I worked as an ER tech in an ER in Northern California, Hawaii, and Currently work in one in Arkansas. I have seen a ton of disgusting, off the wall shit. I also worked as a patient support coordinator, which essentially means I did things similar to that of a social worker-I was the person that went with the dr to notify families bad news. AMA!

Comments: 218 • Responses: 87  • Date: 

IhaveSomeQuestions5615 karma


kaylarae25 karma

6) Generally, i'd say 50% of the time. But truthfully, if someone is near death, they likely are already on a disposable pad, have a catheter in, etc. I guess it would be better to say, once they pass on, we don't go investigating down there. But, if they do, a lot of the time, you can smell it. 7) There is always more than one person in the room when CPR is given, because it is tiring, and tires you out quickly. I probably did 5-10 minutes once, but that was only because I was waiting for someone else to come in. Sometimes they die, but medicine is awesome, and sometimes they live. I've done CPR on more people who have lived than have died. 8) a fireman with 3rd degree burns over his entire body. He fell through the roof of a building into the fire, he lived, and I met him about a year later when I moved to Hawaii. Crazy story. 9) Sometimes you get 10 minutes, sometimes you get 3. Sometimes they walk through the front door, and you get NO time. 10) Too much.

XCrazedxPyroX3 karma

Please tell the story about meeting the firefighter

kaylarae31 karma

Well, like I had posted he was badly burned, brought to our hospital, transferred out to a burn center.

I have to be pretty vague in the story-I apologize-privacy laws...etc...

Anyway fast forward to a year later, and i'm living in Hawaii. A man with scars all over his body, comes in to the ER I worked at. I just knew it was him. I asked him how he got his burns, and he confirmed it. I teared up, and I told him that I was there the night he was brought in, and he and his wife immediately started to cry. It was pretty amazing to meet him. Small world I tell ya, small world.

lonuas2 karma

Did the fireman recognize you?

kaylarae4 karma

No-and I doubt he'd have recognized anyone who took care of him. His burns were pretty severe

danieljamespike14 karma

Did you ever have to amputate a dick while in the E.R. ?

kaylarae40 karma

No. However, I did see a drunk guy slide off the gurney, and rip his sack open on a lever at the end of the bed. I wish I was joking. It was awful.

SuchAnItch6 karma

I'm an rn in our cities ER...we had a demented man who had tried to rip his catheter out, instead just ripped his urethra down to where the head meets shaft, then around half the radius of the head. Since he was so old, the surgeons decided it wasn't worth it.. :-o

kaylarae7 karma

I've seen a drunk guy pull his catheter out. Blood EVERYWHERE.

ZondaRFanForLife2 karma

Won't they be sedated though?

kaylarae2 karma

Usually they're too wasted to be sedated.

Filbert10112 karma

Who was the most unexpected patient you had who turned out to be pregnant?

kaylarae23 karma

Each and every teenage girl who said that there was no chance they could be... But then I started to expect it.

IhaveSomeQuestions5611 karma


kaylarae18 karma

26) In California I made just under 14 an hour. In Hawaii I made almost 20 an hour. In Arkansas, less than both, but more than minimum wage. 27) Unless a nurse left meds laying around-there's no way for me to access it. The medications are all in a machine that you have to have a code to, in an area monitored by cameras. 28) 3. But it's not really the number of bullets, but location of bullets that count. I met someone with a gunshot that tore through their aorta, went to surgery, and fuckin' lived. Thank you modern medicine. 29) No, but, I did do CPR on a lady for 30 seconds who's heart actually stopped beating, and when her heart started again, she looked at me like "WHAT THE FUCK THAT HURTS." 30) Probably 2 years old. Molested by stepfather.

Xjaystick10 karma

whats the funniest thing you have seen?

kaylarae24 karma

A military man came in cause he was in a barfight and he needed stitches. Well, he and his wife were there, as was his CO, and then the dudes girlfriend on the side showed up...His CO said it was the 3rd time it had happened with the guy, and he cut up his military ID in front of everyone.

mr_rightnow10 karma

What is thw weirdest thing someone has had stuck up their ass?

kaylarae16 karma

A HUGE dildo, that you could see on xray. He said he had waited 6 hours, hoping it would come out, it didn't. He was walking very strangely.

techiebabe3 karma

There was a documentary series in the UK called Junior Doctors (fairly self-explanatory title). One of the patients came in with a toilet brush stuck up his behind...

