Tuesday, February 28, 2012

why the hell are you here in ten words or less

When I'm in triage, I don't want to hear your life story. I don't have time for it. I want your problem in ten words or less. Sorry, I don't want to hear the details. I will ask you a few simple questions and thats all I need to know.

So don't go into detail of every day of the last 2 weeks or how this all started, etc etc etc. Hit the highlights. I don't want to see a letter from some doctor explaining your back problem. A copy of your MRI really does me no good.

There is nothing more annoying than being busy and having you go on and on while I have 10 people waiting. Maybe I come off as rude, when I say, "What made you come today SPECIFICALLY?"
You want so badly to tell your story and I want so badly to not to hear it.

These days your story is but one of the things I am supposed to do in triage. I have a myriad of other questions around pain and weight and height and superbug infections and implanted devices and allergies and meds and last period and blah blah blah.

So just get to the point. Make my job easier.


ERP said...

Hear hear. This annoys the crap out of me too.

Anonymous said...

Gosh I sure hope to never get this bitter and lacking in patient care. Maybe it's time to go back to basics and take pointers from CNA's lol perhaps it's not for everyone or perhaps this is your way of venting but I sure hope you don't give the patients this side....

Anonymous said...

You sound like you need a career change.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it would be lovely if patients could "hit the highlights". I agree that it would save a lot of time and frustration.

But, as you may have noticed, some individuals have next to no knowledge of medicine. I know I've encountered some pretty skewed perceptions of health and disease causation. Often, these people genuinely have no idea what the "highlights" of their condition are. They're scared, concerned, (maybe even embarrassed) and want to make sure that you have all the information you need to help them get better.

That being said, I get that you're ranting. I get that there are many ramblers out there who love to take advantage of a captive audience. I get that many an ER trip is a poorly disguised performance art piece designed to illicit attention, and/or a vicodin prescription. I get it. You have my sympathy.

So while I wholeheartedly agree that patients should adhere to "highlights model", sometimes it's genuinely important to listen to the "unabridged version" (annoying as it may be).

Anonymous said...

Everybody should take a course on how to have a medical emergency without annoying the triage nurse. That's what really important here.

Unknown said...

Amen! How dare a person be in need of emergency medical care and have the audacity to irritate the triage nurse with petty information like DETAILS of the EMERGENCY they are experiencing. How completely inconsiderate. Don't all those scared, worried, hurting patients and their families know that ER staff are often bored, with little to do and plenty of staff to do it? I mean ERs are known for their attention to detail, thorough review of your medical history, taking the time to double check your allergies and ability to take the time to call your PCP at home to make sure the highest level of care? Especially those triage nurses. They are so smart I'd dare say they have the super power to take your complaint in ten words or less and properly be able to assess you. So stop making hurting their feelings by advocating for yourself and saving them time by making sure they have a clear understanding of what your emergency is.
What a f***ing joke. Get over yourself. If you've been in nursing this long and are still at the triage desk that's your problem, not the patients.