A Day In The ER

Before the whole corona situation happened, we had an opportunity to volunteer in an emergency center of the local hospital and observe the work. We were there for admission, history taking, and first exam and also for some further procedures that were done to the patient. We were also able to draw blood, set an ECG, measure blood sugar, etc.

I was there on one of the busiest days when patients kept coming one after the other and got to see some very interesting cases. Down below you can read how my day looked like.

I got there at 7 am and my attending was already there and so were some residents. They’ve already admitted a patient with AF so I was too late for history taking but I’m not sure they even got anything useful because the patient’s sentences didn’t make much sense.


A 12-year old patient with aortic stenosis was admitted because he collapsed under the shower. We did an ECG and ultrasound his heart. We got to revise anatomy of the heart. The patient was feeling better after admission and was sent to the pediatric department to be examined by his doctor.


Around 40 years old patient was admitted saying he couldn’t feel his legs in the morning. We did some history and he claimed it was 20 years since he had his last drink while his breath reeked of alcohol. All his bloodwork came out normal, so was the ECG and he informed us he is a diabetic patient that doesn’t take good care of his blood sugar. Doctors figured he couldn’t feel his legs because of the morning hypoglycemia and was later on sent home.


A patient with brain stroke was brought in. a lot was going on at that time so I couldn’t see much or get close enough. A neurologist was summoned and the patient was taken for further procedures.


A patient with abdominal hernia was admitted. He said he couldn’t defecate for 2 days. We found out the hernia was a result of the operation of the aneurism of abdominal aorta. He wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t talk right. He was then taken to surgery.


An older patient with nephrostomy was admitted due to a major infection. He had nephrostomy because of the bladder cancer so his bladder had to be removed. He doesn’t have anyone who would take care of him, so his nephrostomy wasn’t being properly taken care of which caused the infection. We did a full exam and he was given antibiotics. Because of the scale of the infection, he had to stay in the hospital for a few days.


Helicopter brought a patient with severe head trauma. Because his state was very serious and everything was going on very fast, we weren’t able to observe from up close. When he was brought to the ER his whole head was in bandages that were filled with blood, but he was conscious. They’ve taken him to another room in which we weren’t able to go or see so I went back to other patients.


I went to get some lunch and grab a coffee and then headed back to the ER.


An older patent with schizophrenia was admitted because he fell down the stairs and reported pain on the left side of his body and in the left arm. He was taken to XRAY to check for possible brakes but there were none. We tried to take patient history, but he didn’t say much, and everything he told us didn’t make much sense.


A 60-year-old patient with diabetes was admitted. He reported lower back pain and I got to measure his blood sugar that was 14,4 which is very high. We did an ECG and ultrasound.

I don’t know what the reason for his lower back pain was because I didn’t get to stay until the end of the examination. I had to go back to college because I have some afternoon lessons that were mandatory to attend.

I was very happy that I got to spend a day with the doctors and watch how a day in the ER looks like, learned how to examine a patient, and saw some interesting cases.