Near the end of my shift, as I was packing up to leave, turning off the phones, the surgeon on call texted me to ask if I was on call.
I told him no, but I was still at the hospital and how could I help him.
I sent him the call nurse’s number and proceeded to take the details of the case.
It is 2236.
I look at the ED census.
There are nearly 60 patients in the ED, 36 with respiratory symptoms.
The house is full and there is a 27 person wait in the ED for a bed on the floor.
I text him that the house is full and the ED is busting and it is in the patient’s best interest to have surgery tonight.
I told him I could get and prep the patient and the room would be ready to go at 2315.
And I didn’t feel comfortable with leaving a youngish, healthyish patient in the ED for 6 hours before the requested time of 0530.
And I sprang into action.
As I was scheduling the case the computer told me the patient had not yet been admitted.
I called the ED, told them I would be over in 6 minutes to get the patient and to please have him admitted so I could schedule the case.
I called the call team in and informed anesthesia.
I went downstairs to get the case picked.
I dropped the case off in the room.
Since the patient was in chairs, meaning the waiting room, I made sure there was a gurney in the recovery room, grabbed the admission pack, and a wheelchair and went to the ED.
The patient was not in chairs. They had been upgraded to hallway where they had been admitted to the ED.
And they were on a gurney.
I parked my wheelchair, introduced myself, and away we went to the recovery room/prep.
I pre-op checklisted, had the patient disrobe, and use the bathroom, got consent with the MD, the anesthesiologist and the patient.
I checked in with the room, where the call nurse and tech had arrived and were counting.
At this time, I called the pacu team in.
I made sure the H&P was in and paused with the CRNA.
And waved off the patient to the room, wishing them a good recovery.
They were in the room at 2319.
Damn that was fun.
But best yet, I saved the patient from hanging out in a very busy ED, in a very busy hospital.
During a covid surge.
In other words, I did my damned job.
Oh, and I went back for the wheelchair and parked it with his things.