February 9, 2009


Saw this over at Keep Breathing, and it reminded me of a story told by one of my physician colleagues back in Atlanta:

I was working the overnight on my cardiology rotation, and had settled into the resident's sleep room to catch a few minutes of sorely sleep. One of the nurses, a nice lady from the Philippines, called me about a patient with PVCs.

"Doctor, patient in room 4 have PVCs. You come see patient now."

"PVCs aren't that big a deal. He's recovering from a pretty big MI, he's going to have PVCs. Draw some labs, and call me back."

"No, Doctor, you no unnerstand. Patient having PVCs, you come see patient now OK?"

"If you really think he's having PVCs, I'll give you a verbal order for a lidocaine bolus and drip. Start with 0.75 mg/kg, repeat it once in 5 minutes, then drip at 2mg/min."

"Doctor, you no listen. Patient have PVCs, you come see patient now."

I let out a frustrated sigh, and replied "OK, listen... I want you to look at the monitor, and tell me every time you see a PVC."

"OK, Doctor... PVC, PVC, PVC, PVC, PVC, PVC.... Every beat PVC. You come see patient now!"

Sometimes, it really pays to just do what the nurses tell you to do.

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