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That's Just So WRONG! -Then Again, It Makes Sense...
2/18/2008 | 60Gunner

Posted on 02/18/2008 3:21:25 AM PST by 60Gunner

It was about 4PM on a Sunday. The waiting area was packed with malingering whiney-baws, harried soccer moms and their bruised, violent hooligans, armchair football warriors who tripped over their coffee tables and sacked themselves- right into the TV-, and the "Bucket Brigade" (seasonal GI bug sufferers). I was float RN and I was covering the Charge RN for a lunch break when the Charge RN's phone rang; I picked it up. On the other end was the Triage RN. Her rather hushed tone was laden with, oh, I don't know... a strange, pressured awkwardness, I suppose.

(I am here to tell you: it's damned hard for an ER nurse to feel awkward. Just think of all those tubes we wave around and where we put them.)

Awkwardness usually is not an issue with us unless we encounter something so shockingly unexpected that our brains just sort of go Gah-WOOOOO-gah. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it can be entertaining.

...Such as in the case of the conversation I was having with the triage nurse.

"Why are you whispering?" I asked.

"I don't want them to hear me," she answered with a very strange lilt and timbre to her voice.

Let me try to recreate the nurse's tone of voice for the reader. Imagine you and your friend are in Dracula's castle and you have found your way to the vampire's crypt. It's pitch dark down there, and your friend lights a match while you are turned the other way. There, illuminated before your friend's eyes by the frail light of the lit match, is the Ole Bloodsucker himself... sound asleep in his coffin.

...But the Count also happens to be dressed in a neon yellow tutu, a huge green foam-rubber cowboy hat, a blue feather boa, and bright red patent-leather seven-inch platform shoes. Oh, wait, wait... And he has on those really, REALLY HUGE plastic sunglasses.

(I know what you're thinking: "Hey, wait! That's Elton John!" Well, that's just ridiculous. Stop being silly.)

Anyway, having recovered from the inital shock, your friend says to you in a voice that tries to convey the full color of what he sees without waking the monster, "Um, there is something over here that might interest you..."

Are you imagining that tone of voice? Yes, that's what I was hearing.

"Okay," I said with an exasperated sigh. "You don't want who to hear you?"

"The strippers!" she snapped in a hissed whisper over the phone (which was, I may point out, actually loud enough to awaken the Count and send him into a frenzy of... of... hmm... well, into a frenzy of whatever the hell he was doing wearing that preposterous getup).

"Strippers!?" I blurted out. The entire Western Hemisphere turned around to look at me. I smiled wanly. It was my turn to feel awkward.

"Yes. Strippers."

"How many?" I asked. Now I really had coworkers tilting their heads toward me to listen. This was looking bad- really bad.

"Six," the triage nurse reported.

"Well, what do they want?" I asked, as if they were a 60 Minutes crew coming to do an ambush interview. (I still roll my eyes at myself.)

"Umm, they say they want to be seen," The triage nurse replied.

"Why else would they be strippers?" I asked drily. (I'm sorry, but I really did say it. It just sort of slipped.)

"Dammit, that's not funny!" she hissed.

"Okay. Okay. I'm sorry." I said, drawing another very heavy sigh and rubbing my eyes. "What are their chief complaints?"

"They are all the same," she answered.

"Hmm... okay, I'll ask. What is it?"

"Rash," the nurse answered flatly.

"Rash?"

"Rash."

After fighting very, very hard to keep imagery and snappy remarks at bay, I asked, "Do they have fevers?"

"Umm..." I heard the nurse rifling through papers; then, "No."

I looked at the bed board. Quick Care was just opening, and had ten beds. All the other patients were going to need more complex care, and those beds were opening up soon.

"Okay. Send the six of them to Quick Care along with the two people with finger lacs (cuts), the migraine patient, and the one with the ankle injury.

"The ankle injury has a nine-year-old son with her."

"Put her in a room that has a DOOR."

"Okayyyyyy. Bye-bye."

I hung up the phone. The Charge RN arrived from lunch a few minutes later.

"Everything okay?" she asked.

"Yep. No problems," I said.

"Great. Let's see here," she said, looking at the assignment sheet. "Oh!" Quick care is full, and there is only one nurse and no ED Tech. Why don't you go help them out until 1900?"

(Cue Symphony of "Oh, Crap" in D minor.)

"Uh, sure. Okay."

The Charge nurse tilted her head, looked closely at me, and asked, "Are you okay?"

I must have actually gone pale. I thought I just thought pale.

"Yeah. I'm okay."

I walked like a condemned man to Quick Care.

The, um, entertainers were given their own rooms, handed warm blankets, and instructed to change in to the gowns provided to them. I gave them time by seeing first the ankle injury, and then the migraine (a frequent flyer). Grabbing the first clipboard, I knocked on the wall and asked the patient if I could come in.

