Stories from an ER Tech

I work at the biggest level one trauma center in Phoenix

This means we have the most trauma surgeons on staff at all times and can take in more traumas than any other hospital in The valley. I am not a doctor or a nurse, I am tech in the ER so my job is to basically support all the people who went to school for many more years than I have, (yet). I am a licensed EMT but prefer the hospital culture to being mobile. I do a lot of the stuff that the doctors and nurses don’t want to do, but I am also more trained in some aspects of emergency and trauma stabilization than some of the nurses, so it balances things out. I love my job so here are a few stories.

People are stupid

There’s been so many times that patients have come in with stories and I just go “what?” For example, two guys came in cut to fucking shit. Like slices on their faces and stomachs and then we flip one of the guys over and realize he has a giant open wound and his bowel is hanging out. This was my first week of work and I had to excuse myself to vomit. It turns out these two dudes got drunk and decided to have a sword fight, with real swords.

Teenagers do weird things when they are learning about their bodies

So, we had a 13 year old boy brought in by his father and it was the most awkward parent/child encounter I’ve ever experienced. The kid had “something in his butt” and when we took him for x-ray it was not ONE but TWO toothbrushes up there. His colon just slurped those puppies up. He had apparently been experimenting with certain sensations, and lost it. In an attempt to get the first one out he tried using a second toothbrush but ended up losing that one too. His dad was mortified to say the least.

Sometimes really sad things happen and it breaks your heart

We had a 2 year old boy life-flighted in from a close by state and he had brain bleeds on both sides of his head, was covered in cigarette burns and had bruises of varying stages all over his little body. It was pretty apparent this child was terribly abused. His parents claimed they had dropped him in the bath tub and that was what caused ALL of the damage to his precious little body. We lost him in the OR and my heart just sank. I don’t know what happened to those parents but they were arrested at the hospital.

But SOMETIMES, really awesome things happen!!

We had a patient who used to come into the ER for detox every. single. day. He was a really bad alcoholic who would become extremely violent and upset very quickly. He was bipolar and the drinking didn’t help. This man was in his 50’s and everyone just assumed he was going to drink himself to death.

Then he stopped coming in. We all assumed he had died and one day he showed up and looked so wonderful that none of us even recognized him. He was clean shaven and had lost about 30 pounds and was carrying flowers and cookies. He had been sober for 6 months and wanted to show his appreciation to our hospital staff for taking care of him for so long. There literally wasn’t a dry eye in the room and it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.

About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.