Sounding: Chart of darkness
- By: Séamus Phillips
In our hospital all the house officers take their turn doing a week of night duty on emergency medical take. This usually leaves time for considered decision making about patients, something that is in short supply in the daytime.
We arrive at the emergency ward and immediately scan the board for arrivals, as if at some very small airport where planes only carry individuals. The nurses put big magnetic tags on the white board to indicate triage categories. The effect of this is that, on first entering the ward from the furthest entrance, we can immediately tell what sort of a night we are going to have.
The first clerking of the night is always painful. Basics are forgotten as I wipe the sleep from my eyes and try to focus on the task in hand. Did I already ask about her appetite? Were those crackles on the left or