"Sure," she answered.

I pulled the curtain and walked through. The woman had her gown on "Hollywood style" (that is, open in the front). And untied. Hanging rather loosely open. (If they were real, they were spectacular.)

While looking at my shoes, I instructed the patient that the gown was to be open in the back (in the BACK, for God's sake) and exited the room.

It was the same with the other five strippers.

During the interval in which the strippers were correcting their gowns, the MD came in. It was the darling, slight, quiet, staid MD from Ole Miss herself.

Dear God, I am sorry for whatever it was I did to deserve this fate. Please can you make it stop now?

The MD hummed to herself as she looked through the charts. Looking at the migraine sufferer's chart, she asked, "Typical migraine?"

"Yes, Ma'am."

"She has a clinical alert. No narcotics. It's Toradol and Compazine IM for her," she said, scrawling the order on the chart.

"Got it. I have also put in the order for a three-view ankle X-ray for the patient in Nine. Status-post hysterectomy."

"Great!" chirped Ole Miss.

"Both finger lacs have up-to-date tetanus shots, and have been infiltrated by Mags (the other RN).

"Awesome." The MD then began looking over the remaining six charts. After the third stripper's chart, the humming stopped and Ole Miss furrowed her brow.

"We have six patients with rashes."

"Yes, we do. They are all entertainers from the same, um, establishment."

Ole Miss looked up at me and cocked an eyebrow. Then she caught my meaning.

"You mean they're all strippers..." The MD said flatly.

"Uh, yes. They are all strippers."

"Oh, crap. They never learn, do they?" the MD said as she turned on her heel and strode to the first stripper's room. After knocking, the MD entered the room as I followed her with the patient's chart.

"Where is your rash?" asked Ole Miss.

"Oh, it's all over!" answered the stripper, who stripped off her entire gown to emphasize her point.

Oh, God. Get me out of this.

The reddened areas were, indeed, everywhere, but in a discreet pattern. The patient had red areas to her inner forearms, her inner upper arms, between her breasts, running in a straight line down her abdomen, along both inner thighs, and on her inner calves.

"That's not a rash. That's cellulitis." The MD said.

"What's that?" the stripper asked.

"A bacterial skin infection." The MD answered. She scribbled an order for an oral antibiotic on the chart and departed the room. I told the stripper to please (PLEASE!) put her gown back on and left the room.

I caught up with the MD in the next stripper's room. Same nonchalant exposure, same pattern of reddened skin, same diagnosis. Same plea to re-cover. Same hasty retreat.

The scene was repeated on down the line. Finally, completely exasperated, the MD had all six strippers get dressed (inasmuch as their street clothes allowed for it) and come into one exam room.

Having gathered the girls together, the MD handed discharge instructions and prescriptions to each girl, sat down heavily, sighed, and finally poleaxed the six of them with an icy glare and four words:

"WASH. THE. DAMN. POLE!"

The MD then stood up and left the room, shaking her head.

The strippers looked at each other with "Hey, wowwwwwww" expressions. The light came on for a moment- perhaps flickering and crackling from a short in the wiring somewhere, but at least it was on.

I handed each a large, hideously bitter antibiotic tablet and a cup of water.

"Umm... any questions?"


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: 60gunner; badhygiene; emergencynursing; ernursing; washthedamnpole
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1 posted on 02/18/2008 3:21:27 AM PST by 60Gunner
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To: 60Gunner

ER Nursing Stories ping!


2 posted on 02/18/2008 3:22:29 AM PST by 60Gunner (Please tell me the roads are clear so I can go home...)
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To: 60Gunner

Ah needs pitchers.


3 posted on 02/18/2008 3:27:48 AM PST by MARTIAL MONK
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To: 60Gunner

If only prostitutes would take the same advice.


4 posted on 02/18/2008 3:29:41 AM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: 60Gunner

Oh my gosh!!!! Funny...but ick


5 posted on 02/18/2008 3:30:08 AM PST by Diva
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To: Mr Ramsbotham

ROTFLOL


6 posted on 02/18/2008 3:30:50 AM PST by Jet Jaguar (Who would the terrorists vote for?)
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To: 60Gunner

Paging Dr. House: You’re needed in the clinic.


7 posted on 02/18/2008 3:35:17 AM PST by alancarp (How many millions have to break a law before it's inconvenient to enforce?)
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To: 60Gunner; nicmarlo

I’m sorry, but your writing skills, if applied in the proper venue, would definitely be more profitable than your occupation which is, albeit,interesting at times.

You have a gift, that needs to be cultivated for many readers to enjoy.


8 posted on 02/18/2008 3:43:07 AM PST by Halgr (Once a Marine, always a Marine - Semper Fi)
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To: Halgr

I’m working on it, Halgr.

