Check me out! Two posts in one night!
Anyway, we were packed to the rafters tonight. I was triaging all the ambulance arrivals. An elderly woman arrived who had syncopized and fell into a glass-front cabinet. She was dehydrated for having diarrhea and vomiting since that morning, and her face was pretty cut up. Also, she was running for the bathroom when she passed out, and so her clothes were pretty messy. She was very anxious, as was her daughter, and they kept telling me things like, "She REALLY needs an IV RIGHT AWAY!" and making other suggestions the whole time I was trying to triage her. She was mostly OK, vital signs normal, just nauseous and kind of stinky from having an accident in her pants.
We were really busy, and it was change of shift for the 7:30am-8pm crowd, so I knew her nurse wouldn't get to her right away. I didn't have anyone to triage at the moment, so I got the lady into a bed, changed her, washed her up, started a line, gave her some fluids and some antinausea medication, all the while reassuring her daughter (who had to sit down and put her head between her legs several times as I bandaged her mom's bloody head and face) that everything was ok. I even took the daughter outside onto the ambulance ramp to get some air and drink some apple juice, because she was looking super green around the gills. I gave report on the patient to her nurse, and then went back to my post to triage other ambulances that were coming in.
The daughter kept coming back to me: "My mother's cold" (I gave her a blanket) "She has to go to the bathroom again" (I called a tech to get her a bedpan) "She feels like she's having chills!" Finally I reminded the daughter that the person taking care of her mom was Nurse So-and-So, and that she'd have to speak to him about further care.
Then we got a notification: a woman who had had premature labor with a stillborn baby and who was hemorrhaging, and who hadn't delivered the placenta yet. The resuscitation team headed to the trauma room, and as the ambulance triage nurse, it's my job to get the patient's information and help the team out in any way I can. We're all prepared, the ambulance rolls in, and the woman looks pretty bad--bleeding heavily, pale, lethargic, with a very low blood pressure. We all swing into action, and as the paramedics roll the patient into the room, I hear them saying, "Ma'am, please step back, we need to get through here!"
I'm getting vital signs on the woman and setting up fluids in the rapid infuser, when I hear, "Excuse me!" I turn around, and the daughter of the woman who syncopized is standing in the middle of the action, tapping me on the shoulder.
"Ma'am!" I say. "You can't be in here right now! Please step out of the room!"
"But my mom has a problem!"
"Ma'am, please, step back out of the room! We'll get her nurse over there as soon as we can!"
One of the techs starts guiding her to the door. As she leaves, she turns around and yells over her shoulder to me, "My mother's IV bag is empty and she is thirsty!"