‘Twas the Night Shift Before Christmas‏

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‘Twas the night shift before Christmas, when all through the ER,

Patients were coming in by ambulance, by bus, and by car.

The choice of ED was selected with care,

In hopes that the doctor who freely dispenses pain meds would be there.


They would drag their children with them to gain sympathy.

Oh all these poor patients, I, today’s doctor, would see.

For soon enough in room 7 there arose such a clatter,

And security was called over to see what was the matter.


Away to the Pixis, I saw an RN fly like a flash,

To get 5 and 2 and restrain some pompous a**.

Restraints were then placed above and below,

On each leg, wrist, arm, and elbow.


When what to my wandering eye did I see,

But a man with chronic back pain was checking into room 3.

With a little limp, a moan, and his arm at his side,

I knew this man would try and take me for a ride.


He wanted some meds, and around quickly he spun,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them out one by one:

“I need Xanax, and Percocet, and Dilaudid, and Morphine,

And Demerol, and Norco, and Soma, and Codeine.


Give me my meds! Give me IV narcs and more!

Or else I’ll give you a low Press-Ganey score”!

And like a hurricane all the RNs and MDs did fly,

To the nearest Pixis to grab these meds for this guy.


But then in room #1, I spied what was coming in,

Another drunk, found down near a trash bin.

As I walked in to the room the man turned around,

And barfed all over me. I wasn’t wearing a gown.


The man stated he drank only had one mixed drink,

But this one glass must have held at least a gallon, I would think.

And as I waited for his EtOH level to come back,

A large woman came in to triage eating a snack.


Betwixt bites of Cheetos, her mouth would complain:

“Oh, my stomach hurts so bad, I need something for this pain”!

Her chins – how they rolled! Her pannus, I could squeeze!

Her droll little mouth was covered in orange cheese.


Her pain was 10/10, worse than a knife.

“It’s the worst pain,” she told me, “Worst of my life”!

“But before I get treated,” she would say, “I need to go smoke.

And when I come back, I need some Fritos and Coke.

First, I’m going outside,” she did claim, “then, you will fix my belly.”

And on her way out, her stomach jiggled, like a bowl full of jelly.

The final patient of the day, he was a demented old elf;

A 95 year old, still full code despite poor health.


No longer there were his eyes, and so twisted was his head.

It looked like forever ago he should have been dead.

But now he was here for the 3rd time this week.

“Not acting right,” his SNF said, “he needs another tweak.”


Before I ordered another head CT, a urine, and some labs,

I knew it was clear that this man’s time had passed.

But the family wants him fixed, so I called his PCP,

And we admitted this guy again to floor #3.


Then, finally, it was all over, and I signed my patients out to daylight.

Merry Christmas to all! Hope you’re getting paid something extra tonight!

** Be sure to check out the author’s website, First World Emergency Medicine, for more fantastic satire **

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