, overwhelmed and could not cope with a crisis, whether a pandemic, attack or natural disaster, according to three reports released on Wednesday."

Well, no shit, Sherlock. Maybe if people came to the ER with actual emergencies, emergency rooms across the nation wouldn't be so clogged down. You hear about hospitals on diversion because they are too full to take anymore patients. Laypeople are just shocked when they read about this. SHOCKED! Lots of folks out there think that working in the ER is a lot like the tv show. Some of my friends get pissed when people compare the tv show to real life.

Let me tell you, not once have I ever heard of a helicoptor dropping in through the ceiling and taking out the biggest asshole doctor to wear a white coat.

Again, I digress...

Maybe if regulations were implimented that would prevent ER abuses, things might improve. Things that prevent those assclowns who come in at 1am wanting a pregnancy test (because they are too cheap to go out and actually purchase one at the 24-hour Walmart). Lots of people use the ER as someone might go visit their doctor's office. There's a reason some patients are referred to as "frequent flyers". Sometimes, it's not a matter of having insurance.

It's a matter of people being stupid...and the world is full of stupid people.


Xavier Onassis said...


Clearly some of those cases were idiots.

OK, a lot of them were idiots.

But some of them can almost certainly be blamed on the fact that the patients have no health insurance and have nowhere else to go.

If you think about it, both doctors AND lawyers are bottom feeders of the worst sort. They both make money off of people who are at the end of their ropes and have no choices left to them.

Yes, I know, doctors save lives everyday. God bless 'em.

But they also sometimes say "I know you are in agony, I know you are going to die and I have the power to prevent that. But I have this huge fucking mansion in Johnson County and a warehouse sized garage filled with these exotic cars I like to collect. So I can't help you because you have no insurance because I have to maintain my lifestyle or my 25 year old bimbo of a second wife with the $20k boobs will drop me like a red hot brick."

It's easy to blame the patients.

But what about the doctors?

Heather said...

Like I said...sometimes it has nothing to do with insurance, and everything to do with foresight. A little common sense goes a long, long way.

Other than that, do you think if doctors made less money, more people would have health insurance? Think again.

Xavier Onassis said...

"do you think if doctors made less money, more people would have health insurance? Think again"

No. Not at all. The entire system is broken and doctors are just playing by the rules.

But I do think that more doctors could afford to take a hit on their bottom line and provide care to those who need it, even if they don't get paid.

To quote from that greatest of all philosophers (Uncle Ben in the first Spiderman) "With great power comes great responsibility".

Doctors have the power to save lives and end suffering.

The choice of whether or not to wield that power should not depend on the thickness of the patient's wallet.

Heather said...

You would be surprised that it's not the doctors who refuse to treat, it the insurance companies themselves. If the insurance company denies a claim, or refuses particular treatment (with varied asinine reasons), the doctor can't just do because there are other parties who have to take part (i.e. pharmacies, hospitals, diagnostics, etc). It's true, docs do have the ability to end suffering and save lives, but they just can't go take their patients out in some alley somewhere to do it.

The healthcare system is broken, but it's a lot better than what some other countries have. If anyone has any good ideas as to how to fix it...I'm all ears.

But then you have to contend with all the asshole lobbyists who don't care about John Q Public.

I do agree that some docs out there make far too much, but those are usually the ones whose specialties are deemed "elective". Plastic surgery is the first to come to my mind.

Xavier Onassis said...

I'm no expert.

But Canada and a lot of the European countries seem to have found a way to provide affordable health care for their citizens.

I also agree that your run-of-the-mill, garden-variety, family practitioner ain't as rich as he/she used to be. A lot of what used to go into their pockets (car collection) now goes to malpractice insurance.

It's interesting how the same folk who can't afford health insurance don't seem to have any problem coming up with the money to hire an attorney to sue a doctor.

Pretty fucked up system we got.

Ya think?

Heather said...

Actually, most people who sue hire their lawyers on a contingency. Lawyers don't get money unless the plaintiff gets money. Most of them gamble on the chance that whomever they are suing will settle out of court.

Sure, Canada has their health system, but if you want an elective surgery (joint replacement, back surgery, etc) or any diagnostic procedures that aren't deemed "emergent", you're going to wait 2-3 years for it.

nightrnlinus said...

Well how many YEARS does a doctor go to school. Let's see. First a Bachelor's degree to apply (4) years. Then Med school (4) years. Then Residency...(2) years for Internal Med (fancy name for Family practice)...(4-6) for a surgeon. (4-6) for a Radiologist. (4) years for a Cardialogist. (6) years for a cardiac surgeon. Lets see thats 10-12 YEARS of school...after high school. And most have student loans of 2-3 hundred thousand dollars. And people wonder why it cost money to see a doctor???. Well a lawyer gets a Bachelor's degree (4) years and then (3) years of law school. This is (7) years. Then they can sue the doctor. Also I have NEVER KNOWN A LAWYER WHO HAS EVER SAVED A LIFE. Now they have sued for people who's lives were saved. But did not come back the "way they should have"

Johann said...

I love the cold nipples that get hard. How do you treat that? Does it require an overnight stay or just a visit the local motel?

Marti said...

When I was an x-ray tech, we got a guy who had "lost" a vibrator up his anus. It worked its way up his colon, and was buzzing away almost at his belly button when we put him on the table. You could see the batteries and wires on the film. They had to do surgery to remove it.