I had a good chuckle Thursday night while watching Grey's Anatomy. This show's theme was "anything can happen in an hour." With Meredith Grey serving as the supervising resident for the ER, it was an action-packed hour of broken femurs, mysterious headaches, shenanigans in the linen closet, etc.
Why was I laughing? Because the patients were seen immediately and lab results were back within minutes! This episode aired the night after I took my mother to the ER (per doctor's orders) with another bout of severe anemia. She is being treated by her doctors for several maladies, but at 88 her symptoms sometimes get away from her.
So we arrived at the ER, checked in at the desk, went right in to registration, then sat in the waiting room for 1-1/2 hours. That is good news in that my mother wasn't so sick that she needed Grey's Anatomy-drama care. On the other hand, she would have felt better spending that time in the comfort of her own home.
We were then ushered into a treatment room where we waited for an examination and blood draw, and then waited some more to learn the lab results.
The fictional Seattle Grace Hospital must have a heck of a lab -- they always provide instant results. I envision row and row of lab technicians waiting for blood draws to snatch and process.
Anyway, the doctor determined my mother should be admitted for observation and more tests, but the small neighborhood hospital didn't have any vacant beds. She would have to be transported to the much larger central hospital in the system -- which of course would take time for the paperwork and arrival of the ambulance. Five hours after our arrival at the ER, my mother was wheeled into the ambulance.
Now, I'm not complaining about the care received. This particular health care system has so far taken excellent care of us both. And, as I said, I was thankful that my mother didn't need "crash cart" care.
But I sure did get a laugh out of the instantaneous ER care portrayed on last night's Grey's Anatomy after just experiencing actual care at a more leisurely pace.
It's called fiction for a reason! :-)
P.S. My mother will likely be discharged tomorrow and then spend the next few weeks in a round of follow-up doctor visits.