When we get new patients in the E.D., there are a host of questions asked, most appropriate, but a certain non-negotiable number we have to ask, which have no wild bearing on anything related to why you came in tonight, because some Good Idea Fairy has decided that Problem X is this year's Important Thing.
This year's focus, it has been decreed, is suicide, and thoughts of self-harm.
How braindead stupidly are we following that rule? Every patient. Every complaint.
Sprained wrist. Ingrown toenail. Yes, even toddlers.
What made my night last night, was when one of the 17 drunks and ODs a night came in, and dutiful nurse receiving the patient is going through his list of things to know, and mines this gem:
"So, have you ever felt like killing yourself, or have you ever had any thing that made you feel like you wanted to harm yourself?"
Whereupon, Patient Jack Daniels replies, "Well, I was married once..."
The paramedics cracked up. It was all I could do to not fall out of my chair laughing.