15 May, 2012

Reality Programming...

There's no need to turn on the television, if you spend more than a few hours in your local Emergency Department's waiting area you'll have all the reality drama you can imagine... and then some! We've spent our share of time hanging out there lately, and witnessed an array of situations; it makes me truly wonder, after experiencing this, why reality programming is so popular. I don't get it, but what I do understand is the skillful patience practiced at all times by the ED's professionals; they see, and handle, it all.

*There was the irate father who ranted and raved (to anyone and everyone) at full volume because his daughter's wrecked automobile was towed from the accident scene before he had a chance to remove personal belongings from her car. He accused his wife of being overly emotional for crying over their daughter's injury; and yet, they both were happy to show photos of the accident scene to family members, as they arrived, from each of their phones!
*There was the carpenter who had shot himself in the calf of his leg with a nail gun. He didn't seem to be in much pain while he waited in a wheelchair to receive treatment. A fellow "patient" who was waiting her turn in line to be treated for random abdominal pain informed him that although he wasn't in pain now, he would be. She knew this due to the fact that when her mother was stabbed it hurt when the knife came out, not when it went in!
*There was the young couple, obviously very pregnant, who learned as the result of an ultrasound why she was so large at only ten weeks into her pregnancy... there were five, or six, babies in there!
*There was the woman who careened into the drive-through, kicked her car door open, and yelled out that her water had broken! She was packed, with towels, into a wheelchair by the door attendant who quickly and efficiently whisked her away and came back later with her keys to park her car for her!
*There was the very large family who all arrived together with "Mama". Mama was informed of her need for immediate, emergency surgery; which, apparently, she flatly refused. An older woman, from the same family, the self-appointed matriarch; called the clan together and informed them that they all needed to "go, one at a time, and tell their Mama good-bye because she was going to die" (Exact quote!). The family members did as they were directed, one at a time, without any emotion whatsoever. That is, until their over-the-top, theatrical, Pastor arrived an hour later... that's when the wailing and carrying-on began, it was if someone had flipped on the crying switch. Unreal.
* There was the young man who hangs out there (we saw him on two separate occasions) on a regular basis, supposedly receiving treatment for a rare blood disorder. He spent an inordinate amount of time on his phone, trying to procure transportation home for himself; he was turned down by his own father and girlfriend, he then took to soliciting rides from total strangers... he even used "pick up" lines (over and over): "I believe you used to be my schoolteacher" and "aren't you a neighbor of my grandparents?" on unsuspecting visitors to the waiting room. Sad.
*There was the teenager who was waiting to be seen and asked the ED nurse at the desk if she had enough time to leave and to go out to lunch without losing her place in line. I'm still shaking my head over that one.
*The same type of question was posed by another young lady who needed to get to class and was tired of waiting and fearful she'd be late for a final exam. She explained that all she needed was a pregnancy test, and they took her right back to a treatment area! Really? Really??
*Then there were the loud screamers (groaners/moaners). Problems unknown, except for screaming, (groaning and moaning) there were a few of those; I guess it was contagious.


This was reality programming at it's best, or worst,
depending on your perspective; no television needed.
I know, for a fact, I couldn't work there; no way.
I am grateful that there are those who can, and do.

Life is Good!

13 comments:

Pen Pen said...

Okay, I laughed out loud all the way through this post. Aren't people amazing?? Being a nurse, I can appreciate all those reports as humor, and so sadly, very typical these days. Emergency room...pregnancy test?? There are so many people who use the ER as a doctor's office....that is so sad for those who truly need help. Ok, I'm still giggling.....

Barbara said...

I was a social worker at our local hospital emergency department, a Level I trauma center. Believe me, I've seen it all, and then some.

Teresa in Music City said...

Wow! Talk about drama!!! Why pay for entertainment when you can walk into the local ER and wait for the "characters" to arrive :*)

Nane said...

It always makes me feel blessed after a visit to such a venue! Mary gets a good dose of drama too...even when a premature child is battling for their life. Sad.

Patrica said...

I know I shouldn't laugh but if you don't laugh at times like those you'll be one of the moaners right quick! Life is a comedy and tragedy rolled into one.

Quiltdivajulie said...

We've spent too many hours in an ED waiting area . . . and you are SO right about what goes on.

However - I learned to carry a set of earbuds so that I could plug into my iPod/phone and listen to MY choice of music in an effort to drown out the cacophany (notably the forever droning unavoidable television set on the most annoying channel possible).

Works for doctor appointments with long wait times, too.

Thanks for finding/sharing the humor in the ED.

Quiltdivajulie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ancestor Collector said...

I really got a chuckle out of this. Being a nurse, I've seen my share of most of this stuff. It's amazing that people think they are entitled to healthcare the moment they walk into the ED, and to heck with the folks who have much more urgent needs. "I was here first!!!". Family dynamics are all on overdrive in the ED too....and why does every family member have to show up there? Drama, just drama!;-)

mimi said...

Your post is hilarious, and you probably didn't even know it when you were typing it. My husband was in an emergency treatment room for allergic reaction while we heard the patients come and go on the other side of the screen. We started laughing and couldn't quit, when an older man came in with a catheter that had been in for a week and he was swollen and wanted it out! His doctor was out of town and no one there wanted to take it out since it was in for so long for a reason (previous surgery). Patient threatened to pull it out but it wouldn't come out due to swelling, and he had made it worse, and talk about moaning and groaning and all kinds of sounds on the other side of that curtain! Patient would get on cell phone and tell same story over again and we got to laughing so hard we were crying. Oh it was priceless. Went on for over an hour of listening to that man tell his story to every relative he called, telling each one about his catheter and how "it" was swollen.
Thanks for sharing your ED funny story!

Liz said...

You are sooo right with your observations. My daughter is an emergency room nurse at a children's hospital. Many a time she gets told she is prejudiced. She replies that yes she is, the blue kids get to go first. koodoos on your blog. It is good to know that not everyone is unaware of the real "reality". Liz R.

KQ Sue said...

Hubby retired after 42 years of being an ER & CCU RN, he was fed up! Not sure being a school bus driver is a improvement.

Carrie P. said...

Oh, the drama is more than I could deal with working there. I am grateful for those that have the heart to do it too.

Tanya said...

Reading all that made me glad that I wasn't there... But then again it did seem humorous seeing it through your eyes! Hope I don't ever have to check out the emergency room myself.