February 16, 2009

24 Things ER Nurses Know All Too Well

1. Don't tell me you have abdominal pain as you eat Doritos in my triage booth.

2. If you come to the ER by ambulance, the first thing I will ask you is how you are getting home. No, we don't have people on staff to drive you home, and don't tell me you don't want to "bother" one of your family members at this hour. You had no problem bothering 911 for the back pain you've had for 3 years.

3. You DON'T get to pick your own IV site. This will irritate me and I will probably miss your IV on purpose and start your site in the place I wanted to initially to prove a point.

4. "Butterfly" is not an IV size, this word signals me to put in a larger bore needle, preferably a 16g.

5. Nausea is not a reason to come to the ER. If you are not in severe abdominal pain, are not vomitting or pooping your pants in front of me, your butt goes back to the waiting room.

6. How can you have the worst migraine of your life, but you are able to yell at me about the wait time after you just put down a magazine you were reading?

7. Don't ever say things like, "I usually get 4mg of Dilaudid." Requesting your med and dosage will promt me to squirt out half of the med before it's injected, then lie about the dose.

8. If you are allergic to Tylenol, Toradol, and Motrin, I have already assumed you are a drug seeker.

9. I don't care if you are neighbors with the GI specialist. Unless he drove you to the ER himself, you can't be that friendly.

10. Just because "my doctor sent me here," does not mean you get right back to a treatment room. This tells me you are a pain in the a$$, and he's pawning you off.

11. The louder you moan and wine, the bigger size IV needle you get.

12. Foley catheters cure psuedo-seizures and intoxicated persons.

13. If you are on more than 2 medicines at home, bring a list. Don't say, "you know, the little white pill," or ,"look it up, it's on the computer." I am NOT a pharmacist.

14. RN is not synonymous with waiter/waitress

15. Don't wine about missing breakfast when I am on the tenth hour of my shift and still haven't even peed or eaten yet.

16. Broken toes are not an emergency. We'll make you feel stupid by putting a little piece of tape down there and kicking you out.

17. I am currently inventing a trapdoor system in triage to be triggered when you say the word "toothache".

18. Cover your mouth for crying out loud when you cough, sneeze, or belch. This is just common courtesy. When you neglect to do this, I am tempted to bust butt in your room, then close the door.

19. If you tell me you have fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, know that I'm rolling my eyes and thinking you're a loser.

20. If you list Haldol, Geodon, Xanx, and Trazadone as allergies, don't ell me you have no psych history.

21. Although you've been in the ER four times this week, you cannot list the ER doc as your family physician.

22. Do not talk to me while I'm trying to listen to your lungs.

23. Don't tell me you have no money for medicine while you have a carton of cigarettes in your purse (next to your cell phone), and each of your seven children are playing their own PSP's.

24. Gravida 7 at age 22 means you are a tramp.

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