A dildo I could understand, but a toilet brush?!

The young doctor kept a straight face but delighted in telling her housemates over dinner.

edit: video clip here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziAeYl7TzZI - apparently the patient slipped and fell onto the brush. As you do.

kaylarae3 karma

I would not put a toilet brush up my ass, unless it was one that had never touched a toilet. Wait, which end of the toilet brush!?

Kasokaso9 karma


kaylarae17 karma

1) Someone who got hit by a car, while riding their bike with no helmet. Brains everywhere. So gross. 2) Hawaii's ER is full of legit crazy ass people who are violent and do meth. California was more homeless people wanting sandwiches. Oh and gang violence. Arkansas is kind of mild. 3) Watching a mom have 30 seconds to say goodbye to her daughter, for likely, the last time, before she was rushed to the OR for a surgery that probably wouldn't save her.

You should definitely become one. It's one of the most rewarding, yet tough, things you'll ever do.

monsieurvampy2 karma

For 3) did she live or die?

kaylarae3 karma

She died.

IhaveSomeQuestions568 karma


kaylarae10 karma

11) I'd say...10-15% are not awful to look at. I never really checked people out at work. I just think, oh, this person actually takes care of themselves, doesn't stink, isn't morbidly obese etc.

12) Younger people care more about what it looks down there. 13) Older people seem to wear functional undergarments, as opposed to cute ones. 14) Each hospital seemed to be different. At one, if you were drunk, and unconcious, you got a catheter. Or if you were critical-you had a catheter. It really just depends on the situation. Older patients are more likely to get infections because of a catheter-so it's almost better to use the diaper. 15) A new RN was fired for injecting herself with pain medication in the med room. Bitch didn't realize there was a camera in there. It was funny too, cause a week earlier, I had told a coworker that I thought this chick was slow or something, that something was up...and then, she was gone!

IhaveSomeQuestions567 karma


kaylarae4 karma

21)Privacy laws permit us from giving any info out, to anyone, who isn't directly involved in the care of the patient. So, shady or not, unless it's to talk to a police officer, or something along those lines, we're not aloud to tell people anything. 22) Yes. What we do is based off of what they do. If they're just talking, that's where it stops...If they get physical, they get phsyically restrained, sometimes taken to jail. It is a felony to assault a healthcare worker, BTW. 23) None that I can think of. Security is a godsend. In Hawaii, when you enter the ER lobby you go through a metal detector. 24) A sling fishing spear to the thigh. had to be surgically removed.


_Zeppo_7 karma

Pardon my ignorance, but I guess I'm not exactly sure what an ER tech is. What are the qualifications. What exactly do you do? Thanks.

kaylarae4 karma

ER Tech is like a CNA, but they do a ton more than a CNA does. At the hospital I work at now, sometimes they float me to the floors upstairs, and as a CNA, I do vitals every 4 hours, check blood sugars, and answer call lights.

As an ER tech, I do first aid, a lot of CPR, EKG's to see if someone is having a heart attack, insert and remove catheters, check blood sugars, hook patients up to monitors, transport patients to different departments...

IhaveSomeQuestions566 karma


kaylarae7 karma

  1. Denial is the craziest reaction. Even after they've seen the patient.
  2. Emergency Room doctors are amazing. I have never seen one cry, but I have seen them nearly cry.
  3. I've seen someone come in for a priapism. Where their dick gets hard and wont go away. They actually have to stick a needle in and remove blood. I've seen someone come in with a dildo stuck up their ass. I've seen someone come in with a vibrator (still on) stuck up their ass, and have to have surgery because it was so far up there.
  4. Fattest patient-probably between 500-600 lbs. NOT FUN.
  5. Well, not a lot of drugs, that I was aware of. There were hook ups, and some even had relationships (that didn't last) a few wrecked marriages, etc. ER staff can drink, trust me. I think that's the most drinking i've ever done. It's a way to vent. Working in an ER is hard on the brain, and booze helps.

