Friday, November 25, 2011

Squatter's Rights

There are some patients who come into the Emergency Department and just seem to move in.  Funny, because these are usually the same patients who say they "can't stand hospitals" when you tell them they have to be admitted.

Anyway, you know who they are from the second they check in.  They've got a set of bags with them.  They get settled into the bed.  Usually they have their own blanket... pillow... slippers... The cell phone gets plugged into the nearest outlet.  The McDonald's bags start magically appearing.

I know on most days I usually want to get out of the E.D. as soon as possible.  Why would anyone actually want to stay?  You're not sick.  You know you're not sick.  Like Cameron on "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" you just don't have anything better to do.  We had several patients today who were like that.  They got settled in, and I couldn't get them to leave.

We used to have a group of pediatric patients with sickle cell disorder who used to come into the E.D. at the same time.  Their goal:  get admitted so they could have a pajama party complete with PCA pump IV's and terrorizing the nurses.

They would sit and text in the E.D. comparing which medications they were getting, how much, how often, and what kind of pizza they were going to order.  One night we foiled their plans by telling them that we had talked to their primary doctors, and since they were getting follow-up in the morning, they didn't have to be admitted.  They looked sad leaving and carrying their princess-adorned fleece blankets with them.

We were especially busy today and the squatters didn't help... seriously, there's a big world out there... get out in it, and stay out of the E.D.

1 comment:

betty said...

I find this absolutely amazing, Veronica. I'm with you, why would they want to spend their time in the ED? Maybe they enjoy that time of pampering with getting checked on, seeing if they need anything, etc. You guys are running a hospital, not a hotel. Geesh, some people!


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