I had a brain-drain a few weeks ago and thought I might enjoy going back to work in an Emergency Room and doing some real nursing, unlike what I've been doing in the schools. After talking to the Director of Emergency Services at Del Sol Medical Center, I was a little overwhelmed at how much things have changed from my wonderful Thomason days. But not to be deterred, I dove into the ER Orientation manual they gave me. It was daunting from the very first page.
The director said Del Sol, which is now a Level II trauma center, would, by next year become a Level IV. That means they'll be able to accept critically injured/ill patients most of the time, but the "good ones" as we call them, will still end up at Thomason, because they're a Level V trauma center (it's a staffing issue). A Level V trauma center is a good place to be if you're in really bad shape.
Del Sol is also putting together a first rate Cardiac unit in their ER. That's when I really panicked! I've never felt really confident with cardiac patients. I've always known WHAT to do for the patient, but never really WHY I did it. That goes all the way back to having a really sad anatomy and physiology class - one that was structured for athletes only, not medical people. We learned things like where the heart was located, that we had a brain, and there are 206 bones in the body. We didn't have to name them, just know how many there were! We also learned that the Good Lord must have been tired when he created the knee because it wasn't a particularly well-constructed joint!! I kid you not!
So that's where my new best friend comes in. We spend ALOT of time together, on the couch. I examine every part of my friend and try to soak up everything I see. It's a one-sided relationship as my new friend just sits there. Ummmm, I apologize...let me introduce you to my new best friend:
My friend is teaching me the anatomy and physiology of the heart with pictures like this:
I know, I know...they look like cartoon drawings, but au contraire! This is one of the most complex and confusing topics I've ever embarked upon! What ever happened to good old TRAUMA! Give me blood and guts and I'm happy! That's what ER's are all about! People with cardiac problems should go to....well, I guess the ER! So I need to smarten up! So give me a few weeks before you have a problem with your heart, or just hope I won't be on duty when you arrive!
My new best friend is beckoning. I must leave you now!