May 30, 2006
Many thanks to everyone who emailed. Sorry to have scared some of you. Jenn is still feeling lousy, but improving... Emergency Rooms are never fun, especially in New York, but all in all things went as well as can be expected. I'm always in awe of the doctors and nurses who work these jobs, I have no idea how they manage to sustain the energy and focus needed to deal with moment to moment stress of patients in crisis and worried family.
In case you ever find yourself having to rush someone to the hospital, here are a couple of things I learned today. Perhaps one will stick in the back of your mind somewhere in your time of need.
1. Grab some food (bananas are perfect) and a bottle of water. Often feeding patients is prohibited because of the meds being given, but often food is ok, and there is usually no nearby place to get food. Also you need to eat too.
2. If you have time put an extra pair of clothes the bag.
3. Bring something to read. Even in the most dramatic situations there will be hours of downtime with nothing to do.
4.Try to write down as much hard data as possible... Times of fevers/chills/temperatures. This way you can be precise when rapid-fire questions are being asked.
5. If the place isn't crazy busy, it's never hurts to ask for an extra blanket/pillow/water etc.
6. Be nice. Remember people's names. You wouldn't believe how many people I saw today being incredibly rude to the staff. The worst offenders were family/friends. A little niceness goes a long way. Remember there is always someone else in there with a more critical emergency.
7. If you are discharged but the doctors tell you to "come back if things turn for the worse again", get your doctor's name/number. This way you can won't find yourself trying to track down the numbers/names if the patient worsens. Also if you have to be admitted a second time it's a good idea to have the new doc talk with the old one.
8. It's probably not cool to ask the cops escorting in a very sick prisoner, "What was he in for?"
9. If your wife declares she is feeling much better it is best not to joke that if she were on TV medical drama this would be the point that she would flatline and someone could come in with palettes yelling "defib!"
10. Wash your hands when you leave.