Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Friday Night in the ED
I recently started taking hospital call again after eighteen months' grace - hospital call pays more and I'm trying to pay off some of my expenses from the basement project. (Which, by the way, is done. Hallelujah!) Last Friday was a busy night, with four admissions in a row (MI, pancreatitis, cellulitis, compression fracture of thoracic vertebra/pain control).
I don't really mind hanging out in the emergency department, though - you meet such interesting people. For example: I was writing admission orders in the back room when two paramedics brought in an unconscious man on a stretcher. I overheard the mumbled diagnosis and poked my head out to stare:
"He drank an entire fifth of vodka?"
Uh huh. Suffice to say that Mr. Binge Drinker was intubated a short time later - he basically wasn't breathing.
Then there was the matter of the progress note I overheard one of the ER docs dictating:
Patient complains of recurrent epistaxis [nosebleed] which he
Our eyes met and he grinned. Not much you can add to a medical history like that. I voicemailed V. excitedly (she was on call, too):
"If I stayed here all night I'd have enough material to write for a month!"