The other night was tough. No ICU beds, boarding ICU patients for like three days, a vented patient in every area...pretty bad. Arguments with the nursing supervisors. Arguments with the upstairs doctors. I was generally feeling bad about the hospital and left mumbling about people practicing Tinkertoy medicine.
Then I met a former co-worker for drinks. Turns out he's going to be a co-worker again soon, because he's leaving his new job in the ER of a fancy-pants hospital. He told me the story of his "last straw" moment--a code in which, instead of beginning with the classic "Airway, breathing, circulation" of emergency medicine, began with a resident running in with a speculum to check the patient's vagina because he thought she had toxic shock syndrome, and that was why she was hypoxic and gasping and flailing around and had no blood pressure.
Said my friend, "I kept looking around for the camera. I thought I was being Punk'd or something."
I'll keep my job, thank you. At least we know that in a code you start from the TOP, not from the BOTTOM of the alphabet.