Saturday, June 13, 2009

I posted this on my tumblr but I thought y'all might appreciate it too.

Dear Drunk

My name is Katie and I’m a healthcare worker. I take care of people when they’re sick or hurt, I hold their hands when they’re scared, take the extra corners out of their arms when they fall and put band-aids on boo-boos. Sometimes, when someone is really sick, I’ll even breathe for them or keep their heart pumping by pushing on their chest. I’m good like that, see.

While you’re out “enjoying” yourself on a Friday night, I can be found in your local Accident and Emergency department kindly giving up my sleep to look after sick people. In case you were wondering, by the end of my shift last night, I’d been up for 24 hours straight… and the reason, dear drunk, is this.

Before losers like you decided that a good night out ended with lying semi-conscious on the sidewalk with your eyes rolling back in your head, A&E would empty out in the early hours of the morning leaving just the sickest of sick patients in the department. This allowed us poor healthcare workers to have a break, a cup of tea and occasionally a nap. Now, because you’re selfish and stupid, this is not the case.

On a Friday and Saturday night, the majority of patients I see are:

so drunk/high on drugs they collapse in the street and inevitably, someone calls 999. If a person is intoxicated and unable to get home, the ambulance crew must take them to the hospital.
so drunk/high on drugs they walk in front of a car/spaceship/bike/train or fall down. Alcohol masks pain and so ambulance crews, unable to assess the patient properly, bring them to A&E just to be safe.
so drunk/high on drugs they get in to a fight with someone else who is equally intoxicated. Someone hits/stabs/shoots someone else and lo and behold, we have visitors. Its also worth noting that when we try and help them by stitching up their wounds, we’re met with abuse and violence.
If you weren’t so stupid and childish, you wouldn’t drink quite so much. You’d be able to walk out of the club with your shoes and knickers still in place, get a taxi/bus/train home and disappear in to the night. But, piss-head, the concept of moderation is far too advanced for you and your tiny pickled brain so listen up.

When you show up in my A&E, know that you are not my priority. You are not sick or dying, you’re drunk because you chose to be and I’m not interested. Please take a vomit bowl and find a seat out in the waiting room and be quiet. If you don’t want to wait, you’re more than welcome to go home, I don’t want to see you anyway.

When I do finally see you, its only because I have to. Please keep your hands to yourself at all times, I know I’m gorgeous and I’m very flattered but I’m not interested. Do not try and spit at me, swear at me or threaten me either, you’ll just end up thrown out of our nice warm establishment (or even arrested).

I’ll stick a big needle in your arm and dilute the alcohol in your blood just enough to make you sober enough to go home but not enough to relieve that enormous hangover you’ll have tomorrow… or in three days when your body gets done processing the booze.

When you wet yourself or throw up in your hair, don’t expect me to change you or clean you up. You’re a grown up and this is what you chose… If you have to get the tube home at 9am covered in piss and vomit, so be it. Now you know how I feel after a Friday night shift.

If nothing else, when you read about the 8 year old boy who almost died because there were no ambulances to send to him last night, know that it is your fault. The ambulance he so desperately needed was tied up scraping you, the piss soaked drunk, off the street.




Alexander said...

Amazing write up, couldn't be more true. I see this kind of crap way too much; granted, one drunk is one too many.

Medic(three) said...

LOLzers! I'm going to print this and begin handing it out to every drunk I pick up.

Christopher Mader said...

You rock my world lol

AdCy said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Couldn't have said it better myself!

Jamrock said...

It's just amazing, hoho. Write more.

Bo... said...

Your anger and name-calling is very unprofessional. I am an ex-ER nurse. Yes, my ER had its share of drunks and addicts--and yes, they kept us busy. But I did not sit in judgment on them. I didn't sit in judgement on ANYBODY who came to my ER. They are all God's children, good or bad.

Would you call somebody dying of lung cancer because they smoked "pisshead"? Would you call a non-compliant diabetic "selfish and stupid"? Would you call a heart-attack victim who never watched their cholesterol such horrible names?

I'm not letting drunks or addicts off the hook by any means. But your rage at these people shows me just what a pompous, arrogant, JUDGMENTAL ASS you are---and I wouldn't want you working in my ER.

And for that matter, what bad habits do you have? I'd LOVE to see your fault list.

Or are you perfect?

Katie said...

@Bo Good or bad, everybody makes judgments. You've already made plenty about me.

Making a judgment about someone is not unprofessional, letting it affect your treatment of them, however, is.

I'll treat them on a purely clinical level. Anything that isn't absolutely necessary, I'll leave for them to do when they sober up. They're adults and had they been at home (where they would have gone had they not been so legless that a taxi wouldn't take them) they would have to do that anyway. Why should I baby them?

Hydrant girl said...

Very well written, thanks for sharing.