I Also Have a Wart I Want You to See

Overheard at Triage:

Male Patient, Twenty-Something: I’ve been constipated for two days.

Triage Nurse: What have you done about it?

Male Patient: Nothing.

Triage Nurse: And after 48 hours your first line of treatment is to come to the emergency department?


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  1. #1 by Priley on Monday 08 March 2010 - 2109

    Aint it the truth!!! When we ask “what are we seeing you for today?” the list can be as long as your arm, and don’t dare ask the pt to focus on one or two chief complaints. That will almost always get you a bad customer satisfaction score that JACHO does not like. We all know that JCAHO makes the rules (regardless how unrealistic) and must play by them.

  2. #2 by saskboy on Tuesday 09 March 2010 - 1112

    I sympathize with the patient. Even though he did nothing before seeking help, it’s quite likely he’s not well versed in treatment for 2 day constipation and needs advice and not a lecture implying he’s wasting peoples’ time.

    • #3 by torontoemerg on Wednesday 10 March 2010 - 1051

      Hmmm… maybe — but in the age of Google, it’s a bit hard to believe.

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