Things I have learned and or learning in the ER:
!. The definition of a fungating carcinoma (look it up and look at a picture)
2. That it is impossible to diagnose everyone with something…sometimes “of unknown etiology” is the best you can do…arrrrggghhh!!
3. If you can see a patient , get lab results and/or x-ray results, and get them discharged in under two hours…you have hit a home run!
4. That the patients WILL NOT stop coming in the door, therefore it is up to me to go get something to eat or go to the bathroom…because there will never be any downtime!
5. Just LISTENING to a patient apparently makes them feel better…I have had several patients and their families tell me I am a great listener and appear to care…of course all of the caring in the world is useless if I can’t figure out what is actually wrong with them!! (See number 2)
6. A seemingly harmless tooth abcess can actually turn into a major abcess that prompts the radiologist to call looking for the one (me) who ordered the CT of the head….lesson learned! If in doubt, order the darn test!! It’s never good when the radiologist calls to give the report over the phone instead of wait to dictate it!!
7. Just because someone doesn’t act like they are in much pain (even if a horse rolls over the top of them), they just might actually have their whole darn elbow broken off!! (Another lesson learned, don’t always trust a patient if they say they don’t really hurt)!
8. Apparently one can be too friendly to people (not patients)…and get themselves in trouble without even realizing what happened….(very hard lesson learned)
9. Do not EVER as a new NP pick up the chart that says room 1!! Room one if for the very sick and the trauma patients…embarrassing lesson learned!!
10. Having a background in women’s health has been what has made me feel confident on the days that I just want to go cry in the bathroom (and sometimes I do). My women’s health patients give me the incentive to carry on and hold my head up when I feel inadequate….