Is earwax removal an emergency?

  1. What is an emergency? Is an overdue ear irrigation one? How about bedbug bites from a sleepover? A stiff neck from sleeping wrong? A child's fever, who got started on antibiotics prescribed by PCP this morning and went away after Tylenol given prior to arrival.

    Do the people with these types of 'emergencies' actually have co-pays? And, what are health classes teaching in the schools these days?
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   amoLucia
    I don't know about others, but earwax issues can be extremely problematic. I am highly 'ear sensitive'. If an ear plugs up, I need to get it unplugged ASAP.

    I mean dizziness where the room is spinning so bad, I hold on to the wall. Nausea sometimes with projectile vomiting. Blinding headache if it continues too long.

    I know I panic and that many others will just do the peroxide/debrox themselves without any problem. But then I fear that I won't be able to get it unplugged myself.

    So it's usually a trip to some HCP somewhere.

    All the scenarios in your post are real problems to somebody who probably doesn't have a PMP and/or the resources to visit an Urgi-Care Center.

    So for treatment they go to the place they know where they CAN be treated.
  4. by   Pixie.RN
    Our society has minimal critical thinking skills as well as a decreased ability to cope. Frustrating for everyone!
  5. by   KeeperMom
    Quote from Pixie.RN
    Our society has minimal critical thinking skills as well as a decreased ability to cope. Frustrating for everyone!
    Minimal at BEST. Society is very "me, me, me" and would rather someone else fix his/her problem than even attempt self-help.
    How many times have we heard a patient's c/c and asked him if he tried anything OTC before coming? How many times is that answer, "Well, I don't like to take anything."
    SMH. What exactly are you expecting us to do? Healing interpretive dance? Laying of hands? Sacrifice a goat?
  6. by   amoLucia
    To Pixie -

    So true. I've been lucky to have been able to avoid the ER. Twice I was sched to work those mornings, so nsg supervisor had me breeze thru the ER before I hit the floor. And somebody would tx me.
  7. by   amoLucia
    To Pixie - So true. I've been lucky to have been able to avoid the ER. Twice I was sched to work those mornings, so nsg supervisor had me breeze thru the ER before I hit the floor. And somebody would tx me.

    Oops, entered twice!
  8. by   JKL33
    Quote from Emergent
    What is an emergency? Is an overdue ear irrigation one? How about bedbug bites from a sleepover? A stiff neck from sleeping wrong? A child's fever, who got started on antibiotics prescribed by PCP this morning and went away after Tylenol given prior to arrival.

    Do the people with these types of 'emergencies' actually have co-pays? And, what are health classes teaching in the schools these days?
    Emergent,

    It took me awhile to adjust when this kind of thing started becoming super common. Eventually I told myself that the person may not have my idea of a medical emergency but that didn't mean that I couldn't be a force for good. Yeah...it was kind of a kumbaya-count-your-blessings type of change of heart, but it really does help to think in terms of "what can I do for this person today?" Maybe it's education, maybe it's reassurrance, maybe its some simpler fix.

    I'd like to say I'm just that altruistic, but admittedly I forced myself to change my thinking as a matter of survival.
  9. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from KeeperMom
    SMH. What exactly are you expecting us to do? Healing interpretive dance? Laying of hands? Sacrifice a goat?
    I would so work in that ER! Lol. Imagine the patient satisfaction!
  10. by   nursej22
    I confess, i went to the ER with ear pain. It was excruciating, 10/10 pain, and I have had children and broken bones. My PCP had irrigated earlier in the day, said, "ooh, that looks bad, it's going to rupture." This was on a Friday. It ruptured in the middle of the night, and instead of feeling better, it was worse. I was concerned about irrigating at home without sterile or even aseptic supplies. So they irrigated and scooped, got out gobs and gobs of pus, and said, "ooh, that looks bad."
  11. by   djh123
    Funny that you ask if earwax removal is an emergency. This was a bit of an unusual case, but it can be!! (An emergency, that is). Several weeks ago, I was getting very close to leaving on the first 'big trip' I'd taken in far too long, and a few days before that, I got water in my ear in the shower, and couldn't get it out. I'd seen my internist not long before that and he'd recommended Debrox drops to get some wax out. I'd used them a couple of times, but hadn't really done the job - I think I'd just loosened the wax up some, and the water seemed to be 'trapped behind it'. I tried all of the home-remedy things I could find on the 'net, with my flight rapidly approaching, as I couldn't hear out of the R ear and was even starting to feel not so hot in the ear/neck area. Finally went to an urgent care place less than 2 days before the flight - before work - and they flushed it all out. Thank Gawd...
  12. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from Emergent
    Do the people with these types of 'emergencies' actually have co-pays? And, what are health classes teaching in the schools these days?
    What are these health classes of which you speak?
  13. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from Pixie.RN
    I would so work in that ER! Lol. Imagine the patient satisfaction!
    I would draw the line at the goat sacrifice. But the healing interpretive dance is intriguing. How about burning incense and a Tibetan singing bowl?
  14. by   tiffanyB12
    While an emergency, trapped wax can cause difficulty hearing, or get stuck in the ear causing redness/irritation. People come in rather often to my Urgent care for ear wax removal, and I am usually the one who gets to do it. it's actually a fun procedure.

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