You’ll have to wait to be called. Does he have his insurance card? What is his date of birth? Who is his secondary? There are many sick people here. Flu season. Please take a seat in the waiting lounge. Yes, he’s been checked in. We’re moving him to the Vertical Patient area. No one has seen him yet. We’ll need to run tests. I’m not his nurse. You told the intake coordinator about his travels? He’ll be in the Vertical Patient Area until there’s a gurney available. Yes, you can accompany him. Can I check the patient’s date of birth? I know it’s a very crowded here. A nurse will be assigned to him. We haven’t finished the tests yet. No, a doctor hasn’t seen him yet. Information about his history should be supplied to his nurse. I know your husband is very uncomfortable. I know you are anxious. Yes, we know it’s been several hours. We’re extremely stretched today. Did the patient receive a flu vaccine? Anti-bacterial wipes for your use are in the red box on the wall by the emergency exit. You can take a mask from the bin there if you want additional protection. Yes, he’ll see a specialist if the resident asks for it. We can’t treat him without a diagnosis. We need to rely on quantitative evidence. We don’t suggest putting him in a hospital gown until he has a gurney. It’s a hand urinal for his use if he’s unsteady walking to the bathroom. Right now, he’s received acetaminophen. Someone will be here soon to recheck his vitals. Maintenance has been called to mop the floor. It’s not uncommon for fluid to spill with the first use of a hand urinal. We are aware of the other patients nearby. I appreciate your concern about their potential exposure to infection. Maintenance should be here soon. You say his chart is already in our system? Can you give me his full name? Date of birth? We are still waiting for the test results. Everyone here is extremely sick. There isn’t really room in Emergency for chairs for family seating. As you can see, the thirty people with chairs in this overcrowded waiting area are all patients. Maintenance has already been called about the floor. Here is a plastic bin for him if he’s feeling nauseous. Yes, we have many patients with the flu here today. As soon as we find a bed, we will admit him. Yes, the resident briefed his primary. Yes, we know his history. You can deposit the plastic bin and its contents in the garbage next to the bacterial wipes on the far wall. I have another patient I must see to. I will make another call to maintenance about the floor. Perhaps you can provide some assistance the next time there’s a need for the urinal. Protective gloves are in a box next to the antibacterial wipes on the wall. It’s really been six hours since you arrived? I don’t know who the next shift nurse will be. We are all highly trained. I know he is in the system. We are aware of his travels. The test results should be back soon. He is probably just sleeping. Fatigue, high fever, bloodshot eyes, respiratory stress, incontinence, gastro involvement, are all symptoms quite typical of flu. You said he had a flu vaccine? You know that vaccines don’t cover all flu viruses one hundred percent. Do you recall when he received his vaccine? I will brief the nurse before I leave. Yes, we checked his vitals less than an hour ago. I understand your concern but raising your voice can’t change the number of patients we are currently caring for. I suggest you take a seat through the double doors where you’ll be more comfortable in the waiting lounge.
Felix Roman “baddietrash” Sanchez is an artist currently residing in Portland, OR. He does traditional and digital art and doesn’t like labels. He is open to comissions. Check out his instagram @baddietrash.