Did you know that most people who come to the hospital emergency room are really sick, or hurt? Ya, that's what I thought. You knew that. But what I bet you didn't know is that a majority of the people that we see in the ER aren't really sick or hurt. Sometimes, they THINK they are really sick, when in reality, they have a cold. Or the flu.
So I worked a fun shift on Monday in the ER. 12 hours from 7am to 7pm. I don't think I stopped moving for more than 5 minutes in the entire shift. And it's days like that, where all hell can break loose, and it's stupid busy, and you question your own sanity for working in the emergency department, that I absolutely LOVE.
We had an eldery patient come into the department complaining that his back hurt. About an hour later he coded. That back pain he was feeling? It was because he had a ruptured aneurysm in his belly. And you know what? We saved him. We brought him back from deaths door and got him breathing again, and were all ready to rush him to the OR when his family came in and said that he wouldn't want that, and it was time to let him go. That kinda sucked. No, it really sucked. But, in all of this, there is a funny story that I just had to share.
So when the patient coded, I had to rush over and start doing chest compressions. This means that I am straddling the patient, on the gurney and doing the chest compressions. You know what? there is no graceful way to get off a patient that you are straddling. You basically fall off to one side and hope that one of your co-workers catches you before you hit the floor and cause another emergency. So there I am, doing chest compressions, and getting tired. It's been 3 minutes of non-stop chest compressions. It's tiring work. So a nurse is going to switch off with me. And what happens? I fall off the gurney. Thankfully I landed on my hip and ass, but still, it hurt and I have the bruise to prove it hurt. I ended up getting out of the way, limping back to my desk and laughing. Cause when there is that kind of stress, and you fall, there is nothing else to do but laugh. Afterwards, the doctors and nurses checked on me, making sure that I wasn't seriously hurt (which I wasn't) and one of my co-workers says to me "well, if you didn't have such a big ass, you would have been way more hurt" I think everyone was stunned. I just laughed and said "yep, it's the first time my ass has saved me, instead of me saving my ass" We all laughed and went back to work.
It's days like that, stories like that, that encourage me to keep going back to work in the ER. Yes, I have a bruise on my hip that aches like crazy, but I also get to know that I helped save someone's life. And I won't lie, I had a big glass of wine in the tub when I got home on Monday night. I'm pretty sure it was prescribed by one of the doctors..... lol.