Jaquezee5 karma

Hello! Thanks for taking your time to do this AmA!

My question;

While working, did you ever experience a moment or situation that made you just want to get up, leave and never come back?

To clarify, I mean a terrible injury/amputation/ or the utter terror or mental state that a person was in, with the actions/yelling/screaming accompanying it, that just sent chills and "get me the fuck out of here.." running through you.

kaylarae24 karma

There are many, but only one made me question why I did the job that I was doing.

Like I had mentioned I worked as a patient support coordinator. And this night, the worst one I ever had in 5 years working there, I was doing this job.

We had a person come in who was involved in a gang related shooting. Point blank to the chest. As the trauma team was working on him the lobby began to flood with family, friends, rival gang members...(cops were there well in advance and were handling that aspect of it)

I had pulled the family into a private room as soon as they got there. I went to the back, to see how it was going, and it was not going good. He was gone, but they were doing everything in their power to get him back. Blood was everywhere, we were using every possible resource that we could. It was horrific. I'd get into detail about the room that it happened in, but I will just say that it looked like nothing short of a scene in a horror movie.

So, after seeing that, I went out to the lobby, and I was trying my hardest to put on my game face after what I had just seen, and I told the family as little as I could-because I was not going to drop that bomb on them.

Meanwhile the patients father checks in due to anxiety related chest pain...and is in a room not far from all of this happening.

The ER physician finds me, and I go with him to notify the family-and it was awful. After he left me with the family, I did all I could to not cry along with them, but I failed. Hearing a mother cry for her child, hearing them pleading, was just too much. After everything had cleared out about 4 hours later, sigh, I went into my office, and had a nervous breakdown. Social services arrived while I was crying and talked me through it-but it didn't really help. I think about this night often.

Jaquezee5 karma

Is it strange that the question on my mind that I chose not to ask was; "Did you ever have an exceptionally bad gang-related experience?"

I appreciate your answer. I'm looking to become involved in late night ER work in the future, everything helps me to prepare for what to expect, even though you can never expect everything.

kaylarae8 karma

I have never really had any bad experiences with gangs, however... One night I was coming back from lunch at 230am, and I saw the entire front of the hospital COVERED in cop cars. Apparently the night before, which I did not work, a guy was shot in a gun related shooting...and a rival gang member had snuck into the ICU, with a gun, and was threatening to finish the job...

IhaveSomeQuestions563 karma


kaylarae3 karma

I think only a couple showed up before they were met by the police. There were no fights at the hospital, and I bet they were there to finish the job, or start shit with his friends. Hispanic.

TheKicker105 karma

What is your favorite color?

How many babies have you kicked? (Hopefully less than 5)

What is the coolest place you have ever had sex?

kaylarae12 karma

Blood red. Just kidding. Blue.

Never kicked a baby.

On a boat.

IhaveSomeQuestions565 karma


kaylarae6 karma

1) If it was by someone they knew, all of the time. It's not really ridiculous, it's just sad. If bitches be gettin in fights, and they're seeing us to get stitches, bitches become snitches. 2) All of the time, ALL OF THE TIME. I saw someone slice up their arms, not just their wrists, down to the bone, and they came in smiling. Sick in the head. 3) I don't think they're allowed to. 4) We can't get anyone in trouble for their addictions. People are pretty honest when they come in. We stress that it's important for us to know, because whatever you are taking could have some adverse effect with any medication you might be given. I had an old lady confess she smoked, I snickered, as did she. 5) Hm, This is a tough one. If it's the worst-they're usually dead, or damn near. I've seen a craniotomy performed, and I actually got to help the neuro-surgeon!

ilovetpb5 karma

How prevalent is child abuse? What about child neglect? I think this would make it hard for me to work in your field...

kaylarae4 karma

It's there. When it comes down to it, with any kind of abuse-you have to remember that you're there to help the patient. It's hard to get emotional, yes, but it's easy to be the best you can be at supporting the victim, and making sure that they feel safe. It may not sound like it-but that part of the job outweighs the bad part of it.

kaylarae1 karma

*hard to not get emo

Links_To_Wrong_Sites4 karma

Which would you rather treat?

100 duck-sized horse bites? Or 1 horse-sized duck bite?

kaylarae6 karma

1 horse sized duck bite!

