Sometimes as an author, you need to get the flavor of a certain profession. What are some of the things they believe or don’t believe? These don’t necessarily have to be based in scientific fact, but are held beliefs none the less.
So– what are some held beliefs among ER nurses that may or may not be true.
1. Full moons (the celestial bodies– not a patient’s backside exposed) do cause people to come to the ER. If the unit is falling apart, there have been moments where all of us have looked at one another and asked, “Is it a full moon tonight? Is it coming in the next few days?” I don’t know what it is but it feels like ER volumes go up and mental health patients increase too.
2. Strange medical diagnosis happen to medical people. Personally, I feel if you work in medicine, you should get a free pass illness wise (yes, Lord, I am talking to you!) You hear stories of Hem/Onc nurses getting cancer. Doctors going into preterm labor– this may be proven as I think I looked it up once on a slow shift that doctors are more apt to go into preterm labor because of the odd sleeping hours and time spent on their feet. But, if you’ve never heard of an illness, a medical person probably has come down with it. You could say– well, perhaps it’s because they’re all hypochondriacs. Maybe a little truth there (as she slowly creeps hand up.)
3. If you mention a particular patient– they will check in. It’s like a batman signal. Sadly, not all patients are warm and fuzzy to deal with. That’s just a fact of life. So, you really don’t want to say the name of a patient you had a tussle with.
4. We NEVER say the following phrases– and if someone does, they will be scorned.
“Wow, it’s really quiet.”
“It is soooo slow!”
“Is it time to run someone over so we can take care of a patient?”
“Come on! Isn’t it flu season?”
“Nothing is going on.”
“We’ll be with you in ONE minute.”
You have just invited hoards of people to check into the ER in the next 30 seconds. It’s worse than saying a patient’s name you may not want to see. It’s one million bat signals sent into the universe. These phrases are strictly forbidden to be uttered. Period.
5. Yes, some providers do have black clouds over them– like Pig Pen’s dust trail. Not in the weather sense but in the Angel of Death/Sickness sense. When some people work, it just hits the fan. Patients are sicker and there will likely be a code. It’s probably akin to the cat who would visit the nursing home patients and sit with them when they died. The Grim Cat.
Did you know about these ER superstitions?