Monday, January 04, 2016

Wasting away in frequent flyerville

When you work in an ER for any length of time, you realize that there are a substantial group of people who you see on a regular basis. A few hundred actually. These we refer to as the dreaded "frequent flier".

Yes, these are the people who appear at the triage desk and you don't have to ask their names because you already know them. They are there so often that if you don't see for a couple of weeks you wonder if they died.  You ask you co-worker if they have seen so and so lately.q

Yes, they sometimes come in weekly, even daily, sometime even 2 or 3 times in a day. There are some who come in only on weekends. They are the drunks, the migraineurs,  the chronic painers, the depressed, the obsessive constipationists, etc etc etc.

Some of them, when you see their name on the triage screen, you want to run for the hills.  Others, you think whatever... They are not the kind of people who get the concept of primary care.  We are part of their life, the ER for them, is like you and I going to the grocery store. It's just routine.

We will keep seeing them, that won't change. The only thing that will stop them from coming is if they move away or die.


nursing school said...

practically a nurse daily life... :)

Unknown said...


Zed said...

The naïve part of me thinks perhaps these 'frequent fliers' can change if someone explains the point of primary care to them. I can imagine this part will be slowly crushed by experience

Geno said...

Free food, bed and a warm dry bed. How could it get better. I think they should have a detox unit at each hospital, 1/2" rubber mats on the floor, and a chance to go to rehab. Today's model just doesn't work....

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