No, I don't HAVE the swine flu. But dealing with all the people who think they do is really getting on my nerves.
We had a very well-publicized death from the swine flu in our area recently (THANKS MEDIA!!), and yesterday had a huge upswing in visits from people "who need to get checked out."
I've had to explain eight gazillion times that:
-We don't swab for ANY flu if the patient is not sick enough to be hospitalized.
-If you don't have any symptoms, we can't "check you" for the flu.
-A slight cough, low-grade fever, and some body aches is not enough to get you hospitalized if you are a generally healthy person.
PLEASE TAKE OFF THE FREAKING MASKS ALREADY IF YOU ARE NOT SICK!!!! What I especially love is all the people walking around with the masks slung around their necks. The whole hospital looks like our surgery floor. Oh, and PLEASE stop asking for gloves. Just go wash your hands or use some hand sanitizer.
The most amusing episode in all of this was last night. The "asthma" area was full of wheezing people, thanks to our record-high pollen levels and fluctuating weather patterns. Two young women sit next to each other: an African-American girl and a white, Eastern European girl. The African-American girl is wheezing, coughing, feverish, has an obvious runny nose and looks unwell. The Eastern European girl has a low-grade fever with slight abdominal pain and vomited once.
One of my least favorite doctors swooped in and moved the Eastern European girl off to a bed, complete with mask on "because this might be the real deal." Uh huh. On further investigation, the African-American girl? Lives at the epicenter of all of the swine flu madness, and everyone in her family is sick. If you ask me, THIS lady is the one in contention for "the real deal." I found a spot for her to lie down and gave her a mask. She got admitted, and the swab was pending when I left to go home last night.
I can't shake my feeling that the doc moved the Eastern European patient to a bed because she bore a strong resemblance to his wife.