Saturday, 9 April 2011

Hilarity in the Triage

One of our rotations in the ER comprises of a week in Triage. Now Triage is a great system. It's basically the first room a patient walks into. What should officially happen is, the doctor inspects him or her and makes a provisional diagnosis and assigns his condition a status ranging from Vitally Unstable to Stable.

Now I'd love to say that happens here. No. What happens with us is we take a look at the patient, ask what happened and immediately tell him to go to a room. We're like secretaries. Actually, we ARE secretaries. An example to illuminate what I mean can be as follows:

Patient walks in with a limp and severe pain.
Me: What happened?
Him: I fell on my leg and can't move.
Me: Okay, go to the Orthopaedic ward.
Him: You don't want to look at it.
Me: No no, that's not my job, that's their job. My job is to point out where you should go.
Him: Oh so you're not a doctor?
Me: No no I am. It's just that for this week this is what I do.
Him: Must suck doesn't it?

Even the patients know how redundant the job is but hey, who am I to argue hospital protocols. Now I was assigned the night shift, and the night shift is famous for crazy ass shit. So here are a few funny things that happened over the week.

  • Patient comes in with his friend: "Doc, you gotta help me. It burns so hard when I pee and I'm pretty sure there's pus coming out of it. I don't know what to do and it really hurts. Do you want to see? "  I didn't. So the guy looked young and based on his appearance and symptoms, my first guess was Gonorrhea. (Yes, we do get sexually transmitted diseases here in Cairo. We might be a religious city, but we're that kind of religious where a guy can pray 5 times a day and still fuck a really cheap hooker under the guise of ,"Hey! At least I pray!") So i asked his friend to excuse himself on account he didn't want to embarrass himself when I asked. The guy said the friend was like his brother and he knew everything about him. I said fair enough and asked whether or not he's had sex recently. Both their reactions were priceless. Their eyes opened up, they looked at each other for 5 seconds then he said ," Ummmmmmm, Sex? Hmmmmmm. Nope. Not that I can recall."  I asked again. He actually said, " Wait let's see.. Nope. No sex."
    Let me just say to all the people who are going to lie about their history whenever they encounter a physician. There are some answers that kinda need to be answered quickly without  delay. If I ask whether or not you're married, I expect an answer within a few milliseconds.  The funniest part was the OTHER guy's reaction. He looked like a ghost, which led me to believe they both probably had sex with the same disease ridden hooker. Oh well, guess that's what happens when you pay 50 pounds and expect sex.

  • Big burly motherfucker of a guy comes in and he's holding on to his neck with both his hands. The man's lost alot of blood and he looks like he can still beat the shit out of me. So I asked, "Oh my god, what happened to you man?" So he just says ever so casually, "Oh this? I was in a fight and I just need some stitches." So I asked to look at the injury. To say that the injury was deep is an understatement. I could see the vessels clear as day bleeding out and here he was just cool as ice. So I told him he needed to go to resuscitation. His answer was fucking epic, "No doc. I just need some stitches. Fight's still going and I need to be back in there."
    Egyptians = not afraid to beat you AND bleed on you at the same time.

  • A girl comes and she's completely passed out. She's with two of her coworkers (because they're all dressed the same) and she looks like she's about 25. So they lay her on the bed and tell me screaming in fact, " You have to help us! She just collapsed on the floor and we don't know what to do! Please Doc!" So I looked at her, breathing was regular. Pulse fantastic, Blood pressure was pefect.  If I didn't know better, I'd say she was sleeping. So i asked them if anything psychologically traumatic happened today. They thought about it and said that she was talking to her husband, argued, closed the phone and BAM! Her face met the floor. This is what we call a psychic patient, and I was super glad we got one, because the treatment of a passed out psychic patient is the coolest thing. Ever.  What you do is you try to snap her out of it by shaking her or eliciting pain (like pinching) but the best thing to do that'll guarantee an instant response is to get a syringe full of alcohol and inject it through the nose. It doesn't hurt but it'll sure as SHIT wake you the fuck up. So I got the syringe ready and the coworkers were freaking out and I told them not to worry. So I injected it all, and she woke up like she was waking up from the scariest nightmare of her life. HUGE Gasp and just teary eyes. The coworkers looked at me and said, "Wow, medicine really has advanced throughout the ages." I told them, "Yeah, it also helps when your coworker's medical problem is simply bitchy husbanditis." 

1 comment:

  1. Very funny but true, thanks, Dr. J. The world may go to pot, but we docs have to stick together.