There isn't anyone reading this, who hasn't spent time in a hospital emergency room. Either as a patient, or waiting with someone.  The time spent waiting to be seen, feels like an eternity, with minutes transforming into hours. This is maddening, especially when we think of the reasons why we are in a emergency room. Because, theoretically, of an EMERGENCY.  If you just needed a doctor, go see your doctor. But, if it's serious, then get to the ER.  Just don't expect anyone to actually SEE you there.

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Robert Linder-Unsplash
Robert Linder-Unsplash

Yesterday, I had to take my wife to the emergency room at a unnamed local hospital as she was having pain on her side and in her back. Now, you can assume the cause and the severity of something like this, but you just never know.

(Note: I am deliberately NOT mentioning the name of the hospital, as there are probably many good people working there and do want want to give the impression that they are less than professional)

After we arrived at about 2pm, as we checked-in my wife had her vitals taken, and was hooked up to an IV for future use (which was never used). She was then given a painkiller and made to wait outside in the waiting area. We had one other interaction as they gave her a CT scan, but after that, the wait began.

The long......................................................................................wait.

I can now tell you with a level of certainty, daytime TV is painful.

Looking around the room, there were those who looked like they clearly needed medical assistance, but were playing the same waiting game as the rest of us. Plus, there was a row of elderly patents lined up in wheelchairs that appeared to have a dusting of cobwebs, they'd been there so long. None of these people had family with them, so I wondered if it was an issue where their kids or grandkids finally got tired of hearing them complain, and simply dropped them off at the ER to get some peace. Even still, looking around there are more than a few people who did NOT need to be in the ER, at least at a glance.

We heard conversations from people who mentioned that they had been there since before 11am, which gave us pause. For what seemed like forever, the only medical interaction we had was when a nurse occasionally moved through the swarm of people taking vital signs to ensure that we were still alive. Finally at 6:30, starving, we decided to ask how long it would be, since we weren't really hearing any names called.  The desk receptionist began to cop an attitude, and announced, "You've been here 4 hours and 21 minutes. The longest wait we have is 7 hours and 12 minutes, and it could be  longer depending on the severity of your illness. The earliest you'll see someone is around 10:30pm."

Seriously???? Guess they need to change the name to the "We Hope You're Not Having A Real 'Emergency' Room". So my wife told them we were leaving, checked out, and toughed out the night in pain.

Mind you, we did notice ambulances pulling u wit ore life and death situations, i would assume, that was up until I saw a fairly healthy young man get wheeled out of an ambulance on a gurney, get up, and without ever looking up form his phone, walk to the back to ben seen immediately. Ahh, that's it! You only matter if you come by AMBULANCE! I'm saving that for my memory banks...gang.

Honestly, what if someone had died while waiting to see someone. I'm sure it's happened. I mean, what if I had come in with back pain, and suddenly dropped dead from a burst appendix? Would they ultimately validate my parking? No, because my family would OWN THAT FREAKING PLACE.

I've never seen such a ridiculous scene at an ER in my life, and no where else in America. Maybe it's a Lubbock thing? Where no one actually cares? Either way, we need to do better here. And, if you really don't need to be at the ER, don't go. Stop clogging it up because you have a fever and think you have Covid, or shot off your pinkie toe. You don't need it. Get a Band-Aid and some Bacitracin and fix yourself up. Don't use the ER as your primary care physician.  You're just making it worse.

Do better, Lubbock. And, don't @ me.


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