Nursing Voices

Sunday, February 25, 2007

First Name Basis

It's never a good thing when a patient is called in, and everyone working triage groans. If all the nurses working know you by your first name:

A. You've been here WAY too many times.
B. Clearly, you come in for unnecessary and frivolous admissions... and
C. You always get sent back home. (if there were really something wrong with you, you'd stay)

We had a visit from a patient (let's call her Margo), who we've gotten to know very well over the past several years, now on her fourth baby.

Resident: "I have a patient coming in... it's Margo ___."

Cacophony of disbelief from everyone within earshot: "Oh nooo... not again!"

She's 32 weeks (a mere 8 or so more to go!) and only on her 9th admission to OB triage during this pregnancy, which, in comparison to her first pregnancy, isn't bad. With that child, she was on visit #36 by the time she finally delivered, and practically everyone who worked OB knew her name. Considering we only triage patients who are 20 weeks and up, that's more than a few visits per week. Back then, I remember caring for her two days in a row, both times for a slip and fall on icy pavement. Oh, Margo.

It never ceases to amaze me that she is willing to drag her husband and several small (screaming) children to the hospital in the middle of the night, through nasty weather because she's feeling some vague abdominal pain and general discomfort.

She actually told the person wheeling her up from the ER, "I really think it's something serious this time... I'm not kidding."

She was triaged and discharged back home with a clean bill of health within 45 minutes.

Until next time...


AtYourCervix said...

I think we all have a few of these patients. It's not always easy putting on the non-judgemental face when you've been seeing them more times during this pregnancy than you see your own family at home.

Anonymous said...

I always know they have been in our triage too much when I have THEIR social security number memorized and don't even need to take a history!!!!

Iris said...

OH Yes!! Every hospital has one of those.....definitely. Being that we do all areas of nursing in our little hospital, we find that the elderly are the worst. They come in, bags packed, and settle in for the winter.........

Jawndoejah said...

At least I'm not like that.

I'm afraid of being too "chummy" with my OB. She had a baby, and I brought a gift to my regular pap appointment. Ugh, I worried if it was too much. It's weird, I like her soooo much and hope she can actually be there for this birth (nurses caught last time as I went from 4 and calm to uh, here she comes...she's my 5th so there's that lag in labor to pop out...2nd time in a row this has happened). I think also, because she helped me through a 16 week miscarriage, I am sort of doing the "Florence Nightingale" syndrome. I actually wish I knew her at church or something so I could have an excuse to care about her and talk to her other times. I bet she senses my weirdness and cringes when I come in. Ugh. OB groupie. Ick.

JustCallMeJo said...

Okay, we have frequent flyers in the ICU...but to think of frequent flyers in L&D...

That's just wrong.

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