Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If I only had a brain

I've been spending a lot of time learning everything there is to know at the Emergency Department. My wee brain has been jammed packed with information these last two weeks. I mean, I have spent hours in a little room with no windows learning a computer system, yet when I am faced with real life patients and real life emergencies, I feel as if I am moving in slow motion as I try to search my brain for information. Sometimes it comes, others, it does not. (It's getting better)

Today, I hear that a patient has been brought in via ambulance, and my supervisor tells me to come with her to watch the situation unfold.

Before me is a woman gasping in pain, trying to hold back tears. I quickly gather from her and the Paramedic who brought her in that she fell while hiking and is in desperate pain. Her right ankle is propped up, and as we gather information from her, all I can think is that she looks vaguely familiar. Suddenly, it pops to mind, shortly before she tells us her name.

Her husband is the one who gave me my beloved laptop. Why of course! I realize that I live in a small town, but come on....

Imagine how funny it then is when Mr. Laptop comes in. Hugs were shared, smiles were exchanged, and then I lead him to his wife's room and quietly mind my business for the rest of their visit. Turns out, her ankle was very broken and she had to go to surgery today.

I'm remembering once more the exhilarating feeling that comes when an emergency walks through the door. I love helping people get out of their cars, though the whole situation of them being in agony isn't thrilling for them, for me it's a whole experience, it's something to capture, hold on to, try and figure out what's going on with them and what's going to make them feel better.

At the same time though, it makes me really miss the hospital I did my Internship at. The ED I work in is like a super scaled down version of what I had become so accustomed to. However, it's a job, and it's a really good one.

Today alone, I saw:
  • A man in a motorcycle wreck
  • An asthma attack
  • A man who fell while rock climbing and walked in the door with a very bloody face
  • A child who fell and needed some stitches
  • An ankle break (cool x-ray!!)
  • Sprained knee
  • Severe lower right quadrant pain (hello appendicitis!!)

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