TransFattyAcid4 karma

There's a number of hospitals in my area; how should I go about deciding which to visit in case of an emergency? I mean, in a serious case, I imagine the ambulance would take me, but if I were to, for example, step on a nail, where do I go? I imagine this is something I should know/decide before stepping on a nail.

kaylarae5 karma

If you can, avoid the hospital, and try going to your primary dr. It's cheaper, and a lot less time consuming. If you dont have a primary dr, go to the er early in the morning. Most nights the ER slows down at 3am. Not always-most. Good luck with NOT stepping on nails!

CPashnick4 karma

Ever throw up at sights/smells?

kaylarae10 karma

I can't handle broken bones, and many times I had to hold them while they were being splinted. I helped an ortho doc put pins through someones fibula to pull traction on their broken femur-grossest of gross. He had to drill through bone.

I cannot stand the smell of puke. Just thinking of it makes me gag.

kenks883 karma

Dude vicks vapor rub under the nose does wonders for those smells you can't stand.

I keep a contact lens case full of it, in my pocket.

kaylarae2 karma

I tend to turn off my nose, and sometimes my ears, when I'm at work.

JRoIIer4 karma

Have you ever seen a blue waffle?

kaylarae11 karma

No, thank god (after googling what it was)

TinkerGeeks1 karma

My bio teacher once explained how blue waffle was actually fake; a photoshop of genital warts with a blue tint

kaylarae2 karma

I was going to suggest that, because that's what the pictures look like.

some_anon_person4 karma

Craziest thing you've seen?

kaylarae4 karma

ell me your definition of crazy? You want blood and guts, off the wall crazy, actually crazy person crazy?

stevofficial2 karma


kaylarae7 karma

Blood and guts? Saw a person victim of a gunshot wound to the chest have his chest cracked open down his sternum, and through his ribcage, didn't even look fuckin' real.

BippityBopMyDick4 karma

If you insert IV's(which I believe is a catheter also, technically, not sure), what do you do when someone has NO veins? And I mean been a junkie for 30 years or whatever, no veins.

kaylarae4 karma

I do not get to do IV's. Not until i'm an RN. I just get to do bladder catheters. But i've seen nurses struggle to find veins on junkies. Doesn't look like a good time, to me.

TherealVinnoodle3 karma

1) Was there ever a patient you thought wouldn't make it but still did? 2) What the most fucked up thing you've ever had to do?

kaylarae11 karma

Most patients that come in critical, and make it, surprise me. Modern medicine is freaking amazing. As far as most fucked up thing...there are so many. I've posted probably the worst, about the gun shot victim with his chest just cut wide open...

Here's a funny story- I was walking a "blind" lady back to her room from the bathroom, and out of nowhere she punched me in the face. I didn't even see it coming. I guess she was a psych patient-which her family neglected to tell me...So, I grab her arm and forcibly take her to her room. She sits down, I turn my back, she lunges at me and as I turn around she takes her hand and tries to gouge out my eyeball. It was not that painful-but the thought of having someone's disgusting ass hands in my eyes grossed me out. I wound up having a scratch on my eyeball. I don't believe she was really blind. She was way to accurate with her punches.

Dajego3 karma

How did you become a doctor? Did you just had the grades to go into med school? And how much bioglogy is involved in the day to day live of a doctor?

kaylarae7 karma

I wish I was a doctor.

Dajego2 karma

Excuse me for not reading your description. You are doing great work. How is the pay?

Edit: See you ansewered that one too. Thanks for the AMA.

kaylarae2 karma

Where I am I make more than min wage. It's more than I'd get anywhere else here. (Oklahoma Arkansas)

[deleted]3 karma

I haven't come here to ask about anything gory or gross. But, what was your schooling/training to become an er tech? Were you a CNA (certified nursing assistant? I believe the term is actually NAC now, not that it matters) before hand?

kaylarae2 karma

I didn't get my CNA license until last year. I was an EMT in California, though. I had to take a class, which was pretty tough, had to make at least an 80 on everything to pass the class. It was only one semester, but by far the best decision, school-wise that I have made.

