Thursday, April 24, 2008


Hello friends......

Its been a while. Unfortunately the east coast has been pounded with crappy weather so we haven't flown a damn thing in days. In the meantime I have worked lots of OT in the ED. My night in the trauma room started with a relatively benign hospice nurse who rolled her car. I think the trauma workup was a bit more than she was used to... she looked more than a little shell shocked when I took over.

The next contestant on The Price is Right (or should it be Deal or No Deal...... maybe Toe Tag or No Toe Tag) was in a little worse shape. Multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and legs. Coded enroute per the medics. Let me mention that the nurse (me), the ED resident, trauma resident, intern and chief were all females. I have noticed that when we get the chicks together things tend to run much more smoothly. There don't seem to be the egos and loud voices to deal with. So this guy rolls in with CPR in progress..... with an estimated down time of between 8 and 20 minutes. Pardon me, but that's a big fucking difference. At 8 minutes, or with a loss of pulse enroute we will crack a chest (thorocotomy). Greater than that there is smaller than a slim chance that we can do a thing. After looking at the wound we concluded that there was NO WAY that this guy ever had a pulse for EMS. To quote the cop "he was dead as five motherfuckers when he rolled in the door." The hole in his chest was huge, dead center and close enough that there were contact burns and gun powder present. It honestly looked bigger than a silver dollar. So he was pronounced pretty quickly. So fast in fact that the police had not even arrived yet.

The ME was pretty anxious to get this guy on his table. My theory.... it was only 2200 and he wanted to get to cutting and get home at a decent hour. So for the second time in my career I took a body to the morgue. For such a big teaching hospital our morgue is pretty damn small. There are 12 drawers, uppers and lowers.... sort of like big filing cabinets. One is devoted to babies.... I don't know how many can go in that drawer. One is for "parts" (that's what the door said). All of the bottom drawers on one side are "double bunks." The rolling tables have upper and lower shelves. There are two larger drawers for larger patients. I even noticed an industrial lift.... for those same patients I guess. Its cool, but not cold in there.... and quiet as only the morgue can be.

The rest of my night was pretty unremarkable. The crazies have been out and about and the warm weather isn't helping things. Am back in the ER for one more shift tomorrow night before the cop and I leave for our first anniversary next weekend.


Blogger Paradise Driver said...


It has been a year, hasn't it?


Where will you be celebrating your anniversary?

12:42 AM  
Blogger battynurse said...

I went to the morgue once when I was a really new nurse and helping my CNA with a patient who had passed. It was sort of an odd place but didn't seem overly creepy. Of course I wasn't there by myself either.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Shauna said...

I'm THRILLED that I stumbled across your blog! I left the ER/Trauma Center in 2004 to work as a physician extender for a cardiologist/electrophysiologist...however have not ever really gotten over leaving the ER (I can't believe I still miss it). Maybe I can live vicariously through you!

8:45 PM  

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