Friday, October 24, 2008

I could never work in the ER

This is just another example of why I respect emergency health workers so much. It also illustrates why I could never ever ever be one.

I got a urinalysis on a three year old. The first two things I noticed were the bacteria and squamous epithelial cells. it's pretty clear she had a UTI. A three year old rarely gets a UTI on their own, although there are instances. A good portion of the time it's because of some kind of sexual abuse.

The next two things I noticed weren't so innocent. I saw sperm that was still motile, and Trichomonas. I can't begin to explain how extremely pissed I was about this. If you really want to talk about "never events" this is one that should never ever happen. This girl had obviously been sexually abused and given an STD. It had to have happened pretty recently for the sperm to still be motile.

If I were an emergency care worker armed with this information, I'd go apeshit. I can't imagine the kind of crap that I would do, especially if the abuser was around. I'm pretty sure whatever it would be it wouldn't be pleasant for him. I'm also pretty sure that I'd have a job for all of about two seconds after that.

Unfortunately things like this occur way too often and these emergency workers have to deal with this crap, and the scum of the earth daily. I can't imagine the professionalism and restraint that it takes to deal with this. So emergency workers I applaud you and your professionalism. I certainly couldn't deal with it.

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