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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Drama - Life in the ER, "Shock Value"

It was a dark and stormy night. Ok, not really, but it was a full moon and that could only mean one thing. Psyche patients. Leave it to a heavenly event to bring crazies out of the woodwork and into the emergency room. This night was no exception.

Paramedics had just brought me a sinister looking lad, reminiscent of Charles Manson. He was found passed out on the steps of the Ryman Auditorium and was bleeding from a minor head injury. I was told that while en route to the hospital he had become violent and had to be momentarily restrained.

The man lying before me on the stretcher was in his mid forties with long, fuzzy, brown hair and a beard to match. The few teeth he had were brown and resembled what we call "meth mouth". Being somewhat surprised at having a PYT for a nurse, he began making comments lewd enough to make a sailor blush. “I've never seen you here before,” he said.

Knowing that I needed to set boundaries with my patient I replied, “That’s a horrible pick up line and I don’t care what you have to say. Now let me see your head.”

“That’s what she said,” he spouted back.

Damn it! I had walked right in to that one. I went over to the computer and began charting while keeping an eye on my gentleman patient. Realizing he needed to raise the bar to illicit a shocking response on my part, he got creative. It took every ounce of restrain I could muster not to react to what my peripheral vision was witnessing. My smelly friend had just exposed himself and was waiting on me to turn and look, become embarrassed and run out of the room.

Calmly, I turned and looked at him, put my hands on my hips and said, “Hmm, looks like a penis, only smaller.” I then turned and walked out. I gave him a few minutes to regain his composure before going back in the room and, believe it or not, I had no trouble out of him for the rest of the night.

Don't mess with Nurse Ratched!