Saturday, September 08, 2007

Every wonder why some ERs are Migraine hell?

Most Migraineurs avoid the ER like the plague. We want to treat our Migraines at home -- conveniently, while retaining our dignity, and without taking up valuable ER space and time.

Another reason is that so many of us have been dismissed as having "just a headache" or even been accused of being a "drug seeker," there just to try to get opioids. We've encountered ER doctors and nurses who have treated us like dirt.

I understand fully that the two biggest reasons people give for being in the ER are back pain and Migraines. I fully understand that people who don't have Migraines often lie to ER staff and say they do to get opiods. I get it! Still, there are times when some Migraineurs have no choice but to go to the ER. Most of our doctors tell us to go to the ER if we're having the worst Migraine ever, if our meds we take at home didn't work and we're still in severe pain, or if we have stroke-like symptoms that we don't usually have with our Migraines.

But some ER doctors and nurses choose to view all Migraineurs as fakes or someone with a headache who doesn't need to be taking up their time. I'm not going to stoop so low as to view all ER doctors as nurses as behaving that way. They don't, but we don't have the luxury of picking and choosing who treats us when we must resort to the ER.

To illustrate the attitudes of some ER personnel, I'm offer you a quote from a blog entry written by an ER nurse:
"...If we have to do a patient satisfaction score, let's ensure that they are only given to the people who really needed to be in the ER to begin with. And that leaves out the vast majority of the prompt care patients. Don't give them to the 'back pain' and 'migraine' crowd, give them to the pneumonia, kidney stone etc and make sure to give on to everyone that was admitted..."

Now, to illustrate an ER doctor's attitude, here's part of a reply he wrote to Teri Robert's comment on the original blog entry:
"...Headache without neuro symptoms? Sorry, we have to see the sick patients first. Please wait in your room."

This, my friends, is pathetic. The ER nurse describes herself as "A hardworking ER nurse trying to survive until retirement and if I can have little fun or have a positive impact on someone's life, all the better!" Positive impact on someone's life? I'm sure she does, but I'm equally sure she's had some cases where she had a very negative impact.

If you'd like to take a look at this blog entry, it's called "Another Blog Voice on Patient Satisfaction Scores."


1 comment:

deborah said...

As soon as I can ge my nails from the ceiling, I'll get to that other blog! Infuriating? Doesn't even come close!