Monday, October 15, 2007

My month in the ER -get the drunks and homeless their own place

So I spent the last month in the ER. Unfortunately as medicine residents they dump the worst possible shifts on us, IE I had overnights for almost all the weekend nights and was placed in our level 2 and not level 1 trauma center. All in all though it was quite an enjoyable experience. The ancillary staff (for the most part) are not lazy, the nurses flirt a little more, and things run a little smoother. Not in the least bit you also get a little more respect due to the glamorization of ER by the media". One of my last nights I saw these two drunk (and quite beautiful) girls come in after a nights of drinking and flirting (she was getting divorced) and one of their first comments was "this is nothing like ER we had to wear breathing masks after being placed next to the homeless guy". I guess the ER is the great equalizer.

Looking back on this month there were some memorable moments. Things were generally quite busy since in NYC they closed down many hospitals in our area so we must absorb all the excess. In addition our shortsighted and cheap ass administration never added any new house staff to accommodate the new influx so spending our short staffed resources on drunks and homeless that just wanted a warm bed was a bit on the frustrating side. Don't get me wrong I feel bad for the homeless and do not want to throw them on the streets but there must be another way to help them out rather than wasting our time medically evaluating someone who clearly just wants some food and shelter. My beef with the drunks is that these bums come get evaluated fed and accommodation and never pay a dime. Why can't we charge these guys in some way for example, for every visit they must commit some community service to pay off their debt, medical care may be a right but what these people unfairly due is not.

On the lighter side they do provide the occasional entertainment, like the guy who starts peeing in middle of the patient care area and the hostile drunk that starts punching the wall (he broke his wrist) before threatening us (we call security who come running down after him). My life has already been threatened a few times, so I hope I don't meet them in some dark alley drunk.


fashionista cat in a zero gravity shoe-store said...

Have you got laws in the US as we do over here that prescribe a certain minimum amount of hospital beds and doctors per 1,000 citizens?

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