Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rural Medicine

It's my 3rd year of residency. One of the perks about 3rd year is you are allowed to moonlight. Moonlighting is basically working outside of your residency part time and earning some semi-real cash. I actually started the last few months of my 2nd year at an urgent care....but this weekend I started at an Emergency Department in a rural hospital. The shifts are generally 24-48 hours b/c you can get some sleep since the volume is low at night. I was the only doc in the whole hospital all weekend...kinda scary

I'm a city guy...so this weekend was kind of an eye opener. I enjoyed the greenery on my drive in with all the cows and horses in the pasture. I quickly learned that not having a truck made me out of place....and the "Yes We Can" Obama sticker didn't go over well. The patients were generally very friendly and nice....which
was a pleasant change.

One patient was a bipolar manic gentleman off his meds. In the city, this kind of case is very easy to admit. In the country, it was a big ordeal... even involving the "sheriff." This guy was very agitated and wanted to smoke. The nurses refused to let him go outside since it was a non smoking hospital and he was under a medical warrant. I felt bad for him and wanted to keep him calm, so I volunteered to break the rules and accompany him while he smoked outside. He sat on the curb....but didn't pull out a pack of cigarettes. Instead he pulled out a bag of home grown green stuff and a white wrap. He rolled it and smoked a joint right in front of me! For some reason I was shocked weed is smoked in rural communities.

Next an old man came in after hitting his head. The story behind it was much more interesting: He was getting up in the middle of the night to get a drink when he walked into his "hanging bull skull!" Yes...a skull of a bull hanging in the living room. He passed out. When he woke up he tried to wake up his son to take him to the hospital. He kept banging on his son's locked door...but he couldn't get him to wake up. So he decided to go outside with his shotgun and fire it outside his son's bedroom window. That seemed to wake him up!

Speaking of guns....we got a heads up call from the local authorities that some kids were driving up and down their street firing a rifle repeatedly. They wanted us to know just in case someone got hurt. What's with country folk and guns? I've never even held a gun.

Overall....I had fun. I surprisingly like the outskirts and look forward to what's next. Only in the country.....

-ER Doc

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since I love reading everything ya'll throw out here for us, I'll just be kind and assume that the car with the "Yes we Can" bumper sticker was borrowed from a sweet, earnesr but misguided Social Worker friend of yours....

Pattie, RN

Mel said...

Where do you think most weed gets grown? That hydroponic shit is expensive and, if you've got access to some composted manure instead, unnecessary. Keep your eye out, too, for Oxy, meth and 'shrooms (another by-product of cow shit).

HugeMD said...

It's a different world out there. You can learn a ton, though! It also makes you appreciate why you get sent what you get sent from those little hospitals. They don't have a whole lot to work with. BUT, if I have something basic like pneumonia, put me in a rural hospital anyday--much less chaos, much more personal, many fewer superbugs...

BangBangMedic said...

Not everyone in the country with a gun acts like an idiot, either.

If you haven't shot before though, I'd advise learning. It's nice to relieve stress, it's fun, and even if you hate it, operating a firearm is a good skill to know in a pinch.

William said...

Hey ER doc

In the country, there may be two police officers per COUNTY on shift, and both may be 50 miles away from you. And there are bears, coyotes, and bad guys. Country folk learn to deal with problems themselves.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Yup, dat be life in dem boodocks.

Anonymous said...

I don't really have anything to say, but when i was reading the comments i noticed the verification word was "liger."

hehehe

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