Monday, May 27, 2013

when efforts are futile

My best friend at work retired yesterday.  It makes me really sad.  I will miss  her a lot.
When you are in the military and in a war zone, you get whats called hazardous duty pay.  Yesterday we should have all have received HDP in our ER. It was that kind of day.  A day that when you walk out the door you feel like you have been run over by a truck.

My first patient was a hysterical  person by ambulance who didn't speak english.  Did her family come with?  Of course not.  When I say hysterical I mean yelling at the top of their lungs in a language nobody understood.

We have this video interpreter service we use prior to getting a live and in person interpreter.  So imagine this , you are sitting at home on a Sunday morning..the call comes in for an interpreter.   You take the job.   No big deal, routine.  You come on the screen and are faced with a 300 pound hysterical person shouting at the top of thier lungs.  Did I mention they were hard of hearing?

This might sound cruel but I wanted to slap her across the face and say "snap out of it!" like they do in the movies when someone is hysterical.

My day only got worse from there. My patient walked in, an hour later they were dead.  The person wasn't elderly. An unexpected death.

This is probably the most stressful thing that can happen in the ER.  Unexpected critical events.  When someone is coming by ambulance in critical condition, we can prepare for it.  When something happens unexpectedly in the ER, it creates chaos. Eventually the chaos settles, but it stresses everyone out.  Its so hard when you are in a code, the person is not old and you realize your efforts are futile.  They aren't going to come back no matter what you do.

Then there is the family who eventually enter the room of their dead loved one, in a state of disbelief.  They start wailing.  It makes you tear up.  More family arrive and the sounds of their grief travel through the ER.
Those are the situations that stay with you for a few days.

1 comment:

Bryan Training said...

Sounds rude but I think the nurse or any person from the ER can show sympathy but not to the point that we take it very deep because we will be personally affected by it and it will affect our job. That is the sad reality in the ER.