[deleted]3 karma

I'm currently a CNA and I would be interested in becoming an er tech. What's my next step??

kaylarae2 karma

Varies state to state. In Arkansas, I don't even think you have to be certified as anything. My EMT didn't count because i'm only certified in California. Come to think of it, it didn't count in Hawaii either, but they must have taken me because of my experience. If you want to become an EMT, check out your local JC, and see if they have a program. If you can't find one through the JC, there are private agencies that offer courses to get your EMT, though they are more expensive.

brokenheels1 karma

Interesting. How much experience did you have as an EMT before you got to be an ER tech? I ask because I'd love to be an ER tech, but I haven't got any EMT experience (I just got my driver's license and none of the ambulance companies will hire a new driver). Got any advice?

kaylarae2 karma

I never worked on the ambulance. I had no prior medical experience, I just worked in patient transport, within the hospital, and after I go my emt I transferred departments :)

Renia_nz3 karma

What is your best "I slipped and fell" story? You know what I'm talking about

kaylarae9 karma

Strangely the two patients that came in were honest about how the dildo got stuck up their asses.

RockyVplusRockyII3 karma

Tell us the funniest or most recently funny thing someone has come in for.

kaylarae11 karma


ashnbot3 karma

What is the funniest thing a patient has done while under your care?

kaylarae5 karma

A crazy patient came in, and I found them squatting on the bed, pissing. But it was not really funny-because I had to clean it up.

jstnrssdwlk3 karma

How many people have died in front of you? Do you take any of that home with you?

kaylarae2 karma

I have seen a lot of people die. Yes, I do, but, it gets easier to handle with time.

call_me_crazyy3 karma

1) What lesson have you learned?

2) do you ever regret choosing your career? Why or why not?

kaylarae5 karma

I have learned that life is taken quick, without warning, a lot of the time. Live life accordingly.

And no, overall, I do not regret it at all. I'm actually applying for the nursing program this month. :)

MegatronStarscream2 karma

How do you personally deal with all the really traumatic sort of experiences?

kaylarae3 karma

Fortunately, there aren't that many-and it depends on how involved I was in the care of the patient. Sometimes I can deal, other times I get overwhelmed and cry. Most hospitals have programs that help employees deal with stress, which is cool. I used them a couple of times. Talking it out with coworkers is a good way to deal. If you're feeling a certain way-chances are you're not the only one.

Crikeyisthatme2 karma

What was the saddest situation that you had to give bad news?

kaylarae2 karma

I never actually GAVE the news, but I was there with the dr. Read the post about the worst night in the ER I had...I don't wanna retype it :)

TheShroomHermit2 karma

How do you think the health care bill will affect you?

kaylarae3 karma

I'm not sure yet. I haven't been affected yet...

DennisFerguson2 karma

Do you tire of people constantly presenting with ''emergencies'' that are anything but?

kaylarae7 karma

Yes. YES. God YES. People need to realize what an emergency is, and to not get thoroughly pissed when someone who is actually dying, is the reason why it's taking so long for us to take care of your runny nose and cough. Suck it up pussy-get a tissue and stay home! These are the people that increase wait times at ERs.

Fartless2 karma

How do you get a decent paying job at a hospital without a college degree? I heard janitors at hospitals make ~17/hr.

kaylarae3 karma

Depends on the job you want to do. I mentioned before-I don't think in the last 2 ERs that I worked at, that you actually had to be certified in anything. My EMT license only was valid in California...

SeanOats2 karma

All my BDSM books tell me you guys are used to seeing strange injuries from sexual activity. Do you see a lot of 'sex gone wrong' patients?

kaylarae3 karma

I heard of someone who called the ambulance because while he was having sex with his wife, she died. The only weird sex stuff that i've seen is people with dildos lodged up their asses, though.

freemarket272 karma

any estimate of what percentage of your patients pay their bill?

kaylarae3 karma

A lot of people do NOT pay their bills. A lot of people provide false information. I don't know an estimate though, cause I don't work in billing.

mymomislizlemon3 karma

what happens when someone doesn't pay their bill? or if they give false info?

is this why bills can be so expensive to make up for the cost of others skipping the tab?

btw, you do awesome work! i've been lucky enough to avoid the ER thus far, but mad props to you!

kaylarae3 karma

I'm not entirely sure. I'd guess it goes to collections, and the hospital eats the bill. The hospital I worked at in California, was "not for profit," they didn't have to pay property tax, and I want to say that they got big tax breaks for being "not for profit." I'm not sure where they get off charging what they do. It's insane.

