Saturday, June 11, 2005

Childbirth, vile fluids, and hookers

I worked another long "day" yesterday, 14 hours this time. Maybe I should take more time to see friends, the sun, and my laundry room, but then money I'm making now will allow me to afford tuition, books, rent, and food for the next two semesters of school.

We were short-staffed again, so I stayed at the triage check-in desk and saw nine L&Ds (ladies in labor) in five hours. That's rather higher than usual. The tsk-tsk award of the night went to the soon-to-be-mom who'd had zero pre-natal care, which is free in Austin. Sigh.

The best part of the night was when the waiting room had been cleared out and some nurses were trading stories with an EMS guy. The subject of chest tubes came up. The EMS guy was saying how he had thought that inserting them was a delicate process, but then he saw a doctor jamming one in. One of the nurses confirmed that it was indeed a quick-and-dirty affair before telling us about the time she saw a late-stage cancer patient get one. When it was inserted, voluminous pus spewed out and it did not smell good. The EMS guy came right back with the time his partner had put a gastric tube down a guy and chili shot out all over the inside of their ambulance.

Then I starting eating my tuna sandwich. Yet more evidence that the ER is a great fit for me. Discussion of foul liquids and I can still eat heartily.

Sometime around 3 AM, I was talking with one of the police officers who moonlight as security for the ER. We were talking about bullet wounds and he showed me the bullets that the APD uses. They're designed to mushroom on impact so that they'll damage the person they hit, but won't go through them and hit someone else. Just talking about it made me antsy. I'm more suited to fixing gunshot wounds than causing them.

Finally, the quote of the evening was from the same police officer re: the quality of Austin prostitutes, "If she's a healthy ho, she's an undercover cop."

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1 comment:

  1. My mom worked as the navigator/parimedic assistant on an ambulance in Lincoln, Nebraska while putting herself through Med Tech school -- she occassionally dazzles us with gross out stories from her emergency medical care days. Not so many stories from the med tech days -- mostly just accidentally drawing blood from newly dead bodies. And now she is the manager of the lab and has no gross stories at all; by the time the fluids get up there, they have been all packaged and labeled.