The Resus Room. Trashed beyond belief and almost beyond repair, a stabbing in 1 shipped downtown, a shocky STEMI in 2 just out for rescue catheterization, a tubed CHFer in 3 being packed up to go to ICU,and a fresh cerebral bleed in 4. All in three hours. Blood-soaked abd pads, empty IV bags and other garbage litter the floor, the trauma cart stands gaping open, the code carts need to be restocked, the wall suction exemplifies charnel house grottiness, and the nurses have retreated to that warm fuzzy place from having too much, all at once, but knowing lives were saved.
And way back in 5 is the half-forgotten 79 year-old female NSTEMI leftover from Nights, whose troponin is barely distinguishable from that of a 16 year-old girl, and who is utterly stable, and complaining about the food, the bed, her family, and the ambient temperature to anyone who will listen.
But not forgotten by our Dr. Weanus, whose advocacy for the patient is fierce and unremitting.
He roars into the Resus Room.
This is unacceptable, he shouts. Patient safety has been compromised! I shall have to report you all! You are all incompetent and have no place in a critical care area! You are all lazy! Look at you sitting there!
The nurses look slowly from the blood soaked stretcher in 1, past the opened TNK packages, the art line and central line kits, the rasping vent, the flasks of infused Voluven, the scattered vials of Versed and propafol, the sputum dripping off the walls like it had a life of its own, the backboard carelessly propped up against the wall, the family huddling around Bed 4, and back to Dr. Weanus.
What exactly is the problem, Dr. Weanus?
He assumes the posture of disgust and outrage. Clearly standards are slipping. “It’s a clear dereliction of nursing duty.”
“You have not written down the dosages of this patient’s medications!”
My favourite internist.