Ugh. I hate being on call. It's nerve wracking wondering if you'll get called in, you can't do anything because of said possibility of being called in, and all the "special" patients show up on the weekends. Granted, we get our fair share of "special" patients during the week, but on call is so much worse because you're all alone.....
Got the initial call around 10a. ER wants a V/Q and were rather snippy when I called for information. Off I went to go save a life. Except, when I got in, there was not only the initial V/Q scan, but a HIDA as well. And the timestamp on the HIDA? 7a. STAT. And no one called me. The floor was very confused as to why I hadn't been called in, but were much cooler than the ER about the delay.
I can't go any faster
There's usually about an hour turn around time from when I call the nuclear pharmacy and they deliver the radiotracers. Longer if I end up with a surprise (typically, I'll call as I'm on my way in so I'm not sitting around twiddling my thumbs as long). That's just the way it is and I can't speed it up. The ER was apparently getting twitchy about the V/Q and had the operator page me again
. As I'm standing in my hot lab checking in the box. As in ALREADY IN THE HOSPITAL!
I told the ER to chill, I was getting ready to send for the patient. Quit bugging me.
I try to leave and they suck me back in
At long last, I had finished both the V/Q and the HIDA. All I had to do was stick around long enough for transport to come get my patient (leaving patients unattended is a HUGE no-no). As they're wheeling him away and I was shutting everything down, I happened to glance at my computer. Is that? No, it can't be. Sho' 'nuff, it is. ANOTHER V/Q. *sigh* So I was looking at at least
another hour and a half.
This is your allotment of crazy for the weekend
Another call to the ER. Mostly to let them know, yes I'm still here, don't page me again. This time, I let them know it takes an hour to get radiotracers. They didn't seem happy about it, but again, I can't make it go faster. If they want the test, they have to deal.
And then they dropped a bombshell on me.
ER: We know about the hallucinations.
ER: She seems pleasant enough (Author's Note: liar
), but she may ask you to hand her a file folder or get the puppy out from under the bed. She has a sister with her who can help.
Er, ok then. Come scan time, transport brought me Crazy Lady sans sister. At first I wasn't too worried. I've dealt with patients who aren't quite there, but for the most part, you give them specific instructions and we get by.
Not this time.
Crazy doesn't even begin to cover it. Frikkin Crazy isn't even close. In all honesty, I think CL is sliding very fast into some sort of dementia, but I digress. She demanded her sister, so I got the sister. She was a tremendous help. And I mean that sincerely. We both had to hold the mask on for the breathing portion (the mouthpiece was a no-go). Even then CL managed to wiggle out of it enough to have radioactive aerosol spraying into the room and it took me a couple seconds to kill the O2. So I got a lung scan too. Yay. I really hope it's not all over our collimator cart
Now, CL was a hefty woman, not going to move on her own, and Sis and I aren't enough. So I called over to CT for lift help. God bless the CT tech because I honestly don't think we could have made it through the test without her. Once we got CL on the table, I broke the news that she needed to have her arms up for the pictures. Strapping them to her sides was an option (I just have to note it on the films), but Sis didn't think it was a good idea. So Sis and CT tech each took an arm to help CL hold them up.
CL spent the entire test ranting and raving about anything and everything. For instance, she kept insisting she had to pee despite the fact she had a catheter--which she refused to believe she had. And she absolutely refused to hold still. She kept bumping the camera which stopped it and made the whole thing take longer than it should have. Once the test was over, it took the transporter at least 20 minutes to come get her. I. Was. Not. Amused. Particularly because the transporter didn't have a walkie talkie (which they're supposed to since the ER isn't in our TeleTracking system for some reason) so I couldn't call her directly.
Finally the patient was wheeled away and I bolted for home. You'd think after all that, they'd be done picking on me, but no......
No Freakin Way
I had been home nary an hour when I got paged yet again (as I was composing this post in fact). For another V/Q.
At least the guy was pleasant and cooperative. But it was still 10p by the time I got home. This wasn't even supposed to be my weekend. It was open so I volunteered to take it. I'm regretting that now.