Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why I couldn't be an ER nurse

I've been spending a lot of time down in the ED since starting my new job.  I like it in small chunks but couldn't do it full time.  Not that there aren't bad things that happen in nursing all over but the things I've seen in the ED seem to just top them for me.  Although I guess L&D would have worse but luckily I don't have to go there!!

A week or so ago I was down there about 2 am when a MVA came in.  It involved a woman in her early 30's and her 3 yo son.  The boy wasn't hurt too bad at all....just a few minor scratches.  The mom was fully boarded and collared.  And FREAKING out.  At first I thought that she was freaking because she and her little one had been in the accident as I would be.  I mean they would have to tie me down to keep me away from making sure my kid was ok you know!!

Well, turns out she was freaking because she was drunk.  Her BAL was .20!  Our legal limit here is .08.  And that was just the beginning.  Her DAILY meds included ativan, vicodin and percocet.  Yup, on top of the alcohol.  Wait it gets worse........

The carseat was improperly installed and had come loose in the accident so it was by the Grace of God that kid wasn't hurt more.  Think I'm done............

Her license had recently been suspended too!!

OMGosh!   I'm not sure if I could have taken care of her.  I know in nursing we aren't supposed to be judgmental and usually I'm pretty good about that.  But I was really struggling with it in this case.  The ED is definitely not for me!!

P.S.  Wondering how bad mom was hurt?  She fractured her lower back where the lumbar and thoracic vertebra meet.  And the kiddo went home with Dad who wasn't married to mom anymore.


CountyRat said...

I would not worry about being, judgemental. "Judgemental" means that you have standards about how people ought to treat each other, and feel offended when someone violates those standards. That means that you are a decent person.

How do you think that you are supposed to feel when someone gets loaded and endangers the life of a child? I would be more concerned if you could look at that woman and NOT feel angry.

Your angry ("judgemental") feelings are normal and appropriate. We should all be angry when people threaten the lives of children. When we are not, THAT'S when we should be concerned!

Go easy on yourself, sister. You're doing fine.

Anonymous said...

Drink drivers are one thing, but I personally find rock spiders to be the hardest to look after. Which, incidentally, is why I never ask the Corrective Services officers what their prisoner is in jail for.

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