Thursday, April 17, 2014


Contact precaution Barbie

a country that won't say no

I started adulthood as a bleeding heart liberal.  Then I got a job in the emergency room. I am for helping poor people.  I really am. Circumstances can cause terrible situations where people need help.

The thing is there is definitely a group of people in this country who expect to be taken care of by the government or whoever just by virtue of their existence.  These are the people who expect you to pay for their medications.  They take that free cab ride home two blocks even if they are a healthy 25 year old. They get free health care. Their care will always be paid for no matter what.  They don't have to worry about an ER co pay or their insurance company only paying 80% of their bill and they will be responsible for the bill. So they use the ER as a clinic.  There are no consequences, so why not?

I know its not easy being poor.  I grew up poor. My mother was a single parent of two kids who didn't have any higher education.  She wasn't making big money by any means. A couple of times things happened where we had to go on welfare for a little while.  She went off as soon as she could.  It was a temporary helping hand not a lifestyle.

I have a feeling that if all of this was tightened up the world would not come to an end. People would survive. They would have to do what they needed to survive whatever it took. It would take effort, but that would be good.  We are afraid to say no to people nowadays.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the ER shit show

One of my co workers once told me that since she had decided she "hated the ER", it has been easier to come to work.  I know you are probably thinking ...hey...why don't you just get another job?  Well, hours, pay, seniority, self scheduling.

Saying this sounds negative and defeatist...but maybe not? What if it says acceptance? I accept that working in the ER is often a shit show.  I'm not going to pretend it is anything else anymore. I'm not going to expect anything else. It is what it is.

You are letting go of your expectations that people will be nice to you.  You know it will be busier than shit. Accept that the ER is not set up for your convenience. Its old and shabby.  However, I chose to keeping working here for whatever reason,

Its the serenity prayer applied to ER:

God grant me the serenity
to accept that the ER is mostly a shit show
and I can't  change it
Courage to change my naive notion that it will change
And the wisdom to face reality. *

the way no offense to AA or Alanon who I think all great organizations.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

duck duck grey duck


Mental health patients are treated like 2nd class citizens in emergency rooms. These days there is a shortage of psychiatrists and beds.  They ended staying hours in the ER, sometimes overnight.  Either that or they are transferred to other hospitals locally or around the state.  Not a good situation.

There are times we have 7-8 psychs in our ER.  We have 3 rooms set up for mental health.  What this means is there is a cart, with nothing on it or underneath it, just a sheet. There is nothing else in the room except a camera.  When we have more than 3 patients we have to put them in regular rooms, using up rooms that could be used for medical patients.  It gets to be a real problem when there are no beds in psych.

So of the nurses came up with this idea.  Why not put a few of them together in one of the bigger rooms. (GUFFAW) The idea being that it frees up other rooms. Um..

Perhaps we could hold group therapy.   Play board games. Sing a longs. How about a rousing game of duck-duck-greyduck?

So there are 3-4 patients sitting on chairs in the room. The cart have been moved out. There is no TV. (don't even go there with me) The patients are in green scrubs. Everybody dressed alike brings prison to mind.. The patients sit and stare at each other. of the patients is becoming agitated. Another patient is talking to himself.  The other patient is scared shitless. Agitated Alan starts pacing in the little space there is.  Hallucinating Harry starts getting paranoid. The 3rd patient runs from the room.

Its hopeless. Nice try thinking outside the box though. Here's a thought: Why don't we treat the mentally ill in this country the same way we treat the physically ill?  What a concept.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I have a well deserved day off.

This is a typical day off for me doing the grocery shopping.