The emergency room; dreaded by many, but my favorite room in the entire hospital. The room where the action never ends and adrenaline never stops pumping (guess I’m an adrenaline junky). Today, let’s joke a bit. The ER is the room where you don’t have to follow strictly, the format of history, examination, investigations, diagnosis and treatment. The reason is simple, when I see a patient in a regular clinic, I write out the history as
“C/O (complaints of) -------- and so on.”
In the ER, it is much different. A patient is rarely able to scroll in by themselves. I usually write the history as follows;
“Rushed into the ER bleeding ……..”
“Carried into the ER by relatives in severe painful distress …..”
“Wheeled into the ER gasping ……” and so on
Okay, enough of how the ER works, actually needed to make you understand how we got ourselves into an ER brouhaha at the hospital. So, an emergency is meant for emergencies and accidents only (the reason many also call it A&E). This faithful day, the clinics were packed full and this young lady was in a hurry. She didn’t want to wait in the too long line – (that could take forever). She went about seeking for a way to see the doctor faster. She came upon someone who lent her a ‘great’ advice;
“if you have enough money, just pay for the emergency room and they would see you immediately. There is a doctor in the ER that doesn’t have a lot of patients to see”.
The lady thanks the adviser and did as she was advised. She walks into the emergency room, and is quite happy that the crowd isn’t as much as in the out-patient clinics. She has her vital signs taken by the nurse and her case note is submitted to the doctor (me) to be seen. Just as she was about to be called in, an emergency case is rushed in. I get up, apologize to her and tell her that she is more stable and should kindly wait at the reception. I’m still on the first case and two more and brought. At some point, I forget that I actually asked a lady to wait for me, as I was quite busy with the ones fighting for their dear lives.
An hour or so later, everything is calming down and I hear a noise at the entrance. First thought, another emergency case, however, it turned out it was the lady I asked to wait. She was about to bring down the hospital. How dare we keep her waiting when she has paid the emergency fees? She was told she’d be seen immediately, now she has to wait for some people that came after her to be treated first. Heard that it took the patient advocate to quiet her down and explain to her how the ER really works. She was given the option of either collecting her refund/waiting in the clinics like everyone else, or to be patient for the emergency room to get calm and be seen in the ER. Which option do you think she went for?
Emergency room: expect the unexpected!