An Evening in Emerg

My Dad’s visit to the Royal Columbia Hospital Emergency last night resolved well.

It was almost 5 hours, not counting drive and return time.

Royal Columbian is one of the oldest hospitals in British Columbia and was once where nurses were trained.

The emergency room continues to be overused by people who should be seeing their regular doctor, if they have one or a walk in clinic.

There really has not been an appearance of actual triage of sorting patients rather than processing first come first serve.

Breathing, bleeding Brain and Heart.. these should be attended first in everyday circumstances.. mass disaster changing triage to most save-able.

There was an elderly woman with COPD and a breathing attack and her elderly daughter and middle aged granddaughter who were there before us, but got in afterwards. the caretaker syndrome on the daughters face, I wondered if they’d get beds in the same room.

another middle aged daughter, there with her father in pain, and I talked about how during sports events, is the best time to go to emergency if you’re a woman, because men actually will ignore pain to watch the game.

I joked to her that the hospital was not like the tv shows, I hadn’t seen anyone having an obvious affair. She laughed and said “don’t be so sure, I work here.”

I listened to one man explain a workplace injury that he failed to report to the employer that was now causing him pain. Paperwork not seeming so scary now and hardly the employer’s fault for requiring timely reporting. Show up on Monday and say you were hurt at work on Friday? tell me about your weekend seriously.

There were short rushes of 3 and 4 patients with family or friend attendance and some short periods with no one new.

People wandered in, thinking emergency was a general reception and seemed oblivious to that it was an emergency while they discussed appointments or billing matters.

A young woman came in and from how she clutched her side and her ashen face, I was concerned she had appendix pending rupture. She didn’t, she had kidney stones. After the triage check in, she sat across from me. She was alone, young and in a great deal of pain.

But, before I knew it, I was beside her, rubbing her back and talking her through a breathing distraction exercise. It was 20 mins before she got called in, and I was able to offer some aid and distraction, even making her laugh a couple of times. Trying to boost her endorphin’s as pain compensation.

After she was settled in the secondary processing, I headed across the lobby, towards the basement level and the cafeteria for coffee.

I paused at the books by donation Hospital Auxiliary.

There were 2 men, one on each side of the rack.

The one opposite me said “I hope I find a holy bible” starring directly at me.

In that creepy ineffectual charlie male way of trying to be appealing and charming, but managing only predator needy.

“Why would you want that filth?” was not the response he was hoping for.

He smarmed and moved away.

the man on the same side of the book stand as me seemed amused,

“fucking godbots” I muttered.

the second man held up some ridiculous teen girl pulp book and said the bible was better than that.

“the bible is the internet dead sea scroll edition, poetry, porn and violence.”


then, I headed to the elevator, and surprised myself by putting my arm out to stop the door, something I gave up after having been hit by door that didn’t have sensors

there were 2 employees on the elevator


I pushed the B for basement button and joked that they needed to have the Timmy’s Logo.

they laughed and said it got moved to the basement after a news story about the coffee shop being used as overflow for the emergency

“I remember that!” i chirped and didn’t say that I also remembered that Royal Columbian is a First Response Hospital in a mass disaster and that it failed that exercise, which I don’t think made the media

anyway, the coffee was barely hot brown water

Canada cannot afford the public health care to be undermined by an american style private sector, where only those that pay can afford health care

there is no happyiness without health


related on this blog

Agoraphobic Outing – Catastrophic Failure – It Happened

Dear St. Paul’s Hospital:

Hospitals and Healthcare

Three Jesuses Walk into a Mental Hospital

Panic Attacks: Unravelling Triggers

Community: Resources & Crisis Centres

Deny Delay and Discuss: Disasters and Catastrophic Evolution

Airbnb: The Hospitality Industry’s Uber


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