"To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom....Since our office is with moments, let us husband them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Got a boo boo? Go to the ER!

If you haven't figured out already from my posts, the Danish and the American health care systems are quite different. On Wednesday, I was able to experience the Danish in action as I shadowed one of my professors for the morning. We spent most of our time in the ER as she was the on-call doctor for surgical consults. Granted, I haven't spent that much time in American ER's to truly comment, but overall, the Danish version seemed to operate in much the same manner. The one major difference was the utilization of the ER by the Danes. Remember, Danes' health care is covered by the taxes they pay, so a visit to the ER doesn't cost them anything extra. This, in turn, leads to some people coming in for things that they really shouldn't. This included a twisted ankle that wasn't even swollen, and a single in-grown hair on a person's back. The first got nothing, the second got a band-aid. The other interesting aspect was how serious they take possible infectious disease. One woman came in with diarrhea and vomiting. She was immediately isolated, and both the nurses and doctors wore a second layer of clothing that was immediately removed upon leaving the room. While this may seem over the top, it does work. Denmark is one of the few countries in the world that does not have a true resistance to penicillin. Spending 5 hours in the hospital was great, and made me realize I had really never done anything like that before -- just being on the floor of the hospital and seeing patients as opposed to observing surgeries. Mathilde, my professor, was a little upset by the fact that I couldn't have any of my own patients just because nothing presented itself. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to go back before I head home and maybe then I'll get my first patient!

No comments: