I never, ever went to ER when I was a kid

  1. 10
    We were sitting around talking last night at work. Another barely sick kid was in room 4 and it got us on the subject. I have a lot of kids and, in my many years of parenting only used the ER once, when my son split his sinuses open crashing into a dumpster on his bike, and required emergency surgery.

    Then I realized, as a child, I had never been to the ER. When I was six years old I went head first falling off a bike while we were visiting family friends. I was knocked out for several minutes, I was later told. They brought me inside, I was bleeding, I remember waking up in my Mom's friend's arms, they were wiping blood off me. Then, they brought me over to their other friend's doctor husband's office and he stitched me up in the office, 5 stitches in my cheek and my chin too. He did a darned good job of it too, I don't have a scar. No head CT, they didn't have that back in 1964. I wore bandages over half my face for a week, I looked like a mummy.

    When did people start going to ERs for totally stupid reasons? My mother would have never thought of bringing us to the ER for the sniffles.
    MassED, llg, NurseOnAMotorcycle, and 7 others like this.

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  2. 70 Comments...

  3. 3
    I never went to the ER as a kid, either. My parents always took me to my PCP.
    MassED, poppycat, and Emergent like this.
  4. 4
    When I was a kid I went to the ER exactly once. I was in approx 10th grade--I sustained a corneal abrasion on a Saturday and my mom took me to the ER. Now, even that seems like a kinda silly visit (she is a physician, so my guess is that she was worried that if I waited 2 days for an appointment with the ophthalmologist, I would get some raging eye infection??).

    This is totally my opinion, but I see two reasons for this that work in combination: one is hypervigilant parenting (i.e. my child has a headache...maybe they have meningitis! I better get that checked). The second is the totally lack of payment that is required for some for ER visits. Even if it is a small copay...even $5, I think that would get rid of a few of the unnecessary visits.

    And on a personal note...there is not much else worse than hearing "yes, nurse I [the mother] am here because I have had a cough for 3 weeks...since I had to come in I figure I should get my kid checked out too...no, I haven't noticed anything wrong with him.".
  5. 4
    I went to the ER twice as a child. Once at seven with a broken leg- after it was confirmed by XR in my pediatrician's office. The second in an ambulance after having a new onset seizure in sleep.

    I have a co-worker (not a nurse) who brings her kids to the ER for anything and everything. And then she'll complain to me about it and I'll be like "well what do you expect when you bring your kid to the ER at 2am for a broken fingernail or an ear ache? There are actual emergencies there, go to the pediatrician in the morning."
  6. 1
    I went to the ER once, for stitches after running around barefoot outside and stepping on something.
    Emergent likes this.
  7. 1
    I never went to the ER as a kid, either. Ever. My parents still talk about how when I was really sick they carried me into our pediatrician's office, and when my brother needed stitches, same thing. It was only one doctor in the practice. He always squeezed us in.
    Nowadays people bring their kids to the ER instead. A nurse I worked with brought her kids there for everything. Bug bite? ER. Earache? ER. I don't get it.
    Emergent likes this.
  8. 1
    I never went to the ER, and rarely to the doctor. I was raised in the "dust it off" school of parenting. My dad did take me to the medi-centre with a radial head dislocation once, but I don't think it would ever have occurred to him to go to the ER.
    Emergent likes this.
  9. 3
    I work in an er and the reasons people bring there kids in are often ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, we get some pretty sick kids that belong there but most of them don't. The thing I hear from the nurses the most is how the first thing the parents say when they walk in the room is "my son/daughter is hungry. don't you have any food for them." Total abuse of the system. I've been to the er exactly 3 times in my life and I'm almost 40. An er is for emergencies, not because you're child is hungry people!
  10. 20
    The child in question, in room 4, was definitely being groomed by his frequent flier mother to be a member of the future frequent fliers of America club. As soon as he hit the room he immediately requested a popsicle, specifically a red popsicle. The doc and I joked that popsicles were a gateway drug. Next will be vicodin, and eventually the boy will graduate to the big 'D'.

    When we were all done, the young fellow exclaimed "When can I come back!"

    Another customer satisfaction moment! Press Ganey will be pleased.
    Last edit by Emergent on Jan 23
    MECO28, annie.rn, thelema13, and 17 others like this.
  11. 2
    Yup, no different in our ER. It does, however, make it more difficult to sort out the truly ill folks sometimes. I can recall a few times already, in my short career, where I thought a pt was being overly dramatic....only to have them end up being really sick. I think the misuse of the ER makes our job harder.
    86toronado and Emergent like this.

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