Saturday, April 4, 2009


I'm starting to think they just don't make 'em like they used to.  

I recently took care of an elderly German man who had the misfortune of falling while trying to board the bus.  He arrived via EMS with questionable LOC, large hematoma on the forehead, and a dislocated finger.  After a great deal of protest, he was eventually persuaded to accept some pain medication before the reduction, but vehemently refused a head CT.  ("Nein, zee problem is vit my finger!")

Despite the best effort of the resident and attending, he continued to refuse the scan.  Worried that he may be altered from the head injury, the docs insisted that he stay for several hours of observation instead.  Not happy, every few minutes he would pack up his lunch box, gather his newspapers, place his hat firmly on his head, and begin a slow march to the exit.  And every few minutes I would chase him down and ask him to return to his room.  After a few thwarted escape attempts, he grabbed my ID, wagged his finger at me, and stated: "I'm going to call zee newspapers and tell them that you, Second Shift, keep old people here against their will!"  I explained to him for the umpteenth time why we were concerned, and escorted him back to the stretcher.

At one point, the resident began to get fed up and told me to place him in restraints.  I turned her, and explained that if she wanted to shackle a stubborn 75 year old man to the bed, she was more than welcome to try, but there was no way on earth that I would do it for her.  My worthy adversary and I continued to spar for a couple more hours until his son arrived and finally took him home.

I'm keeping an eye out for my name in the papers.

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