Learning from a crazy evening @ ER

What a crazy nite… One after another, two friends from two seperate locations fell ill with sever stomach related problems. There’s a stomach flu virus going around and I got to play “ambulance” today. I sent Penny in at 4.30pm, then waited until 10.30pm for her to get discharged. All of a sudden I got a call that Aaron was experiencing pain in his abdominal area as well. Penny’s stablized now and is resting at home, but I’m still waiting to hear about Aaron as I write this outside ER. Just saw a lady walk in with a bloodied head, apparently due to a flying hockey puck while watching the Sabres game… Ouch!

At home now while Aaron spends the nite in the hospital. Respecting his wishes, I can’t say more other than he is in less pain now. Will check on him tomorrow morning. Wow, also totally missed Buffalo BloggerCon II this evening!

Know what to expect in ER
Since I’ve just gone through this experience twice, I thought I’d share a few quick tips for students living abroad:
1. Know beforehand where your nearest “insurance-friendly” hospital is. You can find out which clinics or hospitals cater to your insurance plan through a booklet your health insurance company issues you.
2. Always bring your Health Insurance and Driver’s ID cards with you (duh!).
3. There are typically three stages before you get treatment:
– First, you sign in with name, date of birth, today’s date, complaint (e.g. fever, stomach pain, vomiting). You then go to waiting room and wait for your name to be called.
– Second, triage nurse does initial checkup on you, taking pulse and blood pressure while detailing everything you describe as your problem. Asks you if you have allergies, level of pain, etc. You then go to waiting room and wait for your name to be called.
– Third, they will then call you to register and make a chart, which involves more information including social security, showing of insurance and driver’s ID cards, and two consent forms (I think one HIPA-related and another for consent to treatment). You then go to waiting room and wait for your name to be called.
– Fourth, doctor finally calls on you to see him/her and does more checking, blood tests, and treatment if appropriate (e.g. issues painkillers, Tylenol).

6 thoughts on “Learning from a crazy evening @ ER

  1. Hey, I was also in a similar situation a few years ago. A friend of mine who was visiting from Singapore was involved in a pretty bad traffic accident. Luckily, no one was seriously injured but my friend did fracture his collar bone and suffered some scratches. I don’t know if his insurance in Singapore covered his medical care here but it’s scary to think of the cost otherwise.

    I’ve come to realize how important it is to have a good insurance policy. I assume most people get theirs through the company they work for. If the company doesn’t offer a good policy, then they either have to fork out more money to get a better one, or pay a higher deductable.

    I hope Aaron and Penny get well soon.

  2. Er I guess I have to add that I drove my abovementioned friend to the hospital as well. That is where the similarity is.


  3. I guess it’s natural that since we are “lau jiao” (the ones who know the land better), we should be the ones to take care of others. Good call Biao! ­čÖé

  4. oh no! Kevin i hope everyone gets better soon. home sick myself today…. hope i don’t have to go to the ER! what’s your number in case i need a ride???? (kidding…..)

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