“You Must Be Kidding”

“You must be kidding!!!!”

“You must be kidding!!!!“

The ER is a very funny place. There are things here that defy explanations and stories that are just too crazy to be true. But if it happened in the ER, it must be true. We don’t make these things up.

In a case worthy of “House”, some astute paramedics finally solved a baffling case of syncope.

For 3 consecutive nights at around 9pm, EMS had received a call from a wife that her husband had “fainted”. The husband was often hypotensive but quickly recovered in the ER after some IV fluids. All tests came out negative and the patient was discharged in the morning, only to come back the next day. The wife stated that her husband had no physical complaints all throughout the day, but then she would find him weak and faint at night time.

On the fourth call, the EMS crew noticed the patient’s bedside table. There were two tubes of medications side by side that the husband uses just before he goes to bed: one nitroglycerin ointment for the patch and one hemorrhoid ointment. One medication for his heart to make the blood vessels dilate, and one medication to relieve the pain and to reduce the swelling of the hemorrhoids.

It turns out that the patient mistakenly applies his nitro ointment to his hemorrhoids every night.

High-tech and TMI (Too Much Information) s0metimes provide an awkward scene at Triage. And the nurse gets uncomfortable being shown a “selfie” without any warning. On the other hand, it is better to look at an image than having to see it in real life.

Spelling Check please….

I admit I’m a spelling snob; it’s a genetic mishap, a flaw in my character. Please forgive me, but it is too embarrassing to sit through a chart review with other departments having to defend sloppy documentation.

I’m not talking about common errors like lose and looseyour and you’rebreak and brake, and there and their. Highly-educated people sometimes slip up with these mistakes. I can understand a typo here and there, but here are some egregious (and funny) spelling errors.

Reading some patient charts can be excruciating sometimes.

Deployed- “The airbag should have diploid.”
Phlegm- “The patient coughed up green flem
Purulent – “The wound has a pussy discharge” (not an actual misspelling, but just sounds wrong)
Circumcised- “He was not circussized”.
Rapport- “The patient maintains good rappore with family.”
Bizarre- “Wife said that patient was acting bazaar.”
Intubated- “The patient was incubated by the ED team.”
Gout- “The patient complained of pains from her goat

(The last time I looked at the keyboard, “t” is two rows higher than “c” and “a” is way over on the left side of “u”.)

EMS Narrative history text: (written in capital letters)
34 MALE AMBULATORY @ AMBULANCE. HE WAS @ HIS WORKPLACE HAVING DRINKS, BEERS, WHEN HIS HORSE BEGAN TO BREED PROFUSELY. IT STOPPED. HE IS INTOX. HIS GIRLFRIEND IS CONVINCING HIM TO GET EVALUATED @ HOSPITAL. HE DOESN’T WANT TO BECAUSE IT STOPPED. TXP BECAUSE HE IS INT. ON AND NOT IN A POSITION TO RMA. HE [email protected] LASTWEEK, AWAITING APPT. 14TH ENT.

The patient turned out to have a Nose Bleed. I wonder where the “Horse Breed” came from.

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About Jo Cerrudo 39 Articles
Clinical Nurse Specialist in NYC. On a new journey of discovery. Author, "Nursing Vignettes", published Aug. 2012 (available on Amazon). E-mail: [email protected] Blogs: http://jcerrudocreations.blogspot.com/ http://jo-cerrudo.blogspot.com/