ER Bloggers

24 06 2009

HA — so I work in an Emergency Department at a large hospital in town, and I absolutely love it. There are more nights than I can mention that I would like to tell you stories, but I’ve always been terrified of the cursed HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), which guarantees your privacy as a patient. I think it was a fabulous move on the part of the government to require things like, your consent for one hospital to send information to another. But, we run into 100 middling little details where we’re never sure if we’re breaking HIPAA or not. (And it’s said like that, too, “Are we breaking HIPAA?” or, “That’s a HIPAA violation.”)

I was never sure, in other words, if telling you stories would be appropo and whether I would be tearing apart HIPAA by saying something.

But, after my morning meeting with Julie from Wine Me, Dine Me, Cincinnati, I discovered that there are other people who are risking HIPAA and posting stories that sound oh-so-familiar to me — seriously. And I thought I’d share with all of you what we did tonight here at work when things got a little more peaceful; we read ER blogs about other people who work in ER’s around the country and experience the exact same shit we do.

Crass-Pollination (the largest ER blogger in the country)
From June 15:

Patient #1 chief complaint: Tired
Patient #2 chief complaint: Weak
Patient #3 chief complaint: Dizzy
Patient #4 chief complaint: Fall
If you’d have lined all my patients up next to each other and told them to play-act their chief complaints, it would be like a flip-book or some shit.

20 out of 10 (named after patient’s tendency to overstate their pain on a 10 point pain scale)She writes down funny chief complaints that people give her on their check in sheets, here are some:

heR thing is hurting
Bad tooth ache on Right side Bottem
Medical
Problems
my head poped
THROWT HURT / CANT EAT SWALLOW

From a post on 1/4/08 entitled “What I’ve Learned in the ED”

If you’re looking for a free meal in the ED, say you have chest pain, not “I wanna kill myself,” that way you can leave after your meal.

Never leave your last refill of Percocet in plain site if one of these 3 is coming over for a visit: some dude, my friend, or that bitch

If you are a belligerent drunk, don’t piss off the guy with the shotgun.

If you are afraid of heights but the gutters need cleaning, having a ‘couple of beers’ to alleviate those fears is a bad idea.

Tales from the Serenity NOW Hospital (written by a Psych and ER Doctor)
From a post on March 15, 2009:

For her reason to visit the ER, the patient wrote “I have an abscess in my vagina that squirts pus out when I squeeze it. Also, I think I got scabies from my baby.” Quality mom….

HA! And while you’re at it, here are some other great bloggers that, no doubt, will lift your spirits and make you feel special to be a part of the American Health Care system:

One day, in a fit of genius, one of the attending’s who has been with us for a better part of 20 years looked around, and said to no one in particular: “We could make our job a lot easier if we just set up four tables outside: one to hold the sandwiches and juice, one to hold narcotics, one for STD medications and other antibiotics, and then the actual triage desk. If you make it to desk four, you win… come on back.”

Truth. Seriously, I love where I work.

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One response

24 06 2009
Brian

As long as there is no way to identify the patient, feel free to post away and feel safe from HIPAA violations. 🙂

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