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Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Beeper

It's dark in here with the lights out. It's quiet too except for the soporific drone of all the electrical appliances.

Oops! I just used the Q word.


Right on cue.

"EKG in ER," the beeper reads.

Be back in a few...


Okay, I'm back. I just got complimented on my EKG skills.

"You did it so fast I didn't know you started," the lady said.

I hear that a lot: that I'm fast. I never really thought anything of it until I happened to see one of my co-workers push the EKG cart into a room as I was passing through the ER. I thought I'd wait for her so we could walk back to the cave together. I waited at least 15 minutes.

The next morning at shift change my beeper went off. My relief volunteered to to do the EKG for me, and rushed off to ER to do a "quick EKG." I was anxious for him to get back so I could give a quick report and go home. Twenty minutes later I was half asleep and still waiting.



Ever hear of the button on the butt theory. All the people that can possibly annoy you have placed all these invisible buttons on random chairs, and I think there's one on the chair right here in front of this computer in the respiratory therapy cave.

As soon as I finished with my 7th EKG in three hours I decided to go for a walk. No point chancing sitting on that button again. But, here I am again. The lights are off. The door is shut. I'm thinking of putting my feet up.



I suppose someone out of high school could do some of the things I do, and EKGs is one of them. However, on nights like this where we only have five patients on treatments, and none of them needing to be awakened for them, it's nice to have something to do now and again.

I suppose that's why I started this blog.

All the nurses seemed to be busy as I strolled the halls toting my holy water we call Ventolin. You know what I mean don't you? They Believe that Ventolin cures everything. That's why I call it holy water.

One of my co-workers, Doug, calls it Scrubblin-Bubbles. "Yeah, it acts like soap. It works just like that stuff called Scrubblin Bubbles you buy in the store," he told me one day. "Ventolin goes into the lungs, suds up like a bar of soap, and literally scrubs all the corners of the lungs clean."

I laughed. I still laugh every time I'm doing a treatment just because a patient has crackles, or a history of CHF, or cardiac wheezes, or just because the patient has lung cancer.

"Any noise in the lungs warrants a breathing treatment," Doug said. "It doesn't matter what the noise is or what the cause. It doesn't matter if the patient is SOB or not. Look at all the post-op patients that get treatments just because. Ever hear about the study of post-op patients and Ventolin?"


"There was a study of 100 post-op patients. They were all given breathing treatments and they all got better and went home eventually. Now you know the reason behind all these post-op patients getting treatments."

"We should come up with a name for it."

"There is a name for it," he grumbled, "It's Preventolin."

I laughed.

Don't think we're usually like this, slow I mean. Literally, I have no therapies due until 6 a.m., and none of them really need it. Right now it's only midnight. I don't know what you do on a slow night, or if you even have them, but I'm going to put my feet up and enjoy.

And I'm going to pray the beeper stays qui... I mean silent.


Then again, perhaps God has other plans for me.

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