BEWILDRED IN THE E.R.

Two nights ago, I had a bad wreck related (see last post) experience and ended up on a return trip to the E.R. yesterday morning. I wasn’t there long but was just long enough to learn of two E.R. experiences, that will have you scratching your head in bewilderment.

My father has a clergy pass to the hospital and is there weekly visiting patients and staff. He sees everything and for those of you who think clergy is a desk job, you should follow him around for a week and see if you survive. I bring him up because this first story happened the other day and he witnessed it. He told me about it yesterday when he picked me up at the E.R.

Apparently, there was a lady in E.R. who needed a couple toes amputated. My dad was there as they prepared the lady in the E.R. She asked why she wasn’t going to an operating room instead of an E.R. , basically in the open, bed. They explained to her that the E.R. was cleaner than the operating room and less chance of germs and infections. Now if you’re a patient going in for an operation, this should make you cringe. I’m not sure how this could be. The E.R. being a place where anyone with any disease imaginable can walk in and be seen. In the operating room, they are suppose to scrub down and be sterilized. Oh, and yeah, they amputated the ladies toes in the E.R.

The second experience that left me bewildered, and a bit laughing, occurred during my second trip to the E.R. I didn’t go via ambulance this time so had to sign in. When you walk in a guy ask if you need a wheel chair, I didn’t, so I started to the admissions desk by the door.

The man stopped me and pointed to a counter a few feet away and said I had to sign in there first. The sign above the counter says ‘TRIAGE’ and has a window where  a nurse may talk to you although the window was shut and there was no nurse. The form was brief. name, date, nature of injury, signature. I filled it out with the guy standing next to me. He then takes the slip of paper, walks the 10-12 steps over to the admissions desk (where I was going in the first place) hands it to the lady there and tells me to have a seat in front of her.

Ok, first, and foremost, what was the point??? The lady ended up asking me what injury I had anyway. Second, if it had been more serious, aren’t we wasting a bit of precious time there? Not to mention manpower and money? Doesn’t this whole procedure sorta shoot down the meaning of ‘Triage’ to begin with? I found it a bit funny and also pretty indicative of why American health care is the worse in the developed world.

I was lucky when I got there, I was the only one in the E.R. waiting area. This is SO rare. I can’t tell you how rare. People started filing in shortly after me but I was first in line. Did that speed up me being seen? No. It took 20 minutes for someone to come out and get me and usher me back to the E.R. rooms.  If you want to define bewilderment, a trip to the hospital or E.R. will do it for you.

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Categories: Everyday Life, travel, writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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