hospital emergency room boarding

ER Doc Sent to Penalty Box, Gets 5 Minutes for Boarding

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hospital emergency room boarding
Look at these patients boarded by Peters

BIRMINGHAM, AL – Just when things in the emergency room (ER) couldn’t get any worse with influenza A in full swing, all 435 beds at Birmingham Medical Center filled, and the hospital on both med-surg and ICU diversion, ER resident physician Travis Peters has just been sent to the penalty box to serve a 5-minute major for boarding.

“There was no way for me to avoid the inevitable, ref!” Peters barked while skating to the sin bin.  “Bullsh*t!  There’s no where for the patients to go!  They’re admitted but there’s no beds available.  This call is bullsh*t, total bullsh*t!”

For those who don’t follow the National Hockey League (NHL) or the ER board, boarding refers to the practice of holding admitted patients in the ER until a hospital bed opens up.  Boarded patients may sit in chairs or lie on gurneys for hours or even days, sacrificing both comfort and privacy.  Because boarding can have a negative effect on patient safety and patient satisfaction, it often leads to both a major penalty and a game misconduct.

No ER patients have reported any injuries resulting from Peters’ actions, which is why he has not been ejected.  However, he does have to serve the 5-minute major, which leaves his ER colleagues shorthanded.

“Man, we were already shorthanded and had a terrible CEDOCS score before the boarding call, we’re in deep trouble,” said ER attending Miriam Williams.  “Sure we can ice the patients but we might need to call a timeout and catch our breaths before starting on the penalty kill.”

The good news for the ER team is just 40 seconds into the major penalty, a waiting room patient got flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct: he demanded Dilaudid.  This will negate the advantage as the patient will likely sign out AMA (against medical advice).

  • Dr. 99

    First there was Dr. 01, the first robot physician, created to withstand toxic levels of burnout in an increasingly mechanistic and impossibly demanding healthcare field. Dr. 99 builds upon the advances of its ninety-eight predecessors by phasing out all human emotion, innovation, and creativity completely, and focusing solely on pre-programmed protocols and volume-based productivity. In its spare time, Dr. 99 enjoys writing for Gomerblog and listening to Taylor Swift.

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