From the ER

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. That last entry sort of took it out of me, if you will. It's hard to write something that has that sort of emotion and then just go back to "regular" stuff.

Also, my campus has decided that it is time for us residential students to be royally screwed re-installing the needed software on our computers. Until we do so, the internet doesn't work. Every. Single. Year, I get screwed by this. I don't change anything, and they're like OH GOD OH GOD UPDATE YOUR ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE! I use a Macintosh, n00b, I don't need your antivirus...

Okay, I'm done with my nerdy little rant. Case in point, until the unhelpdesk decides to show up at my door to complete my work order (which may not be until Friday), I've got nothing. And it just so happens to be my few days off. So I'm left wanting to cry.

In any event, I bring you some recent happenings from the ER.

Me: "Hello, sir, my name is Sam, I've come to get some blood from you for labwork."
Man (veritably covered in tattoos and piercings): "Oh, hi. This isn't going to hurt, is it?"
Me (kidding with him): "Maybe a little, but you look like an old pro!"
Man: *chuckles*
Me (after setting up and finding a beautiful vein): "Alright, quick pinch."
Me (removing needle): "All done."
Man: "That wasn't so bad."

Man: "Oh, hell, you've come to get blood from me, huh?"
Me: "Yes, sir, but it won't hurt nearly as bad as that IV they started in the ambulance did."
Man: "This? Naw, this didn't hurt."
Me: "Well good, then!"
Man: "Alright, do whatcha gotta do."
Me: "Little pinch."
Man: "OH, SHIT!"
ED Tech I love: "Watch your language, there's a lady present."
Man: "I don't give a SHIT! Oh shit oh shit that hurts that hurts."
Me: "All done."
Man: "About friggin time."
ED Tech I love: *eyes man angrily*

Me: "Hi, ma'am? My name is Sam, I'm here to start an IV on you."
Lady (about 85, tiny as can be, little spider-like veins): "Okay, sweetheart, you just do whatever you need to do."
Me: "Now, since they want to take you back to CT and put some contrast in your veins, I have to start an 18 gauge IV in the crook of your arm. It's a little bit bigger than the one I'd like to start, but they really need it to be that big for the contrast."
Lady (smiling happily): "No problem. I understand."
Me: *selects biggest of the tiny veins*
Lady: "I have really small veins, I'm so sorry."
Me: "Don't even worry about it, I can get one right here."
Lady (after I stick her): "Oh, you're so good! I barely felt that at all."
Me: "Good, after the people I've stuck today, I was beginning to think it was me."

Repeat that last scenario with a little 8 year old boy.

Tell me, what is up with manly men wimping out with teeny tiny needles. I draw blood with a 22, usually. If they're crying about it, or have small veins, I'll use a 23 (butterfly). I mean, really, people. After that 12ga in your ear that you worked to stretch, my 22 should be no big shake.

Me: "Hello, my name is Sam I'm here to get some blood from you."
Lady: "Oh, Sam, what a beautiful name. You have beautiful skin. You're just so beautiful!"
Me: *blushes* "Oh, well thank you very much, you just made my day."
Lady: "I used to do what you're doing. It's fun for a while, but don't do it for life."
Me: "Oh, I don't plan to."
Lady: "Good." *stage whisper* "Get out while you still can! Go...be a model or something!"
Me: *laughs* "I have something a little more exciting planned."
Lady: "What?"
Me: "Finish school, get my master's in Emergency Management, become a firefighter and a paramedic, do that for a while, bridge to RN, become a flight nurse, and eventually try to fix what's wrong with EMS."
Lady: "Can I come with?"
Me: "Absolutely."

Me (with a paramedic student in tow): "Hi, ma'am, how are you doing today?"
Lady: "Just fine, thanks."
Me: "Great! I'm Sam, I'm from the lab, and this is Barnaby" (side note: his real name is quite ridiculous, so he gets a ridiculous name for the blog) "who is a paramedic student here."
Lady: "Very nice. Are you two married?"
Me: I...uh...whaaa?
Barnaby: *turns red, tries to hold in laughter*
Lady: "You two just look so perfect together! Are you dating?"
Me: "No."
Lady: "Well, you should be. Barnaby, you should really get your priorities straight. You need to ask her out before you lose a good one."
Barnaby: "Will do, ma'am."
Lady: "And you, missy. You need to make sure that you don't marry a bad one. You're too pretty to marry a bad one. You should marry Barnaby."
Me: "I'll keep that in mind. Now, let me see this arm."

