Monday, September 01, 2014

when a body becomes human

When a critical patient comes in they are a set of vital signs. They are heart rhythms on a monitor. They are skin color.  They are mental status. They are bleeding needing to be controlled.

They are lab results.  They are xray and scan results. They become something that has to be intubated quickly.  They need IVs and central lines.  They need fluids.  Often times, lots of medications and infusions to keep them alive.

They are foleys and ET tubes and nasal or gastric tubes. They can be chest tubes and splints. They are blood infusions and rapid infusers and ventilators.

They are ten people surrounding them, with doctors shouting orders.  They are respiratory therapists, lab techs, xray techs, nurses, pharmacists, EMTs.

They are a body that we do things to and has things done to it. Eventually they are
either stable or lifeless.  They become human to everyone when their loved one stands by their bedside, holding their hand, a tear running down their face. They become somebody that someone loves.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Dear Mom...

Dear Mom:

You can stop talking now.  Yes this is your "child", but they are a grown adult, well into adulthood.
Stop talking for them.  They really CAN speak for themselves.

I hate to say this, but your are overbearing. Yes, your "child" has a chronic illness but it isn't anything thousands of others deal with everyday. They can go on with their lives with the help of medication.

I know that you had to advocate for them growing up. You had to be an expert.  That was your job BACK THEN but not now. Now they are responsible for themselves, but they sit their passively, letting you take over to speak for them.  They are used to you.  They don't have to do anything because you will do it for them.

What are you doing here anyway? They are perfectly capable of coming here all by themselves. They don't need their Mommy when they are over 30.

I know you have their best interest at heart. You worry, like all mothers do. Here's the thing: The best thing you could do is BACK OFF. Let them take care of themselves. You are disrespecting them by thinking you know best. You don't.


Madness the nurse

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

drugs are as american as apple pie

I was reading an article on CNN and its headline was "Drugs are as American as apple pie".  I thought that was a really good way to describe it.  It was about the heroin epidemic going on in the country.  Heroin is a lot cheaper than prescription drugs and so has become the drug of choice. Every ER in the country is dealing heroin ODs on a regular basis.

I got to thinking...with all the escalating emphasis on patient satisfaction,  it is playing right into the dealers hands.

There is a lot of talk these days of prescription drug abuse.  How it is completely out of control.  Who writes the prescriptions?  Doctors of course.  They are under pressure to stop giving out so many scripts.  On the other hand, there is this patient satisfaction sweepstakes.  Patients feeling about their experience at the doctors office and hospital is now being closely monitored.  Payments are being linked to their opinions.  Result: Give the patients what they want so they won't complain = given them a prescription for narcs.

What happens then?  A certain percentage get hooked on pain pills. Pain pills are too expensive on the streets.  Heroin is cheaper.   People get hooked on heroin.  Dealers make out like bandits.

Little white suburban Brittany and Dylan are now smoking heroin so, of course, America sits up and takes notice.  Mommy and daddy are stunned.  This isn't supposed to happen in our American dream subdivision.

The thing mommy and daddy don't realize is that their own government has become complicit in our growing drug problem in its supposed reforms of our health care system.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

7 signs you shouldn't be at the emergency room...

If you say the following at triage, chances are, you shouldn't be here:

"I don't know if I should be here..."

"I feel silly being here..."

"I shouldn't be bothering you..."

"Do you have an urgent care?"

"Its probably nothing...."

"My mother, sister, aunt said I should come..."

"Do you think I should be seen?"

"How long is the wait?"

The end.