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Diagnostic uses of cigarettes and a Hershey bar

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As related to me by the nursing supervisor the other night….

Patient presents to the ED with a chief complain of dyspnea. The doc comes in and starts to look him over. On exam, he notices a large brownish stain on the man’s forehead. Pointing to it, he asks, “What’s this from?”

“Well, you see, doc, I was feelin’ like Ah might have ah feevah’, but Ah don’t have no thermometer. But my cousin said she had chocolate bar, though. We figured if we put that up to my head there, it would tell me if Ah had a feevah’.”

Now I’m no rocket scientist, but how does one determine body temp from a Hershey bar? By how quickly it melts? But wait, it gets better….

“So besides the fever, you say you’re pretty short of breath,” the ED doc continues, noticing that the patient is breathing about 22–24 a minute, labored, sats in the toilet.

“Yeah. I was having a little problem breathing at home, too. I was watching the tee-vee and saw that the mountain climbers were smoking because they were having a hard time breathing. So I sent my cousin out to get me a pack of smokes. Thought it would make me feel better.”

“Do you normally smoke?” asked the doc.

“Naw, but since I saw it on the tee-vee, thought it might work. So I had a couple. But it didn’t work so good, so I came heah.”

I’m sitting here wondering…maybe we could get Materials to stock Hershey bars instead of thermometers and cigarettes instead of non-rebreather masks. It works on the tee-vee, don’t it?

Got any other funny stories from the ED?

Scrubs also recommends from Wanderer, RN:

For the ears and the squishy organ between them
The couch that nearly killed me
30 or so facts about me


Lost on the Floor

The nurse blog Lost on the floor: Tales of a (not so new) nurse has become one of the most widely read (and enjoyed) nurse blogs on the Web. It is authored by “Wanderer,” a Charge Nurse on a busy Telemetry unit somewhere in metro Portland. He reads, writes, cooks and is a passionate bicycle commuter.

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