Working in the ER has certainly been an experience. From gunshot wounds to stubbed toes, STEMIS to pimples, I've seen a lot in the month I've been there. I've been grabbed to hold chest tubes during insertion, do compressions, and assist in foleys. I've also cleaned up vomit, blood, and done bed-changes. I've done a lot, and it's only been a few weeks! I really can't wait to see what is going to happen the longer I stay.

I have another post in the back of my mind, but it's kind of tragic as well. I'll keep working on it, and when I have internet, I'll post it. Also, I'm going to be working on a writing project with my favorite blogger and another with a good local friend.

Take care out there,


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Anonymous said...

Well Samantha Evelyn, that is okay. You wrote a very good piece the other day...very hard-hitting.

It has taken me three comment posts to write a decent comment.

My prayers goes out to the members of Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist. Why do people feel the need to destroy their own lives by destroying the lives of others?

Anyway, I hope that you will take care of yourself; try to rest your mind and your emotions when you can, and be safe.

P.S. Could you pray for my family? My mom has a mental illness that is keeping her from working, my grandmother has breast cancer, and seemingly my whole family, being in a state of constant negativity.

Thank you Sam for this forum.

AnniforsciA said...

Haha oh my love, this makes me happy...I feel like I've misled some medical-type people with my simultaneous sarcasm and fear of needles, for example:

Nurse: I'm going to need you to take of your shoes so that we can get your weight.
Me(being sarcastic): Ugggh but it's such a hassle *chuckles*
Nurse: *chuckles and jots down my weight*
Me: Can you just...subtract a little bit of that for me?
Nurse(brandishing a small needle): Okay, this'll just be a little prick.
Me: OH GOD GET THAT THING AWAY FROM ME! *hyperventilates*
Nurse: *chuckles*
My mom: It would probably be funnier if she were kidding. *pats my arm consolingly and rolls eyes at nurse*

Anyway...the internet thing sounds balls annoying. I hope that gets fixed for you sooner rather than later.


Evil Lunch Lady said...

So was the Paramedic student good looking?? :) Anyway, good to hear from you Sam.....:)

Bernice said...

Glad to hear everything is going so well!

Fyremandoug said...

I dont scream or holler
I just pass out. I can be up to my elbows in someone elses blood but mine and I get woozy

Jeff Deutsch said...

Hello Sam,

I certainly agree with you/your ED Tech; I believe swearing is worse with a young lady around.

I also believe that swearing, like most things, needs to be understood in context.

For one thing, your patient was in pain. And as you and your ED Tech certainly understand, pain is a subjective thing. Even "manly men" feel pain when some women or children don't.

A strong muscular system certainly doesn't guarantee a strong nervous system in every respect. Even a bodybuilder who has learned "no pain no gain" through regular exercise may flinch at an unusual pain like a needle. (I don't know how he reacted to the IV previously, but who knows how the situations may have differed? Maybe earlier he was too sick or badly hurt to notice.)

As you know, many people are especially afraid of needles, and you know how fear can contribute to pain.

It's not like he had any motive to fake it, either - did he expect you to give him narcotics for the needle pain? I doubt it.

Even then, the guy did not swear at you. He swore at his pain. An unpleasant word to hear, of course, but pointed in a very different direction.

You, as a skilled writer, certainly don't need me to tell you that the same word can mean something very different based on its context.

Speaking of creative writing, I wonder if, as your disclaimer suggests, this story is likely mainly fictional. However offended the ED Tech might have been, I'm sure s/he is a trained professional and is used to holding in emotion under far more trying circumstances. Outright showing anger at someone just for saying a naughty word a few times under extenuating circumstances and not even directed at anyone, would be considered seriously unprofessional, I'm sure.

Anyway, I hope your new post means you've found some way to access the Internet while you wait for the techies to work on your stuff. I know if I was Internet-incommunicado I'd be climbing the walls, not least because of the people I know would have written me previously and would be wondering why they hadn't heard back from me!

Take care and keep up the good work - I know a lot of people appreciate it even when they don't make that clear.

Jeff Deutsch

david mcmahon said...

As always, Sam, I love reading your work.

RiverPoet said...

I love the part about the 85-y-o woman. Sweet!

And cleaning up puke? I suppose you'd get used to it. As for me, I would be joining right in.

Peace - d

Sandi McBride said...

Oh Sam, I made Mac (hubby) come in here to read this because I saw him in at least two of the scenarios and was lmao and yelling "come here" because it really was him...I just look at anything else but what's going on with my arm, I'm fine...he feels they need direction...and information...I say shut up and let her get on with her job and while he's glaring at me, voila...all over! Loved it! Congrats on the Post of the Day mention, Sam!