Monday, June 22, 2009

Mother Knows Best

RN: "Sir, I need your name to get you registered."

Joe Cool: [mumble mumble groan]

RN: "Sir, what's bothering you today?"

Joe Cool: [mumble mumble groan]

After a few more rounds of twenty questions, we managed to decipher that the 28 year old male waiting to be triaged on a busy Sunday afternoon in the Big City ED was complaining of nausea and vomiting since the AM.  With the hospital full and nothing but slow dispos in the back, he was told that the wait was several hours.  I drew basic labs from the waiting room to help speed things along, and all his results came back normal.  Sometime later, Mrs. Cool marched up to triage.

Mrs. Cool: "Why hasn't my son been seen!?  What's taking so long?  He's DYING!"

RN: "Ma'am, we're extremely busy today.  Your son has been triaged and we'll take him back as soon as we can.  There are still several people ahead of him."

Mrs. Cool: "I don't care about those other people!  My son needs to be seen now! He's DYING and you people don't care!"

This exchange continued for several minutes, and after much huffing and puffing, Mrs. Cool stormed off muttering about how she was going to sue us all.  She continued to shoot us dirty looks from the waiting room, where she had Joe Cool spread across several chairs, covered under various jackets.  It appeared she was gently fanning him with a magazine.

A few hours later, after he had been brought back, I asked the PA taking care of him what the story was.

Apparently, Joe Cool had a bit too much to drink last night, and presented to the Level I trauma center with a hysterical mother because he was a little hungover.

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