In which I pit Cook County Hospital

I agree. He is truly broke. He barely makes ends meet with just “roommate” bills. Of course, that’s another rant altogether. He hasn’t made the best choices in his life, and he’s paying for it now. Sigh.

I’m in the Baton Rouge area and we have several walk-in clinics, although I admit to not knowing about them until specifically told by our kids doc to go there, rather than the ER, over the weekend for a semi-emergency situation.

How’s that for a run-on sentence? Pretty good, eh? :wink:

Yep. My husband has waiting in emergency rooms despite having all the classic symptoms of heart attack, and despite having had a previous heart attack.

And I has speaking English for 33 years!

Amen to that. Lying to make sure that your rash will be treatede before someone else’s real life-threatening condition…Such an egoistical behavior pisses the hell out of me…

Over the years I think I’ve been to the ER around a dozen times, a couple of times for myself and the remainder with family members. We’ve always had insurance and always gone to smaller community hospitals in the suburbs – and there’s always a wait. Can’t say I’ve had to sit in “chairs” for hours on end, but after the first diagnosis is made it seems to take forever to do anything. And then you’re there for at least another hour or two afterwards before they finish the paperwork and let you go. I figured it was a CYA in case the patient takes an unexpected turn for the worst.

Only exception is when you think you’re in labor. THAT gets their attention (not as easy to fake as chest pains, though :wink: .

Apologies, then. I should have read the whole thread before posting.

A little anecdote to the contrary.

My son was 3 y. o., and we were visiting in-laws in Orange County. CA. over New Year’s. The sprout came down with a very painful, but routine, ear infection, so we took him to the ER at the local hospital, which I want to remember as a Humana operation. He got an antibiotic shot, some eardrops, and a prescription. We got to go to Disneyland the next day as planned.

I’m firmly convinced we got in and out so fast because we were the only people in the waiting area who 1) spoke English, and 2) had insurance.

I tried to answer this earlier but it apparently didn’t go through. sigh

Nobody she talked to, including the call-a-nurse people OR the hospital themselves know of a place like that around here. I guess I just assumed this was another of those this-is-Louisiana things, seeing as that’s usually a safe enough assumption.

“the hospital people themselves”

[size=1]I must start remembering to preview…[/size=1]

When I was in college I took an EMT course. Part of my licensing was doing some rotations in an ER. It was usually pretty boring, to my surprise. Not much more than kids with busted limbs or bumped heads from skating or sledding, plus some FUO’s and other such managable issues.

Then, one day, when the waiting room was full of shrieking kids and screaming babies, we got one guy with appendicitis, and a very elderly woman with pneumonia who was completely out of her mind. The guy with appendicitis was in agony. He was vomiting from the pain. He was drenched in sweat, and would occaisonally cry out involuntarily. It made me a little queasy just to look at him, his face all red and twisted, with beads of perspiration on his forehead.

The woman was brought in to be examined first. Turned out, much to the doc. I was shadowing’s amazement, the woman, in addition to having pneumonia, had tertiary syphilis. He’d never actually seen someone in such a state before, and was just astonished. Pretty soon a couple other ER docs and some nurses were circled around this woman, observing the examination, and shaking their heads in wonder. She came from out of way rural Maine somewhere, and they all guessed she must have been locked up in an attic or something. “How could she have been left this way?” was the common exclamation. An interesting, perhaps one-in-a-lifetime kind of case, I guess. No one thought she would last through the night. The rattle her chest made when she breathed (crepitation, I was told) was horrifying.

From outside the room, I could occasionally hear the guy with appendicitis groan or wretch, his distress rising above the din of screaming infants. I remember looking at all the other people in the exam room, attending to, or discussing the syphalic’s case, and wondering “does anybody hear that guy out there?” No one seemed to. It took him another couple of hours before they checked him out and admitted him. I can’t question the triage, but I found the whole scene that day disturbing as hell. Maybe I was never cut out for that work.