Friday, 27 March 2009

The Rules of my Unit

The bullet entered the right anterior chest, perforated the lung and exited through the right lateral chest wall and re-entered the right upper arm, fracturing the right humerus. The patient suffered a right haemo-pneumothorax, but was okay after treatment. The X-Ray is an AP seated chest view

Here are some tips for those who may end up in my ER/Unit.

When you present to the triage nurse, do not tell her that either your doctor or NHS Direct called ahead or advised you to come here. If you survey our waiting area, probably 50% of the people waiting said the same thing, and the other 50% use the Unit as their regular doctor.

Never start out by saying, "I was searching the Internet . . . "

When asked how much you weigh, please do not give the "Deer-In-The-Headlights Look", and tell us you "really don't know". It's a simple question with a simple answer.

Just because you have a phone and know how to call 999, we are not impressed by your arrival on an ambulance stretcher. You had better be sick Boet !

One complaint/ailment/injury per visit, please.

Just because you came in on a ambulance, doesn't mean you're going home on one. You better start making arrangements, now. I am not driving you home, or figuring out how to get you home. Taxi vouchers are not an option.And don't tell me that you have no friends or family who can fetch you or pay for your taxi fare if you have spent your entire life living in the same place.

If you have one of these four,go away and have a cup of tea: A Migraine; the Flu; a stomach virus; or a stuffy nose.

Do not ask us how long it will be. We don't know. I'm not psychic and don't know what is coming through my door 30 seconds from now.

We have priorities. We understand that you have been waiting for two hours in the waiting room. If you don't want to wait, make an appointment with a doctor. The little old lady that just walked in looking OK to you is probably having a massive heart attack. That is why she goes first.

If your child has a fever, you had damn well better give him paracetamol before coming in. DO NOT let the fever remain high just so I will believe the child has a fever. Do you want your child to have a seizure? Do you?

If you are well enough to complain about the wait, you are well enough to go home.

If you have diabetes and do not control it, you are committing slow suicide.

If you are a female between 16 and 42 and your last period was between 28-35 days ago, please don't waste our time if you are here for Abdominal Pain & Vaginal bleeding. Guess what!!?? You got your period, again.

Every time I ask you a question, I learn more about what is wrong with you. I don't care if I asked you what day it is four different times. Each time I ask, it is for a reason. Just answer the questions, regardless whether you have answered them before.

If you want something, be nice. I will go out of my way to piss off rude people.

Our definition of sick is not your definition of sick. If a member of the ER staff says that someone is sick, it means that they are in the process of DYING. They have had a massive stroke, are bleeding out, having a heart attack, or have been shot. We don't consider a kidney stone, sick. Painful, yes. Sick, no.

At any given time, one nurse has four patients.

If you can complain about the blood pressure cuff being too tight, or the IV hurting, you are not in that much pain.

Physicians and nurses are not waiters. We are not customer service representatives. This is not McDonald's , and you very well may NOT have it your way. Our job is to save your life, or at least make you feel better. If you want a pillow, two blankets, and the lights dimmed, go to the Holiday Inn

Please don't tell us how to do our job. Do we go to your place of business and tell you how to do your job?

Please don't bring in a "show and tell". If you have to fish it out of the toilet, it's really not necessary to bring it in, we will take your word. If you did fish something out of the toilet, you may not use my pen.

For more complete lists on many topics please visit :-


  1. hello, i started reading yr blog recently and i love it, you are hilarious. i particularly enjoyed this post. it should be posted on every a and e waiting room wall...not that anyone would read it. maar nou ja. i am an sa doc working in a similar town in ireland, where despite the 'recession' and many ppl being laid off every day, most ppl can apparently still afford an ipod/nintendo/portable playstation thing/fake nails/levis. (none of which i own, btw.) when i worked in sa i though ppl were stupid mainly because of environment, as in, shame you come from rural sa, there is no school... but now i realise that ppl are just stupid, despite being handed every opportunity on a plate. keep the posts coming and have a good week!

  2. Anne, I agree. Sandton to Sussex via Boston, America. All the same ...
    Fantastic post. This time I didn't drink my coffee as I was reading. I'm learning ... :)

  3. love this post xxxxxxxxxxx