21 July 2010
We Got Your Back--board
Most of the time when we take someone off the backboard, they've been placed on it as a precaution following a fall or a traffic collision. Sometimes there's blood on the boards. Sometimes worse.
They all get brought here... to the back hallway. Here they wait for Environmental Services to give them a good wipe down. There's actually a separate stack for clean versus dirty. The clean ones get picked up eventually by their respective EMS agencies so there is a constant ebb and flow to the stack.
Still, in general, it's a good indicator of how a day is going, or how the day has been. Lots of boards means lots of traumas, and they slow the whole E.D. down, hold up resources, overwhelm the staff.
I make a conscious decision on most days - front entry and pass the waiting room to see what's coming; back hallway and backboards to see what's been... it helps to prepare me for the shift ahead.