I knew before I went into work today that it would be slow this evening. No, I'm not psychic. I just knew that the Super Bowl was going to be on, and during big games the emergency department becomes slow.
While it's nice to get a couple of hours of decreased business sometimes, it really bothers me that I can predict the volume of the emergency department based on sporting events. Is it only an emergency when there aren't any big games on? Or is it that no one will take a loved one to the hospital when a favorite player is throwing a ball? I know the commercials are good. Well, usually, anyway. And the half-time show is awesome. When the singers are on-key. But what does it say about our society that the ebb and flow of the emergency department can be predicted by what is on TV on any given night?
It says that our emergency rooms are not really for emergencies. They are for convenience care. They are for medication refills. They are for obtaining recreational drugs. We did have some true emergencies tonight. We cared for those patients while trying to wade through all of the other junk that came through the front doors.
Until 6:30. Then we were home free. Until 10:00, anyway.