ED Karma

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.


  1. Sorry to hear about missing dinner with the fam. Good to keep up on vocabulary like that, though.

  2. The other night, my doctor said to me, “I hope we can go home early.” Eek!

    [insert theme music from Psycho whilst the entire department halts to glare at said doctor]

    Not only did the soon-to-be patients hear that and come running, but so did the lab, which decided to go on “downtime”, and the CT Scanner, which died for five hours.

    Lately, you can’t even think those words let alone say them out loud. I quietly thought those words last night and had to pay the toll.

  3. Non-medical hubby had to learn that the hard way. 15 min before the end of call is NOT the time to mention the Q word or to say that it’s almost over. That will guarentee that the ER will call with 2 admissions. After he jinxed me thusly, he appologized for invoking the wrath of the gods. He’s not made that mistake again.

    Also, never wander by the ER whilst a resident on call. That will also cause admissions to happen. With July fast upon us & the new crop of interns approaching, this is one important lesson to be imparted. ;^)


  4. scalpel says:

    When I went back and read that Dirty Words post, I had a horrible feeling just from reading those words you mentioned. But my shift continued without incident, despite the full moon.

  5. [redacted] says:

    Keep it real & hang in there dude!