The Big City ED has been crazy over the past few days. The hospital has no empty beds, other facilites are sending us their diversion, and our waiting room is packed. And believe it or not, we don't like that.
There are few more beautiful, precious, and rare sights on this earth than an empty waiting room. Yet some patients seem to believe that we deliberately keep it full because we like to be yelled at.
If we say that the ER is full, it is. Once you get back and you see the stretchers lining the hallways, every room occupied, and some patients even being treated in wheelchairs, you'll see for yourselves. If we say the hospital is full, it is. Note the intubated ICU players waiting hours in the ER for somebody to be moved (or code) upstairs. If we say that we wish there was something we could do, we do. Several of us have proposed getting some shovels and 2x4s and expanding the ER ourselves.
And if we say that we don't appreciate your nasty tone, we don't. We are honestly doing our best to bring each and every person in the waiting room back as quickly as possible, but sometimes the cough or laceration or even severe abdominal pain is going to have to wait, and wait for a while.
It sucks, we know.
But to paraphrase the USS Enterprise Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, we're giving you all she's got.