One overlooked source of amusement and despair in the ER is EMS calls. They're broadcast on a public channel, so sometimes you have to read between the lines, and sometimes they're just outright funny. And anything followed by "xxxx, you have an open mic" is pretty much guaranteed to cause some giggles. Here are some of my favorites from the last 4 years.
- Medic: "Pt got out of a hot vinegar bath and felt dizzy." RN: "Yeah, what kind of vinegar was that?" [Screams of laughter in ER because we all thought she faked keying the radio.] Medic: "Uh, that was apple cider vinegar." RN: "No questions or orders."
- Medic: "Establishing xx command, staging. Subject 1 code black." [Everyone loses interest.] PD: "Medic 9, your code black is on foot in the alley. Foot chase in progress." [Interest renewed; code black means dead. The code black escaped.]
- Medic: "We have an xxx-year old female who is minimally unresponsive...." On arrival to ED, RN: "What the hell is minimally unresponsive?" Medic: "Well, she's unresponsive, but she COULD be if she WANTED to."
- Medic: "The patient is a xx-year old male who has the COPD...." ER MD: "AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT."
- And then there was the time a lady called 911 because the paramedics failed to turn out her lights when they left....