Friday, 28 December 2012

Emergency medicine

Highlights from one shift in the Accident and Emergency department:

Brisk start with a cardiac arrest call. I am assigned to performing chest compressions - 4-5cm deep at 100 beats per minute. Hard work at the best of times. End up doing that for 23 minutes non-stop as due to another emergency, replacement never arrives. Great workout, but I found it difficult to hold a pen afterwards.

Next I try to stop a patient from self-discharging.
I end up saying there IS a point to saving his life because... his pet parrot needs him.
Did not work.

Finally, a lady who came in because her carers couldn't wake her up, wakes up when I try to cannulate her. She threatens to smack my face because my hands are cold. Then she tells me she's just kidding. And that she really likes my smile.
As I get on with sticking a needle in her arm, she erupts with "Going home for Christmas", really going for it with all she's got. She repeats the whole song four times and gets me to sing along. The nurse can't stop laughing. Finally, as I wave goodbye, the lady tells me "I love you dahling, you can come again".

I walk back home at 2am. The streets are so quiet and still, you can hear raindrops in the trees.

Oh, go on then, let's have one more New Yorker cartoon:

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