* * Anonymous Doc

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Rapid response, room 1303," blared the overhead speakers.

1303? That's my patient.

But I just saw her!

I see nurses and doctors running down the hall. I get up and start sprinting too.

Still, I just saw her-- she was fine. She was waiting for a chest x-ray.

Her son was badgering us about a chest x-ray, and why it was taking so long.

I told him, there are other people ahead of his mother, it's not an emergency, we'll get it done by the end of the day, and she's going to be fine.

I get to 1303, and there's a screaming match going on already.

"Your mother is fine."

"They said she was getting an x-ray."

I step in. "This is my patient-- what's going on? She seems okay."

The code leader-- a third-year resident I'm friendly with-- turns to me.

"She's fine. Her son called a rapid response."


The son interrupts. "You said she was getting a chest x-ray. No one came. So I picked up the phone and said she couldn't breathe. That, you come running for."

"Well of course we come running--"

"But for her x-ray--"

"She'll get her x-ray."

"She'll get it now," he said.

"No, she'll get it when she needs to get it, and we've taken care of actual emergencies. And for you to call a rapid response, and get everyone on the floor to stop treating the patients who need them, for no reason--"

The code leader stepped in between us. She turned to the son, calmly.

"We're going to call security, and we're going to have you escorted from the hospital. Your mother will get her chest x-ray when it's appropriate. You cannot call a rapid response just to get our attention."

Everyone walked out.

The code leader called security.

Security laughed.

The son's still there.

I don't know what's going to happen if his mother really needs a rapid response, because no one's going to believe him.


  1. Security should have thrown the son out. That's flat out abuse of the system.

  2. Security laughed? Someone needs to throw THEM out.

  3. Hospital security is usually contracted out to a private security firm - wouldn't surprise me if they're contractually obligated to not throw people out unless they meet a certain set of criteria. Being a douchebag probably isn't sufficient - if it were, hospitals would probably be empty.