Potty Mouth

In the emergency room, we get the pleasure of caring for many patients that are coming from the jail. Handcuffed to the bed, with a Glock-toting chaperone- they are usually well behaved. I respect law enforcement for the things that they have to deal with, but envy them because when their “clients” act out- they can put the smack down.

We recieved a patient from the jail, the dude is tweaking like no other. The officer says that he’s swallowed a bag of meth. Tweaker says that he hasn’t swallowed anything- but he’s also totally incoherent and near impossible to understand. Let’s take his vital signs- blood pressure, temperature, pulse- all while the dude is wriggling and wigging out- like he’s got a colony of ants in his jail-pants.

Sir, look at me, put this thermometer under your tongue so I can get your temperature.

We have digital thermometers and I’m watching the screen- waiting for a reading. Nothing- I get an error reading. Simultaneously, the nurse and I look down at the thermometer probe. Oh, boy…

The digital thermometers that we use can accept two seperate modules- a blue oral module, that has a probe and cord, and a red rectal module- with probe and cord. Dude had the red probe in his mouth…

Now …all of our  equipment is cleaned religiously, and when we use the thermometer- a plastic, disposable cover completely shields the probe. And although there was no physical difference between the two probes…the mental difference to the nurse and I was hilarious.

Uhh…sir, I’m gonna take your temp again…it didn’t work. I pull it out from in between his last remaining meth-holed teeth and switch the modules. I’m glad I made that mistake with him because I was immediatly more aware.

Somehow, I get the feeling that if he had known, it wouldn’t have phased him…


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