Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TV Timeout

Nurse K's post about the precious but rare night shifts without patients reminded me of one such shift this summer.  I was surfing the internet in a beautifully empty critical care area around 3am when I noticed that my entire half of the ER seemed completely deserted.  Aside from the drunk sleeping in the hallway and the other one or two patients waiting for lab results, there was a single nurse checking her email and a resident catching up on charting.  

Curious to find the rest of our staff, I wandered out to triage, where I found every waiting room chair filled with nurses, techs, security and cleaning staff, residents and the attending all gathered beneath the TV watching the Olympics.  Amazed that there was not a single patient waiting to be seen, I grabbed a seat, put my feet up, and watched Michael Phelps set another world record half a world away.  

Not enough to make up for every other insanely busy night overflowing with patients, but close.

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