Monday, January 16, 2012

Some short stories from the ER

All names and identifying details have been changed.

It was late one night and the receptionist was on lunch, so there was no one at the front desk. I was in a room with a client, heard the door alarm go off signifying that someone came in, and maybe 2 minutes later walked out of the room to find two civilians in our treatment area.

Lady Intruder: "There was no one up front so we just walked back here."

Me (thinking): Really? You think you are entitled to just walk to the back of a veterinary ER after having been waiting in the lobby for no more than 2 minutes.

Man Intruder: "We are the owners of Very Sick Cat." 

Me (aloud): "Well visiting hours were over 2 hours ago, but you are welcome to visit." 

Man Intruder, referring to Lady: "Well she was out of town and just got back."

Me (thinking): That still does not give you the right to walk to the back of my ER. Do you just walk through the doors at a human ER? No. Why? Because they are LOCKED. Maybe we need locking mechanisms on our doors. 

The Lady Intruder opens the cage, picks up her cat, and disconnects the line containing the insulin CRI, and informs me in a condescending voice that they are taking the cat home tonight.  Fine, you so clearly know better and can take much better care of your cat at home, so go ahead. They ended up leaving him with us. 


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Phone conversation:

Caller: "Can you give Pedialyte to a dog who's been vomiting a lot?"


Me: "No, if your dog has been vomiting a lot you should bring him in to be seen."


Caller: "Ok thanks bye." click

.... You're going to do it anyway, aren't you.


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About 5 people come to pick up at cat with head trauma. One seems to be the speaker for everyone so I address him. He informs me that he isn't the owner, just a friend from their church. Right. I ask who the owner is, and its a small dark haired woman who tells me she is a "nurse." Ok fine. Whatever, I don't care. Here are the instructions for your cat, who really shouldn't be going home yet but since you are insisting we will do the best we can to make you understand what needs to be done. 

Lady 'nurse' owner: "Ok so I give this IV right?"

Me: "No, its given by mouth. We will be removing the IV catheter before you take him home."

Lady 'nurse' owner: "What? But this is an IV medication. You should leave the catheter in."

Me: "It can be given orally in cats, and that is how you are going to give it. We do not send animals home with IV catheters."

Lady 'nurse' owner: "But I am a nurse. You can leave the IV catheter in for me. I give IV drugs all the time."

Me: Well, you won't be giving any IV drugs to your cat. You may be a human nurse but you are not a veterinarian or a veterinary technician and have no training in that respect. And, we do not send animals home with IV catheters, even with veterinary nurses.

Lady 'nurse' owner, muttering under her breath to her friend, but I can still hear with my superhuman hearing: "I will just give it IV at home."

Me, alarmed and a little angry: "You will NOT be giving anything to your cat IV. We will not be sending home any needles. This medication is effective orally. If you go to your place of work and steal needles to give meds IV to your cat, you could seriously hurt or even kill him, not to mention be breaking ethical and moral code, (silently) you asshole."


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