Here are some common misconceptions that patients have about the ER and ER nursing. Like @mursewisdom if you have questions or want to hear the unedited truth about life in nursing or life in the ER, hit me up.
Top Ten Misconceptions from the patient’s view of the Emergency Room.
1. Prescription Drugs are a “magic bullet” that will fix everything immediately. This is not usually the case.
2. To you it’s an emergency (and we respect that), but to us it’s another day at the office. We deal with emergencies all the time. If you see us running and stressed out, it’s a bad thing.
3. There is not a magic shot that we take so we don’t get sick. (I’ve actually been asked about this). In actuality, we are exposed to so much we build up a significant immunity.
4. The emergency room is a place to manage your chronic pain or conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. In actuality, this is not the case because there is a good chance you won’t see the same doctor every time and that’s what the primary care doctor is for.
5. The emergency room is a place where you are brought back immediately and diagnosed quickly after all it’s an emergency room. If you are brought back immediately you are a very sick person and diagnosis takes several hours and involves lab work, x-rays, CAT scans, and numerous other diagnostic tools.
6. I know you don’t trust this doctor and think he’s a quack and I have to listen to you tell me that without saying anything but please know that I would in fact trust this doctor with my life. It’s you that I don’t know or trust after all like House says “Everybody lies.”
7. Acting a fool in the Emergency Room will get you attention however it will probably be in the form of being restrained and then tied to the bed and if you continue to act out, the police will be contacted.
8. You are angry that it’s taken the doctor 2hours to come see you for your fever. I understand that and I will apologize immensely; however, there are times I want to drag you into a room of someone we are working hard to save and show you what a true emergency is.
9. Patients are all treated the same. While in a perfect world this should be true, in fact, if you respect me and the situations that I’m placing myself in and I will go out of my way to make sure that your ER visit is as unstressful as possible. Give respect, get respect.
10. ER Nurses don’t care. While these misconceptions may seem cynical (and I won’t deny that), nurses do care. Patients don’t see us go home and cry about the family that lost their baby or see us go home and watch our children sleep and thanking God that we still get that chance. ER Nurses care immensely and that’s probably why we become cynical because for every life we save there are 10 bullshit cases that don't belong there. We have saved lives and lost lives but we still go to work every day hoping to make a difference to someone.