OneFootOnTheGas2 karma


kaylarae4 karma


OneFootOnTheGas3 karma


kaylarae2 karma

I wish, and then I'd wish it were true. The ole "My wife was fucking me up the ass with a dildo, and it got stuck," story gets old!

troutstomper2 karma

What keeps you motivated to keep working in this line of work? In other words, what good experiences have you had?

kaylarae5 karma

Some days it's really hard to keep going back. Most people, aren't very pleasant when they're in the ER. Some people you can understand why they're like that, but a lot of people are ungrateful assholes and think that their runny nose is more important than anything else going on. I used to have a hard time dealing with the fact that the only people that I had to deal with were sick and dying people.

I always tell my friends, there are two people you don't want to fuck with... the people that prepare your food, and the people who take care of you when you're sick.

Though we can't deny you care, we can certainly drag our feet.

There are days, though, that are more frequent than the bad ones, that I get to meet really awesome, thankful people-who make me feel like I made a difference in their lives, and in their stay in the hospital.

Jonaldson2 karma

Can we have a list of objects you have removed from people's colons?

kaylarae3 karma

I have never removed anything from anyone's ass. However, as you might have read, people have come in with dildos, and vibrators stuck up there.

Dajego2 karma

Is it true that doctors have a very dark sense of humor. I knew some and they always told pretty dark jokes about the daily life of the hospital.

kaylarae3 karma

I'd say that most ER staff do :)

sitdownbrad2 karma

Ive read this entire IAMA. Thanks for doing this!!

  • I dont know if you have answered this but what has been more of a humorous kind of injury from you and the person injured. Like " yea i was wrestling my brother and he suplexed me and all of my fingers went sideways" kind of thing. AS in you laugh with him saying i bet you won't do that again kind of injury

kaylarae2 karma

When patients come in for those embarrassing injuries, we are really good about not embarrassing patients-we try to keep contact with staff at a minimum. What I mean is, we don't go in and press for info, though we want to. I haven't been lucky to have been in direct care of anyone with any embarrassing self inflicted injuries-but I have been around for two patients on seperate occasions with priapism-the boner that won't go away until blood is removed with a needle. Those were awkward. The second one I actually asked the guy if I could watch the dr do it, and he laughed abd said sure. I wound up missing it because I got busy doing something else. Bummer!

usapayton2 karma

Do you have any advice for a high school student wanting to work in the ER later on?

kaylarae2 karma

Take a first responder course. Do volunteer work for the Red Cross. Volunteer at a hospital.

HaleyDara2 karma

-How often do you deal with serious injuries like gunshots or car accidents? -Is the ER anything like they portray it in shows like Grey's Anatomy? -What was your scariest moment in the ER, like being scared of someone? -How much schooling did it take for you to get where you are? Thanks so much for doing this, I am thinking about going into the medical field to be an EMT or trauma doctor.

kaylarae3 karma

In California and Hawaii, gunshots and car wrecks were very common. The ER is nothing like they make it seem like on TV-unless you're watching Trauma:Life in the ER. My scariest moment in the ER, was dealing with a psych patient who was much bigger than me, who had a history of violence with medical staff. I thought she was going to beat me up. It took 1 semester at a JC to get my EMT. Well worth it too. You should give it a shot. It's something that is always going to need people.