By the way: thanks for your service. Semper Fi, sir, and God bless you.

/Gunner sends


9 posted on 02/18/2008 3:50:48 AM PST by 60Gunner (Please tell me the roads are clear so I can go home...)
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To: 60Gunner

Thanks for the laughs, sir. My skin is crawling now at the thought of this.


10 posted on 02/18/2008 4:09:09 AM PST by Grandma Pam
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To: Xenalyte

This needs to go to the Salacious Ping list.

-Eric

11 posted on 02/18/2008 4:16:31 AM PST by E Rocc (Resident smartass and Myspace Freepers group moderator.)
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To: 60Gunner
You need a blog, even a Myspace one. Stuff like this is TFF to be buried by the traffic here.

Oh, add me to that list please, I'm no nurse but my better half is....

-Eric

12 posted on 02/18/2008 4:18:26 AM PST by E Rocc (Resident smartass and Myspace Freepers group moderator.)
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To: 60Gunner

FUNNNNY! You are working on a book, I trust? Hey, the publishers would love a paperback for next Christmas sales. Through the roof on sales.


13 posted on 02/18/2008 4:22:02 AM PST by kitkat
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To: E Rocc; pax_et_bonum

I agree, and I second the ping.


14 posted on 02/18/2008 5:48:13 AM PST by Xenalyte (Can you count, suckas? I say the future is ours . . . if you can count.)
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To: 60Gunner

LMAO here! Niiiice!


15 posted on 02/18/2008 5:54:56 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: 60Gunner

Well written, and well done!


16 posted on 02/18/2008 6:06:01 AM PST by MortMan (Those who stand for nothing fall for anything. - Alexander Hamilton)
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To: Halgr; 60Gunner
FOFLOL!!! Best laugh of the week....nothing will top this one. Thanks for the ping, Halgr. hehehe

You have a gift, that needs to be cultivated for many readers to enjoy.

That's an understatement! Great talent, really.

17 posted on 02/18/2008 6:42:57 AM PST by nicmarlo
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To: 60Gunner
"Umm... any questions?"

Yeah.

I told the stripper to please (PLEASE!) put her gown back on and left the room.

Are you nuts?

18 posted on 02/18/2008 8:25:01 AM PST by lowbridge
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To: lowbridge
"Are you nuts?"

I would guess that at some point, the sight becomes routine.

-Eric

19 posted on 02/18/2008 8:48:37 AM PST by E Rocc (Resident smartass and Myspace Freepers group moderator.)
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To: MaryFromMichigan; SunnyUsa; bad company; RobFromGa; doodlelady; Slings and Arrows; NonValueAdded; ..

Ping


20 posted on 02/18/2008 3:09:11 PM PST by 60Gunner (Please tell me the roads are clear so I can go home...)
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To: E Rocc

Pretty much. Ya seen two, ya seen ‘em both.


21 posted on 02/18/2008 3:20:14 PM PST by 60Gunner (Please tell me the roads are clear so I can go home...)
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To: 60Gunner
The woman had her gown on "Hollywood style" (that is, open in the front). And untied. Hanging rather loosely open. (If they were real, they were spectacular.)

Hilarious story!!! The description of the vampire sighting 'whispered tone' was so perfect

I wish I worked with you - you are so funny!

22 posted on 02/18/2008 3:22:51 PM PST by SunnyUsa (I'm not one of those "who are we to judge?" people)
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To: 60Gunner

It’s possible that is the funniest thing I’ve heard in a very long time - Great job!


23 posted on 02/18/2008 3:25:25 PM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: 60Gunner
Oh, God. Get me out of this.

Funny, but maybe thou dost protest too much, especially after admitting the sights were spectacular.

24 posted on 02/18/2008 3:25:32 PM PST by wideminded
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To: 60Gunner
Toradol and Compazine IM

With a slow push-in right? That's my drug combo of choice - unlike with narcotics, I can function the next day

25 posted on 02/18/2008 3:25:59 PM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: 60Gunner

That was great!


26 posted on 02/18/2008 3:26:44 PM PST by Volunteer (Just so you know, I am ashamed the Dixie Chicks make records in Nashville.)
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To: 60Gunner

Great story! Thanks for the ping!


27 posted on 02/18/2008 3:27:58 PM PST by alicewonders (Conservative without a country.)
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To: 60Gunner

I hate you! You write too well. You need a blog (blogger.com is good), and an editor to redline the too many asides.


28 posted on 02/18/2008 3:29:27 PM PST by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
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To: SoftballMominVA

Always with a slow push in. It’s merciful that way. I have never had either of the two, but have been told that it is excruciatingly painful to have “slammed” in.


