Last night at 6 I went onshift for the 18 hour overnight. Since it's parent's weekend at college, I was thinking SURELY it would be a quiet night. I mean...who would go out to get drunk with everyone's PARENTS there?
Well, as it turns out, quite a few idiots.
First call of the night was the only REAL call- anaphylaxis in progress. The poor guy was on his SECOND life threatening reaction of the day, having had one yesterday MORNING, and only been released from the ED about 6 hours before we got called out again. He still has no idea what he's allergic to, but my god I've never seen hives like that. He was really intelligent though, and had already taken a BUNCH of benedryl before we got there. I'm convinced that it's the only reason I didn't have to hit him with the Epi-Pen. I prefer NOT to do that to people who have just gotten their own Epi Pen prescriptions, because I don't want them scared if they need to inject themselves someday.
Third was a simple cooperative post-vomiting drunk who we promptly sent off to bed after a stable set of vitals.
Second and fourth were the "fun" ones. They were the ones who make you want to smack them a little bit- the drunks who were combative, verbally abusive, and whiny all at once. Number 2 was worse from the "whiny" and "combative" standpoints- engaging in a LOVELY combo of invading our personal spaces and trying to run away, while she sobbed loudly that "now she was gonna be in trouble and it was all our faults". Um...this was going to be her FOURTH write-up. Shes a freshman. That means an average of a write-up per week. In contrast, I didn't get written up AT ALL in FOUR YEARS of college, not counting THIS degree. That means not only does she drink more-or-less constantly, but she isn't very good at staying out of trouble.
Number 4 was actually not all THAT drunk. We were planning on releasing her into the custody of a sibling, but then she said the magic words "It doesn't matter what you do, i'm going to kill myself anyway". Whoop! That, combined with absolutely obvious alcohol intake equals a trip to the hospital. Sorry sweetie, saying "i dont consent! i'll sue you!" is NOT going to get you out of this one. Once you voice a wish to kill yourself, you become legally incompetent as far as we're concerned. Since you're drunk you CANNOT consent or deny treatment, and since you're voicing suicidal ideations we cannot release you to the custody of ANYBODY without a doc's evaluation.
Plus, you called me the c-word. Now I'm not sympathetic anymore. In addition, this being the FOURTH call of the night, it's 4 am and I havent SLEPT YET.
I understand depressed patients, and even suicidal ideations. I've been there myself...but I lose all my warm fuzzies when you start abusing me. Hell...i'm VOLUNTEERING here. I'm staying up ALL NIGHT WITHOUT PAY to make sure you're ok. The least you can do is NOT insult me.
And now...i'm exhausted.