Once again, indecision is the biggest factor in my enjoyment of working in the ED. Anger, frustration, headaches and long patient stays can all be tracked down to the same factor, or at least the only factor that I have control over…indecision. Usually it stems from not wanting to let patients down, or knowing (thinking) that they’ll be disappointed or upset by my diagnosis, or more commonly, lack of diagnosis. So I set the chart aside thinking (hoping) that something drastic will happen to them at which time I can happily present them with a medical solution to a medical problem.
The problem arises when there is no problem. Nothing I can fix. patients get sent and referred by their docs, family, neighbors thinking they’ll get fixed tonight. One guy we even flew in from about 100 miles away. he wasn’t sick. Now he’s stuck in the ED with no pants, no wallet, and 2 1/2 hours from home. Had the outside doc been a little more aggressive in thinking about his treatment and diagnosis, rather than being quick to call me, tell me he’s sick, he’s bleeding, he just had bypass surgery, etc…we could have saved a few thousand dollars in a helicopter ride, not put people’s lives at risk flying the thing there and back, and saving his son a five hour car ride. It all could have been taken care of at an outpatient visit for colonoscopy. Oh well.
I pretreated myself for today’s shift with cuban espresso from my favorite coffee shop. The Coffee Jerk reads my blog now so I have to say nice things about it! 😉
Anybody remember what flight number I was on? I have one to add that will be a nicer post than this.