This one is from the National Archives and was taken in 1946.
This is what I pictured when I thought about being a nurse. Neat rows of charts; clean, antiseptic wards; med cupboards with glass doors; crisp,white uniforms and totally cool caps!
I can smell the Lysol wafting through the decades…
Reality: clipboards flying, accusations that I hoard the charts, sort-of-clean floors punctuated by splats of body fluids, medications in locked computer systems, wrinkled scrubs that I want to peel off at the front door and not a cap in sight.
Plus, the the unique olfactory assault of ETOH and urine, so specific to the ER…
And no, it is not true that I wear my cap around the house.
I just try it on now and then.
One thing hasn’t changed since 1946 and that’s Grand Rounds! Granted, now they are online and this week Evan Falchek at the See First blog is hosting with a Health Care Reform theme. I was a week too early, my post on health care reform was in Grand Rounds over at Suture for a Living (sneaky way to fit in link that I didn’t put in last week!).
Uh. Hey nurses! There isn’t a single nursing submission in ‘Rounds this week! Are we tired or did we just get lazy? Raise your bandage scissors and repeat after me: “I solemnly swear to submit to Grand Rounds!”
(The story you are about to read is true.)
The day was uncharacteristically warm.
The corner Starbucks was packed with seekers of caffeine. Some rushed out, dashing to their cars with Frappacinos in hand; others stopped to smell the latte, enjoying the warmth of green metallic chairs on the adjacent patio.
The couple selected an empty table. They sipped their beverages as two gentlemen at the adjacent table conversed.
Guy – “First of all, man, don’t tell ‘em you got a migraine…hear that all the time….back pain…somethin’…an orthopedic injury, that’s what you tell ‘em you got… look up a doctor…you wanna “pain management specialist”, but not around here….next county….memorize it, man…name, address and phone number…you got an appointment but the pain is so damn bad you can’t wait, knowhatimsayin’?”
Dude – “I hear ya.”
Guy – “And you got to tell them that you are allergic to some junk…if you don’t…give you something…worth nothing!”
Dude – “What junk?”
Guy – “s’called Toradol…and you don’t want Motrin either so tell ‘em you’re allergic…bad reaction to nausea stuff except fenagren…”
Dude – “Tordal and fengren?”
Guy – “Yeah…don’t lie about your name, address or give ‘em fake numbers ‘cuz they can check that real easy.”
Dude – “‘Yeah.”
The Guy and the Dude stood up and prepared to go. As they walked away, voices fading, the couple heard…
Guy – “…won’t let you drive…”voucher” for taxi…don’t forget a prescrip…”
This guy did everything but name a specific hospital to visit!
If I had any doubt before, I am now sure that word gets around on the street regarding which ERs are “easy”.
And which ER will give that shot on the sixth visit in two weeks, despite knowing full well the complaint of pain is bogus.
Because it is just easier to medicate than it is to confront.
Every addict needs a pusher.