Thursday, September 2, 2010

HOW TO survive the ER

I see it every day. The crowds. The chaos. The waiting. The emotion. The absurd environment that could only come from a place where you can literally walk in from the street and into the emergency department. This place is my home and these people are my best friends and family.  And then there are the patients (for whom we do what we do). I think all of these things about the emergency department and it is my home. What do they think of my home? They probably think it is somewhere they hope to never return.  I decided to come up with a HOW TO GUIDE of surviving a visit to the EMERGENCY ROOM.
  • If you are having an emergency please come to the ER
  • If it is something you are scared might be dangerous/life-threatening it is our job to verify that
  • If you have a cold, stay home and get some rest
  • If you are on medications, please bring a list of them with you
  • If you have allergies to medications please let everyone know
  • Bring a book, magazine, blanket, laptop to occupy yourself
  • Expect to wait a very long time (then you can be surprised if it is fast)
  • Expect us to disappear (we constantly assess who is in MORE immediate need of our attention, this is not based on popularity, but on severity of condition)
  • There will be a lot of noise, so bring ear plugs or an ipod
  • If you cannot find us we are probably in one of three places (bathroom, snarfing our lunch, or in a resuscitation room tending to a very sick patient)
  • You will have some entertainment from your fellow patients (expect the unexpected)
  • We might not let you eat or drink (in case you need a procedure) We do this for YOUR safety.
  • You will see us laugh, and joke, and seem quite relaxed at times but it is because we have learned to function as normal in this CRAZY environment
  • You might feel as if our time with you is short. We would like to have more time with you and be interrupted less, but that is the nature of dealing with emergencies (they are never at a good time, and never expected)
  • It is a pleasure to be your doctor
  • Thank you for visiting my home

1 comment:

  1. Great article on the Emergency Room. All of your statements are very true and useful. I love the way you refer to the ED as your "home!" When you look at it that way you take the best care of those who "live" there and those who "visit."