HaleyDara2 karma

Thanks so much! I really appreciate your answers. Only one semester? Is that in total?

kaylarae2 karma


Bonoahx1 karma

How able are you to cope with a patient's death?

kaylarae2 karma

Coping with that is really hard. Especially after my mother died. I like to think Of the positives thatI'm making in peoples lives even if the patient dies you can still comfort their family while they're there in the emergency room. When you deal with death at work you kind of have to leave your emotions at the door. I usually wait until after my shift is over to feel sad about whoever has Died. You have to be strong for The patients and their families.

slayer20031 karma

Do you have any ambitions to sort of work your way up and become a nurse or a doctor? Sounds like something you could do eventually

kaylarae1 karma

Yes, I am actually finishing up pre req's for the RN program. I'm applying in a few weeks, for the fall RN program. Fingers crossed!

no-fap-man1 karma

Has any of the staff ever contracted anything like HIV/AIDS or any other disease by getting a patient's blood on an open wound? And do you have to get checked up on often to make sure you don't contract a contagious illness like so? ...AND what is the youngest you've seen a patient come in for something like a heart-attack or a stroke?

kaylarae2 karma

I haven't known anyone to have contracted anything from a patient. They have strict protocol to adhere to if a staff comes into contact with anyone's blood.

You would think that you'd have to get checked frequently-but you do not. At each of the hospitals that I have worked at, the only time they do blood work is at the pre employment physical. If you are exposed to something, that is a different story.

Youngest i've ever seen with a heart attack? 21 years old. Genetics played a part.

kngbrs1 karma


kaylarae3 karma

Vitals, ekgs, first aid, Foley catheters, checking blood sugars, some hospitals allow them to draw blood, CPR

clemsonpk1 karma

Do people in the morgue really abuse the bodies sexually? It's been brought up on Reddit a number of times recently and I still refuse to believe it..

kaylarae3 karma

The only involvement I had with the hospital morgue, was placing bodies inside it when they passed away in the ER. It's under lock and key, and you have to sign in and out. Oh, and the only other people in the hospital morgue are dead, so I doubt they abuse eachother sexually.

billy-g1 karma

Have you noticed social hierarchies in the ERs you've worked in? ie. Drs are rude to nurses, nurses are rude to techs, cleaners can't joke with nurses etc? or is it pretty egalitarian? Is the ER better or worse than the floor for this?

kaylarae1 karma

Sometimes, probably less than you would think. Everyone, for the most part, work well together. IF you don't, it kind of messes up the whole flow of things. But, yes, there are people who think they are above everything, doctors, nurses, techs, etc.

billy-g1 karma

Did white staff in arkansas have trouble taking orders from black doctors? Was hawaii really more relaxed than elsewhere?

kaylarae2 karma

There aren't any black drs where I am (Arkansas)! Hawaii was pretty stressful, because it was pretty busy, but everyone was overall relaxed. Could have been all the maui wowie.

snellz1 karma

Thanks for the AMA! My dad is an ER doc, and I scribed for him for two years back in HS. The ER will always hold a special place in my heart.

kaylarae2 karma

That's pretty awesome! Emergency room physicians are amazing people. I think that people under estimate what they can do. How did you like scribing?

dwarfwarrior1 karma

This is one of the best IAmA's I've ever read. Thank you!

Edit: spelling

kaylarae3 karma

I've had so much fun telling people about what I've done for the last eight years my life, I didn't actually think I would get any responses out of people. I'm really glad that I posted this.

DaTyger1 karma

What is the most horrible death you've seen so far?

kaylarae5 karma

A SIDS baby.

kenks881 karma

Ever witnessed any funny arguments between nurses and paramedics?

kaylarae2 karma

I've seen a few confrontations, and heard a few belittling remarks passed between them. It's always funny to watch!

andrewpaterson241 karma

What is the worst thing you have ever seen?

kaylarae4 karma

SIDS baby.

andrewpaterson241 karma

:( those parents must have been distraught

kaylarae3 karma

They were in disbelief. It was awful

andrewpaterson241 karma

I can tell, you just have your baby and everythings happy and good, then bam.

kaylarae2 karma

Yeah it was so sad. I had another baby related horror story. I walked out to the lobby and this lady walks up to me with a baby, wrapped in a blanket, I look at the baby, it's not the right color. I scream for the triage nurse , I was mortified. She grabs the baby, takes him back to a room, the baby is blue, stiff, but the doctors try and try. But it was too late.

Apparently the grandparents were watching baby for the weekend and let him sleep on the bed with them. When the grandma got up, she found him with his head between the bed and mattress. Very sad, extremely preventable. Don't let your baby sleep with you, it may sound cute but it's not worth the risk.

