Observations in the ER

I starred into the prettiest pair of blue eyes today, something I haven’t seen in a long time.  They were a clear crystal blue, like the sky opening up on a sunny day.  I forgot his name already but he was a scribe/medical assistant in the ER today.  He’s in a post bac program, pre-med and it was fun chatting with a fellow overachiever who is looking to set the bar higher.  We spoke briefly and he asked me what I wanted to be.  I said I think a NP.  He said you think? Maybe a Physician’s Assistant?  I said, maybe but it’s different requirements for each school.  An NP seems more practical and allows me greater range to practice.  I wish I had the confidence to say what I want to be more clearly.  I want to investigate this scribe/medical assistant role.  It’s mostly for pre-med students but how do you become one?  It seems like a interesting way to get clinical one on one patient experience while learning from a doctor directly.

He was working with a ER doctor who asked me to help translate.  It wasn’t that she asked me to help but I noticed they were waiting a long time for the interpreter, I said if the conversation is basic, I could probably help a little, but in no way am I qualified to interpret.  She said, that’s great, we’ll dial the interpreter and you can help in case the phone connection is not good.  The interpreter came on the line, and then said to the patient, why are you at the hospital today?  The patient responded, and then the interpreter said, oh, you don’t speak Cantonese, you speak Toishanese.  Let me get another interpreter for you.  Me: well, she could have still translated, it’s not that different.  Doctor to me: why don’t we ask her a few questions while we wait.  I went through her patient history and the reason for her visit, signs and symptoms, but stumbled when the doctor said ask her if her pain is throbbing.  Last week, I was stumped on the word mucous.  Today, it was throbbing.  I didn’t even have the words to ask around throbbing pain.  I’ll have to remember to ask my dad how to say those words.  In the ten minutes it took us to have our conversation, the interpreter was not located.  It took about 30 minutes for the interpreter to call back and by that time, the doctor had already moved on to other patients.  It seems the most help I can give as a volunteer, besides running lab work quickly upstairs, is to translate, even though my skills are not proficient, apparently some Chinese is better than no Chinese.  

I saw a family member bring a woman who fractured her foot/leg a dozen red roses.  If I were in the ER and someone was visiting me, I would rather they have brought me french fries, or something equally tasty.  I can’t eat the flowers and I’m probably in some pain to not enjoy them fully.  if I had been sitting there for several hours, I’m sure a tasty meal would have been divine.


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