Gypsy's Travels

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tales From Triage - Take One

When you visit the Emergency Department at the hospital, you must first be seen at triage. The nurse at triage does a quick assessment to determine the acuity of your situation and where you should be seen. I have kept track of many of these conversations over the years and will share some highlights.

I encountered this patient at the triage desk of a large inner city hospital, a Level I Trauma Center......

Me: “What is your emergency today?”
Patient: “I‘m here for a checkup.”
Me: “What kind of checkup?”
Patient: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Who sent you here?”
Patient: “The doctor told me I had low blood and was supposed to come back and get a checkup.”
Me: “Which doctor?”
Patient: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Which floor?”
Patient: “I don’t know.”
Me: “What is your health problem?”
Patient: “I don’t know.”


  1. Press one if you want English.

  2. Honestly. That is funny. Not funny to the patient, I suppose, but funny in a dumb sort of way.

    The best kind of news is when the first nurse visits, pokes, does this or that, and walks away sort of casual like and you lay there waiting for an hour or two. If you put two and two together you can bet you got no life threatening problems.

    Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio

  3. are right. If everyone starts scurrying around you might think you are in trouble.

    Uncle Dan, although I did spend more than 50% of my time speaking to patients in Spanish, this one was native-born, English speaking :)


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