For the first time in several years, I experienced a visit to the ER on the opposite side of the stethoscope. Now back home for winter break, I accompanied my father to the Local Hospital this weekend after an icy sidewalk led him to experience to a sudden and unexpected burst of gravity. After countless encounters with family members in the ER, I decided to employ several of their techniques to ensure we received high quality care:
*Upon arriving at triage, I spoke over my father to answer all the RN's questions. When she asked his pain, I replied "20/10!" while waving my arms emphatically. When his temperature was measured as 97.6˚, I informed the RN that it was "high for him."
*As our time in the waiting room approached an unbearable 10 minutes, I interrupted the RN while she was triaging another patient to ask if she was trying to let my father die. I also asked to speak to a manager.
*Once brought back, I explained to everyone that I worked in an ER, pointing to my Big City Hospital ID badge that I carry with me at all times. I also mentioned that I'm a first year medical student, so I basically know everything.
*While my father waited for X-ray results, I decided to wander the halls of the department, peering into other patient rooms and trying to decipher chief complaints while reading the board.
*Since my father hadn't eaten in at least 3 hours, I demanded two box lunches - one for him, one for me.
*When the doctor explained that X-ray showed no broken bones, I hastily began packing up our belongings and accused the stupid doctor of wasting our time and money on those pointless tests before storming out.
All in all, it was a very successful trip.