Thursday, December 18, 2008

When it Rains...

One bizarre patient early in the shift usually sets the tone for the rest of the night, and yesterday was no exception.  

Crazy Chest Pain Guy was getting triaged right as I walked in.  Crazy Chest Pain Guy is crazy, and apparently has a lot of chest pain (to the tune of several hundred negative workups over the past few years).  Crazy Chest Pain Guy will sit in a bed for hours, smacking his lips, and repeating, "Yup, it hurts real bad" until he goes home.

From that point on I knew I was doomed.  My first actual patient was Flat Affect Girl, a young woman who came in for a twisted ankle.  No history according to her chart, but she seemed totally spaced out and more than a little off.  Could have been the result of Overbearing Mother, who hovered over me every time I entered the room, asked me about everything I was doing, and then repeated was I said to her daughter in a sing-songy voice.

Next on the list was a demented old woman in the hallway tugging at her catheter and trying to climb out of the stretcher.  Nothing's better for a laugh than when I put on my super-polite voice and try to calm her down, fluff her pillow, and tuck in her blankets while everyone's watching, only to have her scream "Go to Hell" as I walk away.

And finally,

Foul-Smelling Patient.  I've had plenty of stinky ones in the past, and I'm an expert at breathing through my mouth to avoid wafting the fumes emanating from unwashed patients' folds, but this one was so bad that as soon as I finished the EKG and left the room, I had to immediately step outside for some fresh air.  No joke, my eyes were watering. 

1 comment:

Recovering Grady Addict said...

My favorite "crazy patient" was on my first EMS job. Nursing home transport. 50 something lady with an organic brain syndrome, dementia kicking in pretty good. Basically the nursing staff had their fill and needed a break. So thay shipped her butt off to the ER for a Psych Eval. Yes they did!!! No acute change in her symptoms or demenor.

While buckeling her onto the stretcher I noticed several really nice rings, some costume, some new-agie wrapped crystals and such. On the return trip, I had loaded her into the ambulance and my partner had almost pulled away from the ER when I noticed the rings were all gone. I assumed they were logged into security.

So in I go, asking nurses and tecs about her rings, and where the security bag would be sent to. They all looked at me like I was crazy. The off going attending overheard the conversation and piped in: "We restrained and sedated her for a few hours because she was masturbating in the hallway. I have an idea where her jewelry might be..."

Out of the ambulance and into the GYN room we go. She had to be restrained and sedated again. A few clicks of the speculum and... TA-DAH!!! All her rings! I had the nurse seal them into a specimin bag, and double seal them in a security bag. Bags and crazy lady were promptly returned to the nursing home. Enroute she got squirrely and decided to damn near give me a concussion with the suction canister.

The nurses were given a stern warning to call a different private company the next time they wanted a vacation.