A Little Advice…And Venting…

Can I tell you a little secret?  I promise that it’ll save you lots of time and drama.  If you think that your child is having difficulty breathing, but their SpO2 is 99% on room air, they’re skipping down the ER hallway, they’re laughing and watching cartoons, and they’re talking about how they won’t have to go to school in the morning, then guess what?  They probably aren’t really having difficulty breathing.

And if you think your child feels hot, first buy a thermometer and check.  Don’t call an ambulance and say that you brought your kid to the hospital because you didn’t have a thermometer at home and were concerned they might have a fever.  If you have children, get a thermometer!!!

And if you come in complaining of abdominal pain but are sitting there eating McDonald’s, and even after I tell you that you shouldn’t have anything by mouth you continue to eat it, I will make sure that the doctor is aware of that little tidbit.

And if you come to the hospital and are upset because you had to sit in a waiting room with other sick people – guess what?  It’s a hospital, and pretty much everyone in there is sick.  We don’t have special waiting rooms for the healthy ones.

Thank you, and good-night.

*Let me give a little caveat – I’m the first person who’ll tell you that if you feel sick and you think that you need to go to the hospital, then GO TO THE HOSPITAL!  Especially with little kids.  I would never want to discourage someone from coming to the ER, because I’m not you, and no one knows you or your kids better than you.  Believe me, if it was my kid and I thought they were having trouble breathing or were running a very high temp, I would be right up there making sure they were seen.

However, I wouldn’t start yelling at the nurse who has been in the room repeatedly updating me on the status of what’s going on and what’s being done.  Remember – that nurse is taking care of several other patients, and hard as it may be to believe, some or one or all of those patients may be more ill than you.  That nurse also can’t hogtie the doctor and drag him in there to see you. I feel bad about the fact that you’ve had to wait for 5 hours – if it were within my power, I would wave a magic wand and get you in and out in under 30 minutes.  But I don’t have the power to do that – all I can do is keep checking, keep asking/informing the doctor, keep you updated, and try to be the best patient advocate that I can possibly be.  I hate to say it, but there it is.*

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10 comments

  1. ally says:

    As someone who is on the “other” side of things in hospital administration, I thank you for putting up with 1) a crappy system, and 2) patients who don’t understand how crappy the system is and thus are crappy themselves!

    Nurses really are underappreciated – especially the ones in the ER!

    Calling an ambulance due to not having a thermometer is f-ing ridiculous though – I sure hope her insurance charges her for the ride so she learns her lesson!

  2. Jane says:

    WOOHOO!!!!

    I think there are a few jobs everyone should be required to do for 1 week. If they did, the world would be a much better place. Oooh … blog idea for Jane!

    Quick rundown on what I think everyone should do

    waitress
    hospital work
    retail

    AND … I think that in any profession, people should have to do the job of people around them. i.e. all doctors should follow a nurse, patient tech, and transporter for a week. and all the other people should have to follow the others for a week … because we all think we “get” the others job. Really, we don’t at all.

    Okay, rambling over. 🙂

  3. amy says:

    Preach it, sister!!

    One of my best friends is a nurse and I’ve heard all of this before!! I guess no matter what hospital you work at…there are people like this…

    Hope you have a great day! 🙂

  4. Gwen says:

    I agree. You just know as a parent you need a thermometer. Seriously people!!! Now that poor kid will really be sick from sitting at the hospital. I can’t imagine the stress you are going through during this flu season. Sending prayers to you. 🙂 XOXO

  5. Cole says:

    Words of wisdom, I tell you! I have a few hypochondriac friends who go to the hospital for EVERYTHING. Lord help them when they REALLY get sick…

  6. Elle says:

    Love the McDonald’s bit… you’re on your way to the ER because of course you’re having an emergency, but oh there’s McDonald’s I guess I have time in the middle of my medical emergency to get some McD’s…. hahahaa

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