I’ve written before about the Dirty Words of the ED, and now I can add another, based on tonights’ experience.
I and my scribe trainee and trainer were exactly one patient from going home early, so I said “Great, we’ll leave early and I’ll get to have dinner with my family”. At that exact moment on of the hospitalists walked up and said “you know that patient…needs an LP”.
Okay. I can see why he’d want it, and that won’t add much time to my departure, and I’m all about the patient care. Get the LP setup ordered, go to suture the was-last patient. While suturing, the patient gets sweaty, rubs chest, says ‘I’m not feeling so good’, and the EKG showing the heart block and heart rate in the 30′s told me this was probably more than a pain reaction from the suturing.
So, patients cared for, and another dinner missed. Oh, and either ‘leave early’ or ‘dinner with family’ are now verboten. I just need to trial them, to warn others.