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CAROL PERKINS: Emergency Room & flaw of HS aptitude tests

In an Army aptitude test the author took while at Metcalfe County High School in Edmonton, KY, she scored highest to be a nurse. But in retrospect, she finds that she was meant to be one - and takes an introspective look at why she probably wasn't cut out to answer this so important calling.
Next earlier Carol Perkins article: Carol Perkins: Thoughts after studying MCHS Class of '64 picture Posted June 17, 2014

By Carol Perkins

I can count the times on one hand that I have been with someone to the emergency room, and I have never been there for myself. I should be thankful. I happened to be in a situation that needed me to take someone to the emergency room twice in the last month.

One time it was in the wee hours of the morning, so the wait was minimal, and within a few hours the patient was released and we were on our way home. The last time was around nine o'clock and the emergency room was hopping.

Patient was quickly seen on first visit

There was a patient lying on the floor, obviously very sick. Many were with family members, so it was hard to tell who was the patient and who came along. Once again, we didn't have to wait long before the person needing attention was taken to a room so her blood pressure, which was high, could be monitored immediately.

Within a few minutes a nurse and a technician ran an EKG and drew blood. Within a short period of time the nurse practitioner examined the patient and worked with her to get her blood pressure down. I was impressed with the immediate care. Then the wait began.

Began to wonder if patient had been lost in the shuffle

Between that time a stretcher rolled by the room, police officers wandered around, and nurses were scrambling. At eleven o'clock I was beginning to wonder if we had been lost in the shuffle, so I went out and stood by the door. I paced. Everyone was busy, so I went back into the room and continued to wait for someone to come in and give us tests results or something.

By then my feet were swelling from sitting so long, so I got back up again and went to the door just to break the monotony. A nurse came by and asked if I needed anything and I said, "I was just afraid we had been forgotten."

"No, we are just so busy. Is there anything wrong?" I knew I had said the wrong thing.

Didn't like own self-centered attitude

"Just getting antsy," I said. I knew the patient would be sent home and they could use the bed. Self-centered and thinking of getting home, I didn't like my attitude and went back, sat down, and vowed to keep quiet.

Then I felt embarrassed when the nurse practitioner almost immediately came in with the results (which were good) and released the patient and told her to wait for the nurse to unhook her. The nurse came in shortly and apologized for not coming back sooner but they had been very busy. I could have kicked myself.

By midnight every chiar in the waiting room was filled

By midnight when we came through the waiting room on our way to the car, every chair in the waiting room was filled. I realized just how busy those nurses and the one doctor and the one nurse practitioner were. My impatience was unjustified.

Finds the flaw in the Army's aptitude test

When I was in high school and took the standard aptitude test that was given by the Army each year, my strongest aptitude was in nursing. It was at that moment that I realized the flaw of the test. Nursing would never have been a strong point for me because I am not good with trauma unless I have to be. I would not choose to be an ER nurse because of what situations come through the doors, day and night, from serious injuries, heart attacks, car wrecks, overdoses, children who break bones, old people who fall, and all the other things people go through and need immediate help.

Each thinks his is the worst and needs attention first. Thank goodness for those who work in this profession and people like me, who find themselves sitting in a cubicle for longer than they think they should, just need sit still and be calm and let those in charge do their jobs and save lives. - CAROL PERKINS

This story was posted on 2014-06-15 05:42:04
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