Monday, February 28, 2005

Monday morning in the ER

This morning I worked in the ER for a mere 4 hours. I saw about 20 patients. I didn't really keep track, I was too busy. I think about 5 of these had to be admitted. When I left, there were about 12 charts for patients waiting to be seen and more checking in. It was all I could do to keep up with the yellow triage charts and some of the greens had been waiting for hours.

What is it with Monday mornings in the ER? I can understand that a private office, which has been closed for two days, may get swamped on Monday, but why the ER? We were open all weekend. Why do these people wait until Monday morning to come in?

I might think it was the weather. Locally, we had sunny, warm days on Saturday and Sunday, but it was cold and rainy this morning. But the nurses assure me that all Monday mornings are like this.

You can't control when you are going to get dyspneic or have chest pain, can you? But what about the 71 year old man who was seen in the ER on 2/3 and given 10 days worth of antibiotic? He assured me this morning that he was still taking his antibiotic as ordered and hadn't missed any doses. HUH? He also told me that he called his pulmonologist's office as soon as he left the ER on 2/3 and was given a f/u appointment for the end of March. Now, as busy as I was, I had to call the doctor's office to try to get this guy an earlier appointment. I found out he had missed three appointments since 2/3 and has one scheduled for this Friday. I discussed this with him and discharged him. But I am concerned that he won't show up on Friday. Hopefully, he will back to the ER if necessary. I don't know if I will ever see him again, or if he will be OK. I feel for him, though.