Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fevers, Coughs, Fever/Coughs and Cough/Fevers

Christmas has come and gone. And with those lovely Christmas gatherings comes the sharing of hugs, kisses, food, touching things, exchanging germs, coughing on people, sneezing..... Ah the joys of the holiday season. And with those exchanges comes the trips to the ER. People coming in with their fevers, coughs, fever/coughs and cough/fevers. And so people go to the ER with their fevers, cough, fever/coughs and cough/fevers where they sit in jammed packed ER waiting rooms and graciously spread their germs. The best? The lady who got a prescription 8 hours earlier at the walk in clinic and called an ambulance because she wasn't feeling better. She had a fever/cough. Apparently 8 hours wasn't enough for her Zithromax to cure her.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I love gunshot patients. Their behaviour is the most predictable of any patient who shows up in the ER. For starters they NEVER know who their assailant is. And they NEVER know WHY they were shot. Everyone who hangs around behind clubs and in dark parking lots at 4 am must be reading the Bible or something. These patients come in usually pretty scared. They are sure they are going to die. The nurses are their angels...their new best friends. Everything is "yes ma'am" and "thank-you ma'am". It almost makes you believe that you have a real life Bible thumper in front of you. But once you give them the good news...that their assailant needs to do some serious target practice as they were only hit in the lower leg and that they in fact are going to be just fine...then the true character comes out. Usually a true a-hole. The talk of retaliation, the loud profanities, the unco-operative behaviour, the "man" who gets shot has a complete cow when you try to take a piece of tape off his arm. Is it wrong that I think our city needs to find our own modern Australia to send all these idiots off to so that they can live in their own gun slinging chaos? At least I wouldn't have to deal with them!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Green Means Go

I have a tendency to be loud at work - especially when dealing with people in the waiting room. It can be very loud. People moaning, yelling, children crying, people talking... I like to make sure I'm heard. I don't have the patience or time to be calling people three or four times. Recently the powers that be installed a big traffic light outside of the triage office. A big red light and a big green light. Inside there is a switch. Flick it up to red to stop the traffic and green to welcome in all the sick people. I like to think that I'm the reason they installed this. Apparently I was quite noisy when calling out "NEXT".

One would think that such a system would also be helpful in directing the waiting room traffic in and out of triage. Red means "oh wait...she's busy. She can't help me right now. I should just wait patiently outside for my turn". Green mean "now I can go in to be triaged...or to ask where the cafeteria/fracture clinic/parking machine/delivery rooms/lab, etc. is". But unfortunately that is not the case. Tonight I was in my triage office entering some orders on the computer. My light was flashing green. A mom came in with her two little girls and sat in the "waiting to be traiged" chairs. And there she sat. And green my light flashed. After 3 or 4 minutes the four year old said "mommy, the light is green - we can go". And yet it took the mom another 2 or 3 minutes to be convinced that yes it was ok for her to go. Green means go! Gotta love it when your four year old is smarter than you are!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


It's my birthday on Saturday (that's three days from now for those who are calendar challenged). I'll be 32. The big 3-2. I remember when I turned 30 I was completely freaked out. I was out of my twenties. I was leaving my youth behind and venturing into real adulthood. Turns out that I haven't been so excited about having a birthday in YEARS!!! I'm so looking forward to the future and the unexpected surprises it holds. I'm at such a fabulous place in my life. I'm a mom to the most adorable and precocious twin 2 1/2 year old boys, have friends and family that are too numerous to count but also love me overwhelmingly and unconditionally, have a job that fulfills me, a new found confidence in who I am as a woman and am experiencing happiness in my personal life that has truly caught me off guard...and I'm not completely unfortunate looking! The past couple of years have been a bit rough and although I know the road will never been completely smooth (that would just be too boring!) I know that 32 is going to bring lots of smiles and laughter! BRING IT ON BABY!!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Beam Me Up Scotty

When our new ER opened a year ago they decided to install a fancy new tube system for delivering blood and other lab specimens. Ok - so to many other health care workers reading this it may not seem like such a big deal but in my little neck of the woods it's pretty advanced. I love it! You tuck your little specimen inside of a red bag, stick it in the big plastic tube, push a few buttons (usually curse a couple of times because it takes so long) and woosh! it goes to the lab. It's sort of like the system from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that sucks up the glutinous Augustus Gloop and turns him into an eight foot tall basketball phenom. As much as I enjoy the tube system (and to be honest I still get a little bit excited when I get to use it!), I think that we could use it for much more exciting things. For example, Tim Hortons. We could send our orders up to Tim Hortons and have them "tube down" our coffee (in specially made containers of course). Or how about enlarge the tubes and use them for patient transfers? Forget about waiting for porters and elevators. Just pack up your patient, enter the room number and PRESTO! So many possibilities...