By Guest Contributor Paul Weinberg, Author of ER Doctor
The tales from my time in the ER I told to my kids were cautionary tales to teach them how to be safe, to be aware. Many of the tips were basic, like wear shoes to avoid foot injury or wear gloves when handling broken glass.
Some were funny and weird, others too disturbing for their young minds. Some even I could not fully absorb, like never shake a baby, which I learned from treating a baby who had been shaken.
This is a list of things I learned that I take personally from my ED life and explained to the kids, who may or may not have taken them seriously. (Visit my website erdoctips.com for a more detailed explanation of each.)
When it comes to any medical concern, nothing I write below should delay or prevent you from seeking the advice of your medical professional, and always seek help immediately for any emergency.
1. Empty your bladder prior to driving
2. Always wear a seatbelt
3. Do not speed or use the drug speed
4. Meth – Not once!
5. Marijuana is OK for occasional use
6. Do not drink to excess
7. Caution when taking out the trash
8. Use a bagel cutter
9. Avoid carbs (carbohydrates). Diet matters!
10. Keep immunizations up-to-date
11. Avoid getting caught up in the medical system – Try and accept minor complaints
12. Never touch your face without washing your hands first
13. No trampoline play
14. Great concern of pools and children
15. Wear closed-in footwear when bicycle riding
16. Use it or lose it (i.e. keep exercising)
17. Nothing good happens after 2 a.m. – Sometimes even as early as 11 p.m.
18. Avoid large gatherings
19. Sunscreen is your friend – Use it
20. Sunglasses double as eye protectors
21. Male stubbornness can be deadly
22. Do not dive – And never head first
23. Pay attention to outcomes when you are having “too much fun” (particularly under age 30)
24. Do not punch a wall or a window
25. Firearms can be perilous – But you already knew that
26. Membership in a local gang is not good for longevity
27. Continue to take your high blood pressure medicine
28. “I was feeling so well I stopped taking my insulin”
29. Avoid ingesting gasoline when siphoning gasoline
30. Really, never shake a baby
31. Tattoos sag with disease and age and weight loss
32. Medical language skills
33. Wound care
34. Protect hands and feet from injury – Beware of glass
35. Oleander, to be enjoyed at a distance
36. Caution around wood chippers, blenders, axes
37. Responsibility to show up and work
38. Keep thinking – No panicking
39. Mute commercials
40. “Epistaxis Management” aka Nosebleed
41. A special hospital smell brought home by parents
42. Be careful with plastic bags and tabs around children
43. Teased about hand hygiene by non-medical buddies
44. Learn Greek and Latin roots
45. Use of field sobriety tests for safety!
46. Zit management – Don’t needle ‘em or squeeze them too hard
47. Understand the difference between risk and dread
48. Rarely use the internet to diagnosis your medical condition
* This content is based entirely on my personal and professional views from my 30-year career as a clinical Emergency Medicine doctor and not intended to treat or diagnose anyone for anything. The content is intended to educate and inspire the reader to seek more information from their doctor or medical professional.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Weinberg, MD, a self-confessed adrenaline junkie, spent a total of 45 years in Emergency Medicine primarily in a community hospital in a major metropolitan area in California, USA. He is now retired.
In turns shocking, sad and funny, this book contains remarkable tales, inside stories and the experiences of a doctor’s career in ER. Emergency medicine in America is a critical asset to its healthcare system. The ER doctor is located at the interface of the public and the first point of healthcare. If a doctor is needed outside of office hours, nights, or holidays, if the patient is uninsured or has inadequate insurance, or is of such a social state that they might be unpleasant to be around, no one is turned away at the ER. In short, the life of the ER doc is one where no situation is off limits.
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