Aug 28, 2018 - Things to Do

Confessions of a Charlotte ER nurse

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Note: Love confessions? Here’s the entire confessions series collection. If you’d like to participate, please email [email protected]. We promise to keep you anonymous.

There’s no denying that the healthcare professionals who work in the emergency room see the craziest stuff that comes into the hospital. One Charlotte ER nurse shared her stories about doctor/nurse affairs, wheelchair births and ken doll heads. Here are her confessions:

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen in the ER?

A patient was complaining of abdominal pain and cramping. Turns out she was pregnant but unsure of how far along and literally gave birth in the wheelchair while checking in to the ER.

Another man checked in with a large laceration to his upper bicep. He claimed he got the cut “slicing carrots” but later confessed that his girlfriend did the dicing.

Have you ever seen any staff make a mistake that further injured a patient?

Thankfully I haven’t witnessed this in my unit, but I have heard of this happening elsewhere. Mistakes are inevitable if a nurse is exhausted or stretched thin due to low staffing. Brand new nurses are especially bound to make mistakes because 1) they’re new, and 2) they’re afraid to ask questions.

What’s something most people don’t know about working in a hospital?

I’ve seen multiple doctors leave a patient’s room and NOT wash their hands and then go directly into another patient’s room. It’s disgusting and a little hint of how diseases and germs get spread. It was so bad for a while that we had weekly meetings and “handwashing monitors” to ensure that everyone was washing their hands appropriately.

Have you ever seen a patient die?

I’ve seen many pass and it’s never easy, no matter the situation. The hardest deaths were always children and cancer patients.

One shift, EMS brought in a patient from a local restaurant who went unresponsive celebrating his birthday with his family—we were the same age. I felt heartbroken yet grateful; it was a stark reminder of how precious life truly is.

I’ve left many shifts crying into my steering wheel, but nurses are a tight-knit group. We lean on each other for support.

What are the most common reasons people end up in the ER?

It varies depending on the time of year.

In the summer: breathing issues, broken bones (bike accidents, sports injuries) and water accidents are most common.

In the winter: pneumonia and the flu are super prevalent.

Alcohol and drugs in the Charlotte area always play a role no matter what time of year.

Do doctors and nurses hookup up like on Grey’s Anatomy?

Healthcare professionals definitely s*** where they eat (and marriage doesn’t always stop them from trying to hook up with fellow coworkers). Holiday parties always reveal the darkest secrets of alcohol-infused hookups between coworkers.

Any stories about people getting objects stuck in weird places?

I had a patient who made a sex toy out of Ken doll heads. He had to get surgery to remove them.

Any other confessions?

The STD problem in Charlotte is crazy. I once had a group of FIVE who checked in. They had all been doing cocaine and couldn’t remember anything they did on their binge… turns out they all had the clap.

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