I spent two and a half hours in the emergency room today.
Why is less important than the process. Let me say only that the call was necessary, and the results were negative, and I was not the subject of the call.
We first started with a trip to an "Urgent Care" facility. The injuries were deemed "too severe" so we had to head on down to the Memorial Hermann Emergency Room in Memorial City.
We got there quickly, and I would guess we arrived at about 11:00. We checked in (immediately) and the patient was "enrolled" (triaged, I guess) in two minutes.
The patient came to sit and chat with me while we waited. Now, let me be clear, the patient was not in any pain, and while the patient's appearance was ghastly, there was no imminent danger. I suppose you could say there was no emergent condition.
But the waiting room was not crowded, and we chatted peacefully for about 10 minutes before they came to get us and put us in a room. We were lucky to get a room with a bathroom (bonus!) and sat in THERE and waited for maybe 10 or 15 minutes.
A nurse came in to ask some questions (what happened. Did this guy beat you up. Are you in pain, are you on any meds) and then she left. She was very nice and friendly and efficient.
In another ten minutes or so the doctor showed up. He had an assistant who was there to write everything down, and an apprentice doctor to watch what he was doing.
He pushed and prodded, and looked deep into the patient's eyes. He declared the patient fine, but "As long as the patient is here, we will do a cat scan"
So we waited another 10 minutes or so and they came and wheeled the patient to the cat scanner.
A short ten minutes go by, and the patient returns.
They say it will be about an hour. to get the results, so we settle in. I ask the doctor if I can get some sandwiches, and he says that is fine. So I amble over to the canteen, and grab a ham sandwich and a turkey sandwich, some chips and water.
I return to the room and we have a little emergency room picnic. It wasn't too bad.
The doctor comes back shortly thereafter and fusses at me for letting the patient eat (He was the same doctor who said it was OK) and we could leave soon.
About five minutes after that, the nurse returned to take some blood pressure and give us our walking papers.
Down to discharge we go.
ANOTHER five minutes or so and we were gone.
It was shy over 2 1/2 hours, which I would say is not too bad. We never waited too long, and many people interacted with us.
As much as the medical system in the US is in trouble, it worked for us today.