Thursday, June 2, 2011

They're eating snakes!

Triage has to be one of the funniest places in the world. I know, how can a place where people come to when they or a family member is sick or injured be funny, but it is. Maybe it's just that twisted ER sense of humor.
First of all, look at the word "triage". It's French for "to sort". In a profession dominated by Latin root words, it's French! It's mispronounced often enough that we call the triage nurse the "tree hag" nurse. Working in triage is also called being sent to the box, short for penalty box, because after a shift of listening to 50 people explain to you why they're the sickest person alive, you realize that you must have offended the charge nurse in some way.
In our triage, people fill out a green slip of paper with their name, the time, and what is the reason for their visit. These are precious. One of my favorites is "sick". (Thanks for narrowing that down for us). Others include, "my tutu hurts", "I want a pregnancy test", "my doctor said to come", "blank stuck in my blank", and "my doctor won't give me pain meds", just to name a few.
I was not born with the ability to spell. (Spellcheck has been good to me) I had a nursing instructor who put it this way. "John, you're going to be a great nurse but if you don't learn how to spell no one will know it. " We had a doctor, Anna, who had great laughs at my expense. She used to say she enjoyed reading my charts because she could read my hand writing and if she sounded out what I wrote she could figure out what I meant, and it entertained her. She's moved to Florida but I think she stayed around a little longer just to enjoy the laughs. I remember telling one coworker that I spelled phonetically and she said "no you don't", to which I replied, "yes I do, it's just that I also mispronounce my words". She thought for a moment and replied, "your right."
What God did not give me in spelling ability He made up with in the ability to laugh at myself.
Anyway, one day I had triaged a woman with abdominal pain. We were busy so I sent her to the waiting room. Shortly after I observed her eating. Wanting to update the triage note but not being sure how to spell Doritos, I wrote "patient eating snacks in waiting room", however, true to form, I misspelled and it came out,
"Patient eating SNAKES in waiting room".
As luck would have it, Dr Anna ended up with the chart. She came in chuckling, and said, "I think we know why you're having abdominal pain".

1 comment:

Reg T said...
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