This is Triage…

It takes a very special nurse to work in triage on a labor and delivery unit…

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This is how I feel when I see a full moon.

 

 

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This is how I feel when triage is full and a patient comes in because she’s “bleeding when she wipes”. And she just came from her doctor’s office. And he just did a vaginal exam. And she had sex last night…
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This is how I feel when the ER sends someone up because she’s having trouble breathing…

 

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This is how I feel when a multip comes in complete and ruptured and asks if she has time to get an epidural…

 

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This is how I feel when someone says their pain scale is a 10 while they’re talking on the phone and watching t.v…
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This is how I feel when a patient comes in because she’s bleeding, and I ask if she’s wearing a pad, and she tells me she has a towel/blanket stuffed between her legs….

 

 

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This is how I feel trying to get heart tones…while starting an IV …while making sure someone notifies her doctor …while pulling her stretcher to the OR…

 

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This is how I feel when a patient comes in because she says her water broke (twelve hours ago). She knows it was her water because she felt a sharp pain “down there” when she woke up and then she had a gush of fluid. And she’s not wearing a pad. And it “didn’t smell like pee” ….

 

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This is how I feel when I nitrazine her and tell her she just peed on herself.

 

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This is how I feel when I ask the patient when she had sex last and she looks at her husband (like she doesn’t remember)…

(p.s. the answer was this morning)

 

 

I love love love triage because you hear the same things over and over, but surprises still walk through the door! Lots of love and laughter to all my triage patients ❤

Until my next delivery ❤


58 thoughts on “This is Triage…

  • Pingback: This is Labor and Delivery « Adventures of a Labor Nurse

  • April 13, 2014 at 5:46 pm
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    But Michele, at the end it’s so rewarding when u hold that sweet little baby, that u helped to deliver and hold in your arms.??? Wow, what a day!!!Then (whatever), IT was worth it all!!!!. I’m so proud of YOU!! Now go and have a blessed day!! I LOVE YOU. ?

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  • April 13, 2014 at 7:49 pm
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    Been there and done that!!!! Loved this post

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  • April 15, 2014 at 2:11 am
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    Or when she comes into triage with little to no prenatal care and proceeds to deliver undiagnosed twins!!

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    • April 27, 2014 at 1:30 am
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      Been there!!!! Not fun at all!!!

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    • July 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm
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      I had one just like that! She read somewhere that you shouldn’t go overdue (but apparently didn’t read that you should see a doctor). She was huge so I slapped the U/S on her. Twins 7 lbs and 8.5 lbs!

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    • January 4, 2016 at 12:22 pm
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      I had that happen once to a doctor who had done a quick u/s when she first came in himself and didn’t notice. we get the first one out and aren’t paying attention but to the baby and all of the sudden I see a look of horror on his face and he says “ugh, I have a second baby and its a foot!” fun times

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  • April 15, 2014 at 6:34 pm
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    You should have one with the nurse rolling her eyes as the high drug addict pt abrupts/delivers and immediately starts crying and asking “Is my baby ok? as you’re whisking a limp baby off to the nursery – then hangs over it’s warmer for days asking when she can take it home.. Yeah, about that…

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    • January 4, 2016 at 12:24 pm
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      or the one high on cocaine and abrupting and throwing things at you across the room and you are expected to what? im sorry but you already gave yourself pain medicine

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  • April 17, 2014 at 8:36 am
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    I love it when they are rushed in by ambulance thinking they are in labour, only to leave walking out of the hospital to the nearest bus stop!

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    • May 14, 2015 at 1:13 am
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      And right before/after the ambulance arrives 15 family members run in asking where the patient is.( the question remains, is there not one of u that could have brought her in to the hospital)

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    • January 4, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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      ours come by ambulance to try to make their baby daddy feel guilty because she knows he is with another girl and she wants his attention

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    • March 4, 2016 at 7:40 am
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      Ambulance = <1 cm or holding a baby as they're wheeled through the door.

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      • March 5, 2016 at 8:06 pm
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        Lol, I was wheeled in with my baby last time… Good times!

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  • April 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm
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    When they come by squad at 3am for a butt rash… When they come in by squad bc they had no ride but then 39 of their “friends” show up 10 min after

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  • May 16, 2014 at 9:31 am
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    Great post! I laughed out loud! Worked several years in a very busy OB triage unit(8 beds). Could definitely relate! How about when the patient ends up delivering in triage because “there’s no bed for her in L&D” and then magically, a bed appears after she delivers in triage!

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  • July 25, 2014 at 9:37 am
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    This happened yesterday, no joke…A multip showed up ruptured 6 hours later. When asked about the delay she says ” I wasn’t sure if it was my water or my husbands saliva!” I wish I could make this stuff up!!!

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  • July 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm
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    I love this! Actually laughed out loud reading most of them because you are SPOT ON! I worked at a HighRisk OB unit with an 8 bed triage for over 7 years before my current job and have so many stories that can bring me to tears with laughter thinking about! We couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried!

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      • May 13, 2015 at 11:13 pm
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        We deliver 500 babies a month, and have an 11 bed triage, and after 15 years, nothing surprises me anymore. Highly accurate!!

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  • Pingback: This is Triage… | Adventures of a Labor Nurse

  • May 13, 2015 at 4:16 pm
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    Or the patient who comes in by ambulance with “labor”, and she’s 1 cm and she wants you to call the ambulance to bring her back home.

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    • January 4, 2016 at 12:29 pm
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      I love the faces of the emt’s when they are saying she is going to have the baby and all the nurses look at them and stay in their chairs at the nursing station because there is no way she is in labor and she is closed/th/high. They just look at us like we are crazy

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  • May 13, 2015 at 7:18 pm
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    I think it’s that time… To re-release… Jennifer Lawrence Does Labor and Delivery ?❤️???

