Patient Learns She Can Come to ER Without Calling an Ambulance

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LEXINGTON, KY – Sarah Johnson was recently seen at County Hospital’s Emergency Department for the fourteenth time this year for an itchy rash on her arms, legs, and trunk. Every time she has gone via ambulance.

“These ambulance rides are just so nice. Too bad they don’t take me home too.”

It has becoming so routine now, she brings her own blanket, phone charger, and snack which she prepares before calling 911. “I have needed a lot of care this year,” she remarked.

“First, I turned my ankle on my front steps, then I had a tooth that was hurting, and then felt like my blood pressure was getting high and wanted it checked. I just get my hospital bag ready and call seven of my family members to meet me, and the ambulance drivers take me right in.”

While waiting in the ER hallway strapped to the yellow stretcher, she noticed people passing through the doors to empty rooms. “Excuse me, sir!” She shouted to the EMT giving report. “Why are they letting all these people in here? They didn’t come by ambulance.”

She then heard something that sounded like an absurdity: “These people were driven to the ER in their own cars by themselves or family members.” Sarah looked like she just saw a ghost. “But it is the ER! Ambulances take people to the ER! I need a room first because I called an ambulance.”

After the news sank in, Sarah reported she will likely stick with calling an ambulance for her medical needs, but wishes they took her home too since she doesn’t have a ride back.

  • ED PAC

    I have been working in healthcare since 2008. I have vast clinical experience in retrieving blankets and pillows, counting respirations for a full minute, raising the head of the bed to exactly 30 degrees, scrubbing back in to surgery after touching something that isn't blue, and calling patients with positive STD tests. I am motivated by free food in the nurse's lounge, patients standing outside their rooms staring as I pass, and my student loan company. Someday I hope to write a prescription for common sense.

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