I Silently Mouth WTF?


So it was a pretty slow night in our local emergency room. Nothing too bad was coming through the doors, mostly walk-ins and only one or two ambulances. I had only done a few stitches and prescribed some medicine for strep. All in all, it was a pretty great night. Most of the staff, nurses, doctors, and even orderlies were about to get off when the next shift came in including me. But knowing my luck something was going to happen and I was going to end up there until the morning.

Then an ambulance came in, everyone scattered leaving me to take care of the new intake who was walking into the E.R. with the two medics. It turns out that I had a healthy 20 years old come in at around 3 am. His complaint? He could not feel his pulse. Even though the EMT’s had spent the last hours showing him that he, in fact, did have a pulse. He demanded to be seen, for them to take him to the hospital so he could talk to a person who really knew what they were talking about. So I spent three hours after my shift was supposed to be over, with an adult, who clearly finished high school and should know simple biology, teaching him how to check a pulse. I also had to explain to him that if he was awake enough to worry about having a pulse and needing to check it that he definitely has one.