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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)

TITLE: Personal Malpractice
By Tracy Nunes
01/30/11


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4:15 a.m.
“BP is 192 over 99; pulse 123; Pulse Ox is 94%. Should we intubate,
Doctor?”

5:30 a.m.
“Her neighbor found her on the back step of the house. She’d fallen several hours earlier. Appears to have fractured her left Tibia and hip. Possible concussion. CT’s been ordered. Does your mother have a living will?”

7:30 a.m.
“I’m sorry to burden you with this, Doc. I just don’t know who else to turn to and you’re always a good listener. I love my wife; she’s everything to me. It’s been a hard year since her accident and people stopped coming by to see us after the first month. I can always count on you to pray though. Thanks.”

“I understand. Father, thank you for Kelsey...”

9:15 a.m.
“Doc, you look a little pale. You okay?

“What? Oh – yeah - I’m okay. Just a long week.”

10:30 a.m.
“Nurse, she has old and new bruises. X-rays show evidence of previous fractures. Mom’s got track lines. Call Child Protective Services.”

12:50 p.m.
“Jim?”

“Jim? Jim, where are you man?”

“What? Oh – sorry. What?”

“I’m calling it. Time of death: 12:50 p.m. Need you to confirm.”

“Right – yeah – confirmed: 12:50 p.m.”

“Hey, Jim, why don’t you take a breather? You’re not looking so hot, man. Things seem to be slowing down a bit. Take your chance while you have it.”

“Um, well – yeah, okay. I’ll be in the on-call room. Come get me if anything.”

2:06 p.m.
“Jim? Wake up.”

“Hey, Jim! You’re on man. Four car pile-up coming in. Cop and a couple of kids dead at the scene. Survivors on their way.”

“I’ll be right there. Just need a minute”

3:42 p.m.
“Nurse, call the blood bank. He’s going to need more transfusions than we have on hand. I’m sending him up to surgery now.”

5:33 p.m.
“Hey Doc, you mind if I sit at your table?

“What? Oh – yeah, sure.”

“I can’t believe how full the cafeteria is. Don’t these Doctors know hospital food kills?”

“Hey, Doc?"

"Doc, didn’t you get the memo that you’re supposed to laugh at your intern’s jokes? It helps our self-esteem.”

“What? Oh – sorry Nate. Just not myself today. I gotta head back. Another shift.”

“Okay, Doc. Feel better.”

6:41p.m.
“It’s his second time in here this week, Doctor. His Dad says that there’s no history of seizures before this but he’s been acting weird lately. ‘Spacey,’ he said. Good student, athlete, no criminal history or known drug abuse. It’s just him and the dad; mother died two years ago.”

“Let’s get a chest x-ray.”

“A chest x-ray, Doctor?”

“Ahhh, no – sorry, I meant a Cranial CT and a blood panel.”

“Sure, Doc.”

7:31 p.m.
“Thank you so much Doctor. You saved my Aunt’s life. I can’t believe you caught that. I mean who would imagine that she was confusing rat poison with baking powder. She can’t live alone anymore. I know that. But, thanks to you she’ll live.”

10:05 p.m.
“Gunshot wound to the right temple. Appears to have grazed the scull. He’s lucky. Police are outside waiting to question him.”


11: 57 p.m.
“Says she fell down the stairs, but seems afraid of the husband.”

“Did you get a good look at him? Who wouldn’t be?”

“Nurse, can you go talk to her? See if you can get the truth. Let me know what she says.”

“Okay Doc, but that’s usually your job. You’re the celebrated Truth Puller!”

“Just not on my game tonight, Bev. Have a go at it, will you?”

“Sure, Doc. Whatever you say. You okay?

“Yeah, sure – I’m okay.”

2:21 a.m.
“Wow, you’re sweating man! What’d you do – laps around the hospital? I know, trying to stay buff for Shannon, right? Who wouldn’t? She’s a babe!”

“Jim? Hey, come back! What’s his problem?”

“I don’t know. He’s been out of whack all day.”

“Whatever.”

3:45 a.m.
“Jim! Jim! Oh, man! Hey, get a cardiac cart in here now! Jim’s down!”

“Doctor! Oh no.”

“Oh, Lord, have mercy. Please”

“Wait, he’s trying to say something. Listen…”

“In…my …coat. Tell Shan… sorry. She’s…right.”

“Check his coat pocket - what is it?”

“It says, ‘I love you, but Physician Heal Thyself. Love, Shannon’”

4:15 a.m.
“It’s been thirty minutes. Time to call it. Time of death: 4:15 a.m.”

“Oh Lord, what will we tell Shannon?”

“Oh, man”

“I’ve no idea”

“We’ll l tell her what he said. Then help her do what he did for everyone else but himself - heal.”


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This article has been read 431 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lizzy Ainsworth02/03/11
This was a very interesting day in a doc's life
Danielle King 02/05/11
Interesting piece and makes a good point. As an ex - nurse I followed it through to the end, but I could imagine that without any medical experience it may not read as easily. However, good dialogue and fits the topic well. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/05/11
This was a very interesting take on the topic. The fast pace of the entries echoed the urgency of the doctor's heart. At first, I was a tad confused about who was talking, but once I figured it out I knew something huge was going on, I liked the different way in which you told the story. It worked well.
Noel Mitaxa 02/07/11
Quite the time-management casserole here. As a non-medic I found it hard to follow who was speaking at which point. Maybe I need to be more (of a) patient...
Lollie Hofer 02/08/11
Great take on the topic. Interesting and fast-paced. My son's father-in-law is a doctor and you're right...they make terrible patients. They take care of everyone else but themselves. Great angle.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/10/11
Congratulations for placing 15th in level 3!