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  • May 13, 2015 at 11:13 pm
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    Why are nurses wack?

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  • May 14, 2015 at 1:10 am
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    Well, OK then. Since, and only since, my heart surgery (last year) have I met with the same wonderful kind of nurse that brought both of my daughters into this world (about 30 years ago). I was blessed then, but now I am blessed to be able to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Maybe I was too busy oogling my babies before. But now I am blessed to say Thank you to those who are there w/o objection to bring God’s creations into this world. They may not always be the creations we expect. But they are very unique every time.
    Sincerely, R.S. Higgins 1956-?

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  • May 14, 2015 at 2:37 am
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    I had a pt come in bleeding and very anxious. The 1st thing I asked was Did you have sex? She replied yes but I didnt have an orgasm! True story.

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    • January 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm
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      I just had a pt come in with some bleeding into the ER. They were all panicked but I just looked at her and asked if she had sex and she proceeds to go into detail that they not only had sex but rough amazing sex, life changing sex. I was teasing them the whole time I had them. I thought labor nurses were the only people to talk about sex like it was a normal thing to just give details about. I like it when you tell them they are in preterm labor and cant have sex and she asks you if she can at least have anal sex

      Reply
  • May 14, 2015 at 4:01 am
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    …or she lost her mucus plug & and the baby’s balling up. Or you show up at registration with a wheelchair, but you can’t find her because she went outside to smoke. Or this is her first hospitalization ever, everything goes right and you are her hero.

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  • May 14, 2015 at 5:09 am
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    It was so much fun to work triage, my favorite by far

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  • May 14, 2015 at 5:38 am
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    pt’s family member rushes out of triage to desk to say My daughter lost her mucous plug !! No nurse rushes anywhere LOL

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    • January 4, 2016 at 12:35 pm
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      ive had them bring it to us at the desk in a ziplock bag!!

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  • May 15, 2015 at 12:26 am
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    Or when they come in because they lost their mucous plug… and they’ve brought it with them to show you (uh… eww… no thanks).

    Or when you pull a crack pipe in a ziplock baggie out of her vagina when you try to check her cervix, and without missing a beat she looks you straight in the eyes and says “Oh, I swear that ain’t mine!”

    Or when you explain to the high as a kite patient who comes in the door with sweat on her upper lip and precipitously delivers/abrupts a 27 week baby within seconds of getting her pants off, that you really need to know what she’s been using so that you know how to appropriately treat her baby, and she swears she hasn’t used any drugs at all. And then when her drug screen comes back lit up like the Skittles rainbow and she continues to swear that she doesn’t use drugs.

    Yep. Gotta love triage!!

    Reply
  • May 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm
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    Or when you have a patient that comes in for questionable Srom…. and you do the exam and pull out a condom… Ewww… you may need to get checked out, because you are obviously not using that condom to protect against pregnancy… And you are not ruptured… EWWW

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    • January 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm
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      They come in thinking their water broke cause they feel some fluid but then you do a slide and under the microscope are all kinds of swimmers. You ask her if she just had sex and she says yes and you have to ask if she doesn’t feel the same all the other times she had sex

      Reply
  • February 29, 2016 at 5:10 am
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    Or when you do a VE and feel a hard ring….pulled out what we later identified as a “cock ring.” When asked, she responded “oh..I thought we lost that.” Lovely!

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  • March 3, 2016 at 10:05 pm
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    Try not to be too critical of your women in labor. With my last baby, I went into hospital at 35 weeks because I had checked my own blood pressure (I was a midwifery student at the time) and it was high, and I also felt within myself like something wasn’t right. The registered midwife looked down her nose at me for checking myself and was on her high horse about wasting her time (she didn’t say that directly, but it’s definitely what she implied) but changed her tune pretty quickly after an OB delivered my baby by c-section a couple of hours later after the heart rate kept dipping and it turned out the cord had twisted itself into a true knot, and also that my uterus was paper thin around a previous scar (I was going to attempt a vaginal birth, which by the way the OBs were supporting me with). If she had sent me home, both of us may have died. My point is, as abserd as presenting symptoms may seem, try to treat each case seriously and please don’t down talk down to your women, they do pick up on it and it’s not a nice feeling. On a high note though, the nursing and midwifery staff in the NICU were amazing, they don’t get paid enough for what they do!

    Reply
    • March 3, 2016 at 11:55 pm
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      Most of us tell these stories as a way to “blow off steam” so to speak. I laugh and joke about these stories so that I am able to maintain composure in front of my patients. I love my patients. I am never disrespectful or “talk down” to them. I treat every patient as if she is my sister or best friend, how I would expect to be treated. I can confidently say that I have never seen/heard my coworkers treat patients with disrespect either. Sometimes there are triage visits that are a waste of our time and resources. Sometimes they are downright ridiculous. If I couldn’t vent to my coworkers and laugh about it afterwards, I would probably lose my mind!!

      Reply
  • March 4, 2016 at 11:39 pm
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    This is great. As a fellow nurse and mommy of two I can only imagine the fun you guys have in L&D. Maybe one day I’ll make it over there. I’m in the ICU and the thought of all those whiny moms is too much right now. Right now I like my patients tubed and sedated but maybe one day…

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  • May 13, 2016 at 4:25 pm
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    One of my favorites is when the ER says they are sending up a multip. You race to the elevator and as the doors open they say “False alarm, her contractions have stopped”. Mom is arching her back, can’t put her butt in the wheelchair ! No time for gloves! Wheelchair deliveries are so much fun!

    Reply

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