Well, David Hasselhoff and the reference to his song is quite fitting for the past week. No, we didn't single-handedly bring down the Berlin Wall with our angelic voices, but we did have a reason to feel like we accomplished an equally challenging task after Thursday's shift. Secondly, there was once again no lack in the most-asked-question-of-my-life. And we did look for a lot of fractures on x-rays.
Each day of this past week was completely different from the next. I love that. I can't even keep the days and the cases straight anymore because for the most part we were working off one case after another. Sometimes more relaxing than others.
I got quite a bit of flesh sewing in this week. There was the glass-cut-open-my-hand case, the I-tripped-in-the-yard-and-busted-up-my-lip case, the I-was-moving-junk-and-slit-open-my-forearm case and I believe a few more that I can't remember.
We had another load of kids throughout the week as well as the numerous cases of elderly folks falling down.
One of the cases that falls into the age gap was a mid 40 year old that hurt her fingers while at the gym. Unfortunately, it happened the night before and she didn't remove her wedding ring. I tried as much as I could to massage the edema out of the finger in the hopes of saving the ring. Try as I may though, the swelling around the capsule was so strong that I couldn't get it over the joint. We had no other option but to cut it off. The patient was understanding and even joked that this would be a good excuse for her husband to buy her a new one. So as a good thing to remember, if you ever hurt your hand....REMOVE ANY JEWELERY ON YOUR ARM! We don't enjoy cutting off wedding rings but we will if it means saving your finger!
Many cases we had this week were not cases for the emergency room. Dear citizens of the world, if you have had back pain for 6 weeks, make an appointment with a practice (I am aware you can't get those quickly sometimes but make it very clear to the receptionist that you need an appointment) and get treated. An emergency room (and it baffles me that we have to tell people this) is for EMERGENCIES! It's not a free for all to get to see a doctor right away when you don't have a new acute problem! Just because your binge watching of TV shows can't continue because you have seen all the seasons and you happen to have a moment of time in your schedule, it is not the time to fill it with a visit to your local emergency room (preferably at 3:30AM) to complain about your shoulder that has been bugging you for the past week. (That specific case didn't happen in my current hospital, but people. it happens). Use common sense, us doctors (and soon to be doctors) don't want to (and can't) turn you away but our job in the emergency room is to treat emergencies. Rant end.
Thursday was crazy. We had enough cases to work on at 9:30 and the files in our slot just kept coming. The other departments started to fill up as well and by 11AM we had patients/nurses/EMTs/doctors packing the ER. I went from seeing people with the doctor to immediately writing the start of the release note and leaving to see the next patient again. The doctor would finish the release letter and I would get it in an envelope, to the patient and discharging them. At some point, while both our computers were being used by doctors, I took all their money cards, went to the cafeteria, called the doctors and told them what was available and carried multiple meals back to the ER so that we could eat in between writing letters and looking at x-rays. It was a crazy but absolutely fun day.
Friday was the COMPLETE opposite! We had 5 patients in the whole day I was there! We thought it might even get crazier than it was Thursday because the weather was absolutely beautiful and 30 degrees Fahrenheit out that we figured everyone was coming out of hibernation (I know it's June but it was still rather icky and cold until Friday) and since they haven't been out in the world, would fall on their face after the third step and show up in the ER. Surprisingly, that was not the case. The internal medicine department had a few more cases because people forgot to drink plenty of water. But all in all, it was a really calm day. It made the day drag on and on though. After work, I bought a container of really lovely looking yummy strawberries and dropped them off in the ER because they let me go an hour early!
My doctor has told me several times that she doesn't know what she'll do without me. She will be just fine without me, I can tell you that much. I do try really hard to make the lives of people around me easier though. I'm like the born personal assistant (although I could use my own). While in Urology, I made sure the doctors were eating and if they didn't stop to have breakfast, I'd make them something and make them eat it. If I heard a sniffle or saw a runny nose, I'd make them ginger-honey-lemon tea and even brought it back to the hospital after my work day if they had a night shift. I was usually one step ahead of them when it came to office work. I'm the same in the ER. I know when something is about to be printed and already have the letter in the envelope with a work release note filled out so that the doctor only has to sign it. I don't like sitting around doing nothing so I'd rather fill my time with those kinds of things or reading up in a book than just staring at the wall.
I'm excited to return to work on Monday. My body is pretty set on it too I guess. I forgot to set an alarm on Friday but woke up on my own only 7 minutes after what should have been my alarm. Today, although it's Saturday, I was up and started my day at 6:45. As long as I'm not tired I don't mind an early start to a day.
I shall see if my internal alarm clock takes off on Sundays ;-)