29 posted on 02/18/2008 3:32:30 PM PST by 60Gunner (Please tell me the roads are clear so I can go home...)
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To: 60Gunner

LMAO


30 posted on 02/18/2008 3:33:53 PM PST by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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To: 60Gunner

Well, that would certainly rate as a change of pace from our main ER’s after-dark clientèle of shooting, stabbing, and bludgeoning victims.


31 posted on 02/18/2008 3:34:27 PM PST by 300winmag (Life is hard! It is even harder when you are stupid!)
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To: 60Gunner

Wash the damn pole! ROFL!

Glad to get this ping. Was wondering what you’ve been up to lately.

Again, I agree with others that you need to put a book together!


32 posted on 02/18/2008 4:13:55 PM PST by Theresawithanh (Get yours now. By election time, clothespins will be in short supply.)
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To: 60Gunner; mhking

Just Damn.....


33 posted on 02/18/2008 4:32:09 PM PST by roaddog727 (BS does not get bridges built)
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To: 60Gunner

It’s been a while!


34 posted on 02/18/2008 5:04:45 PM PST by steveo (Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.)
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To: 60Gunner

Much obliged my good man, I was just commenting today that I had not heard from y’all for a while

Thanks for the fix

Regards

alfa6 ;>}


35 posted on 02/18/2008 5:17:02 PM PST by alfa6
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To: 60Gunner; MeekOneGOP; Conspiracy Guy; DocRock; King Prout; Darksheare; OSHA; martin_fierro; ...
Welcome back, 60Gunner! That was...wow!


36 posted on 02/18/2008 5:22:03 PM PST by Slings and Arrows ("Those who surrender personal liberty for lower global temperatures will receive neither."--weegee)
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To: 60Gunner

This is my first ping from you Gunner.

It was real and it was spectacular!!!

Bravo!!


37 posted on 02/18/2008 5:31:35 PM PST by RedRightReturn (Do you know how to catch wild pigs?)
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To: 60Gunner

LOL!!


38 posted on 02/18/2008 5:50:56 PM PST by arizonarachel (Our miracle is finally here! Check my profile to see a pic!)
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To: 60Gunner

Oh man.... I am ROTFLMAO!!!

Funny stuff!!!


39 posted on 02/18/2008 5:51:16 PM PST by Ronin (Bushed out!!! Another tragic victim of BDS.)
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To: callisto

Need a laugh?


40 posted on 02/18/2008 6:01:10 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Understated

I know you’ll love this story.


41 posted on 02/18/2008 6:08:00 PM PST by DeLaine (Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it the most.)
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To: 60Gunner

I’ve read some of your other anecdotes, and this one takes the cake! You really need a publisher....


42 posted on 02/18/2008 6:11:44 PM PST by Maigrey (Personally, I carry a gun because Iím too young to die and too old to take an ass kickiní.)
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To: 60Gunner
[From his homepage] "...and indulging in a nice, peaty, aged single-malt scotch- neat."

Me, too. Glenfiddich will do in a pinch, eh? I even like some blends on occasion, such as Royal Salute.
In any event...freekin' hi-larious! The next round is on me! The next time you're in Indianapolis, of course...

43 posted on 02/18/2008 7:37:09 PM PST by Ignatz (Hi-jacking threads without reading the article since 9/2000!)
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To: alancarp
Paging Dr. House: You’re needed in the clinic

Wait a minute... gotta find my Vicodin

44 posted on 02/18/2008 9:12:51 PM PST by glock rocks (...an orange Toyota? Tell me I'm going to wake up soon...)
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To: humblegunner; Eaker; Squantos; B4Ranch

Okay, I swear that stage got hosed down just last month.


45 posted on 02/18/2008 9:15:38 PM PST by glock rocks (...an orange Toyota? Tell me I'm going to wake up soon...)
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To: 60Gunner

Hee hee hee

You learn something new every day. I never thought this was a job risk for strippers..... but then again, I never thought about strippers.

Nice job.


46 posted on 02/18/2008 9:17:43 PM PST by Grammy
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To: 60Gunner

Very well written and informative. (Humor helped!) God Bless the really good nurses and doctors. God help the rest.....including the strippers.


47 posted on 02/18/2008 11:54:09 PM PST by Freedom2specul8 (Please pray for our troops.... http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/)
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To: alancarp

We Love House... :)


48 posted on 02/18/2008 11:54:34 PM PST by Freedom2specul8 (Please pray for our troops.... http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/)
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To: wideminded; Slings and Arrows; 60Gunner
upon first assumption, I was expecting the strippers to be transvestites.. (thinking about dracula and all.. LOL~)
49 posted on 02/18/2008 11:57:21 PM PST by Freedom2specul8 (Please pray for our troops.... http://anyservicemember.navy.mil/)
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To: 60Gunner

Good one!


50 posted on 02/19/2008 6:33:17 AM PST by r9etb
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