The ED Olympiad

For those of you suffering Olympic withdrawal, I thought I’d offer you insight into the events occurring for your viewing pleasure on any given night in your local Emergency Department


Oh sure, Rio had its version of wrestling. Theirs involved actual rules for conduct, referees that stop things from getting out of hand and protective equipment. Not so true for those of us in the ED. Our version of wrestling requires special expertise in wrestling WETWet, you ask? Wet is a marijuana joint soaked in formaldehyde laced with PCP. Our competitors arrive psychotic and ox-like strong. The best news is they’re more than willing to take you on their trip. Better acquire four-point restraints, your buffest security guards and grab something from the antipsychotic and benzodiazepine columns of your Pyxis. Otherwise, your gonna be BamBam’s next head trauma victim!


You got to be kidding me that this is an Olympic sport. A sword that doesn’t cut, an opponent that stays in front of you and you get to wear a steel cage around your head. Sign me up! The ER nurse’s version involves wielding a needle attached to a syringe filled with “2 and 10” – 2 mg of Lorazepam and 10 mg of Haldol (Hound Dog). Your opponent: whacked out BamBam!  You need to hit his Vastus Lateralis muscle with a rapier’s precision while avoiding all those who’ve come to your aid. Points don’t count until you successfully remove your weapon without a needle stick injury to yourself or the ones you love! Victory comes if you can ride out the 15 minutes it takes for the “2/10 cocktail” to work!


Great team sport in the Olympics, horrible sport in the ED. The game gets started when everyone on the team know what’s wrong with a patient — EXCEPT CERTAIN ED DOCS!!! No matter how bogus/ridiculous/routine the patient complaint and presentation, it’s game on because you just asked the wrong physician to “treat and street”.

The patient is a 19 year-old male with chest pain x 2 months. No PMHx, No PSHx. VS: BP 107/61,  HR: 59,  RR: 12,  SaO2: 100% on Room Air,  T: 98.4

A classic Softball! Next thing you know its labs, EKG, Chest X-ray and a PE Study. Seven hours later: Diagnosis – Costochondritis. You just spent 9 grand of the tax payers money for Boo Boo Ribs.  Worse –  you could of seen 20 patients in the time it took you nine innings into extras for this one.


The Curling of the Summer Games is nothing like our version in the ED. This is a freestyle event in which various devices, equipment and, well, hands come into full frontal contact with your nether regions.  I’ve had them squeezed by the likes of BamBam, ramrodded by side rails galore and even caught an IV infusion pump pendulum style right into me old cojones. Not a lot of rules on this sport but there’s extra points for creativity. Traditional Handball uses a net; our version scores at the nut!


Sailing is a beautiful, intense Olympic sport requiring incredible teamwork, communication and little bit of luck. The ED version requires a single “sailor” nurse. This champion manages his/her four bed assignment with such precision that they only treat 50% of the volume of every other nurse. The thrombotic talent of these experts ensure themselves a night of calm seas. Most points are scored by those who, after discharging a patient, find the world’s smallest bed bug that jumped ship from its host. The gold around these victors necks shines brightest as the “Closed For Terminal Clean” sign is mounted on their patient’s door; they get the gold for dropping their ballast by 25%! Ahoy Matey! Well played!