Confessions of an emergency room clerk

“My advice? Don’t drink four pints of vodka before lunch,” the nurse said with a straight face.

He took his eyes off the work on his screen, starting to crack up at this seemingly random piece of advice. It had been quiet, and each of them kept to themselves for the most part. He was using the downtime to work on his homework. She was enjoying the break from the usual rush of patients, most likely by searching the web.

She continued on, explaining her reasoning for the unsolicited tip. She added with a smile, “I should be able to do better, but that’s it.” They talked, entering each other’s worlds. It was nice, for both of them. Trends occur all the time, if you keep an eye out for them. One day there are multiple patients who happen to drink four pints of vodka…before lunchtime. One day there are many patients of Salvadoran descent. And some days the patients are just pleasant. The conversation was quickly dropped when a patient arrived at his station, ready for check-in. He finished her registration and the patient went to the next window. The nurse checked her vitals. Her name was called shortly and off she went to be seen. During this process he returned to his work, as did she to hers. Eventually it was silent again, comfortably silent.


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