ErnestHemingay1 karma

Ever had a celebrity patient?

kaylarae3 karma

No. A few local politicians, but no. While I was living in Hawaii, secret service posted up in the hospital because Obama was on the island-but no one ever saw him at the hospital. I guess that they were there just in case.

lannister801 karma

I haven't seen this asked: why did you move to Hawaii? And why did you move back to the mainland?

kaylarae3 karma

My mom died in 2008. I kind of did a tail spin at that point. I had actually been on Priceline to buy a ticket to come visit family in Oklahoma, and it was cheaper to go to Hawaii. So I bought a ticket. Stayed 11 days in a hostel. I loved it, and when I got home I was already planning a trip back. Then I started wondering if I could find a job. I applied at the main hospital in the island of Oahu-the queens medical center, and when I camr back the second time I had sn interview. They gave the job to someone who lived there. Well I hounded them, came back a third time, and when u got home, they offered me a job.

I had intended on going no matter what-but I'm sure glad I scored a job first!

kaylarae3 karma

My mom died in 2008. I kind of did a tail spin at that point. I had actually been on Priceline to buy a ticket to come visit family in Oklahoma, and it was cheaper to go to Hawaii. So I bought a ticket. Stayed 11 days in a hostel. I loved it, and when I got home I was already planning a trip back. Then I started wondering if I could find a job. I applied at the main hospital in the island of Oahu-the queens medical center, and when I camr back the second time I had sn interview. They gave the job to someone who lived there. Well I hounded them, came back a third time, and when u got home, they offered me a job.

I had intended on going no matter what-but I'm sure glad I scored a job first!

I moved back because after dating a guy for 3 months, I wound up pregnant, and he turned into a psycho, threatening me, trying to prevent me from hanging with friends-so I moved back to California to have my son. I moved to Oklahoma so that I could have help with my son while I go to school full time. I'm applying for the RN program this year!

lannister801 karma

Ah, gotcha. Well good for you! Glad you have someone to help with your son while you go to school, that makes all the difference in the world. My Mom is an RN with an MSN who's been teaching nursing at assorted large community colleges for like 25 years (and runs a program now), so if you need advice about choosing an RN program or what to expect, drop me a PM and I'll pass it on.

I lived in Tulsa for a few years going to grad school (Chicago are native) and it's not a bad place up in Green Country. Never went to OKC or any of the more "western" areas of the state though.

kaylarae2 karma

I currently live about 2 hours south east of Tulsa, out in the middle of BFE. Our house is 7 miles off of the main highway. It's a drive to go ANYWHERE. I don't have much in common with these country folk. Luckily, thanks to online dating (lol) I've been lucky enough to find a good boyfriend, who actually lives in Arkansas, so I get to spend a lot of time out of the one horse town that I live in. Oh, and he's not a hillbilly.

I'll keep that in mind, thank you !

MuscleMansMom1 karma

How did you train yourself not to panic in a situation?

kaylarae2 karma

If you panic, then that is when people get hurt. Also if you are prone to panicking working in the emergency room is probably not for you.

theunseeingeye1 karma

As a (hopeful) future doctor, how did you get used to the gore? Or were you just decent with it from the beginning?

kaylarae3 karma

I never got used to it, but I developed a way of turning off while I was at work.

theunseeingeye1 karma

How were you when you were first exposed to it? Ever feel faint, have to leave the room, etc?

kaylarae3 karma

I almost passed out the first few times I did CPR. I hate doing CPR. It's gross. But if its to save a life I'll suck it up!

ephalumps1 karma


kaylarae3 karma

A hanging victim. Someone saw her in time to cut her down. However the damage had been done, and she was a vegetable afterward.

I think that you should give it a shot. It's not for everyone though. I feel awful if someone dies, to this day-but it's not our fault that it happened, it was just their time to go. You just have to make sure that you're doing everything that you can to help them while they're still here, and doing anything you can to help in trying to save them.

I cried a lot the first year of working in the ER. It's hard. Life is so delicate. People don't even realize it. I wouldn't say it gets easier, like I said, I take it pretty hard still. I think the day that it becomes "normal," is the day that I find a new career.

Pixelated_Fudge0 karma

Have you ever had to deal with a big black woman who shit dead skin, shit and every other body liquid at your legs?

kaylarae1 karma