A guest post by Hueydoc
After almost 30 years in the ER, I have found that many of the Rules from “The House of God” are oh so accurate. But let me add a few new ones, based on my own experiences:
1) The correct answer to any problem is “Whatever screws the ER the most”. All policies and procedures end up leaving the patient as the ER’s problem. Period.
2) The staff in the ER are the only people in the county who are responsible for anything. Not the nursing home. Not the police. Not EMS.
3) Yes, it is true that if you say “Boy, it sure is quiet tonight,” you will immediately experience the worst night in the history of the hospital. This is also a felony — punishable by death in certain states.
4) The quickest cure for severe diarrhea is to ask the patient for a stool sample.
5) No hospital policy ever changes until an administrator is a patient and is adversely affected by the policy.
6) Administrators will never back you up. Ever. Get used to the view of the underside of the bus.
7) When you are firmly convinced that the patient with the bizarre complaint is a crock, you’ll be wrong. When you are firmly convinced the narcotic seeker is finally legit, you’ll be wrong.
8 ) If you page two different doctors, both will call back at the same time, no matter how far apart you paged them.
9) The more demanding a patient is, the less likely it is that they need medical care.
10) I have never, EVER seen a patient who told me “I can’t afford this medicine – you have to give it to me” who wasn’t smoking 2 packs a day. When you point out to them that they are spending over $200 a month to kill themselves but can’t afford their $4 prescription, they either get very upset or sit there with their mouth open like a stunned fish.
11) NEVER ever go to work sick. Not only will it be an incredibly busy day, but you will be sicker than most of the patients you see.
12) All ER physician schedulers are either hopelessly clueless, or evil and insane. I suspect the latter in most cases.
13) The more difficult the stick, the more likely the lab is to lose your patient’s blood sample.
14) There is a sensor on the bottom of the doctor’s bed that, when the doctor actually lays down, activates a Batman like beacon into the sky advertising “Free Vicodin” to the entire community, resulting in numerous patients suddenly checking in to the ER.
15) No extra shift that you reluctantly volunteer to work will ever be an easy shift.
16) You are more likely to see Elvis in the ER than a staff pediatrician.
17) No specialty will complain about the treatment their patient received in the ER more than the pediatricians – yet pediatricians are most likely to dump their patients in the ER.
18) The nicer the patient and family, the worse the outcome will be.
19) I can not tell the difference between very rich patients and very poor patients – they both act the same. “When it comes to my health, money is no object!”
Feel free to add your own!