Among the many patients waiting for a telemetry bed was a rather large gentleman with a history of heart disease and arrhythmias. He was sitting in his bed eating dinner when the resident went to re-evaluate him. As the resident approached the patient’s bed he became concerned with the tracing on the monitor. In a nervous voice he yelled across the ED “Dr. Whitecoat! Come quick! The patient in Bed 8 is in slow ventricular tachycardia!”
One of my favorite nurses raised her eyebrows and saw that the patient was busily finishing his peach cobbler – oblivious to the frantic calls for help. She slowly sauntered toward the patient’s bed. As I poked my head out from behind Curtain Number Three, my hands full of blood from the squirting dialysis graft, I saw the nurse do a U-turn in the hall, shake her head, and mutter over her shoulder “that’s the pulse oximeter you dumbass.” The resident looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, and said “I’m so embarrassed.”
I really do love my job (and the people I work with).