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May 18, 2021 3:13 AM
Leareth is a terrible ICU patient. Does this thread need to exist: no! but who can stop me
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It's not quite six-thirty in the morning, still dark and with a faint drizzle starting, and Marian Daly is coasting gently downhill, the city of Reno sprawled out ahead and below - 

- when there's a violent flash of light, followed by a crack-roar of sound. 

"The fuck–" 

Her grip jerks on the handlebars of her bicycle and she nearly goes into a skid, but recovers, brakes, and stares at the source of the explosion. It seems to have been nearish the river? There's a plume of something in the air now, and a distant flickery glow that might be trees on fire. 

"What the fuck," Marian repeats to herself, several times. "What was that?" 

She blinks, trying to clear the afterimages, and then checks the time. "Oh crap." She's running late. Her hands are still shaking a little bit, but she swings her leg back over the bicycle and keeps riding. 

She reaches the hospital at 6:40 am exactly; she doesn't have time for makeup, she barely has time to skin out of her cycling gear into dry scrubs and retrieve her work shoes from under the couch in the break room (as a visiting travel nurse, she doesn't get the luxury of a locker.) 

At 6:44 am she's lined up for her floor assignment. 

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The charge nurse is on the phone. 

"- Christie, new admission'll leave us short - can we keep Marian–" 

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Marian perks up. That sounds interesting. "Sure, I can stay here."

It's very tempting to ask if she can have the admission, but then again it might be terrifying and also she doesn't want to be annoying, so she doesn't say anything. 

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Assignments are handed out! The other travel nurses disperse. 

Marian's friend Alice is talking to the charge nurse. "How about we put the admission in the spare bed in pod four - I'll take him but I can give Marian my lady, she's stable, and Elaine can keep her guy from yesterday but she should have some slack to help us out." 

"Sure." 

"Well? Marian, let's go get report." 

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"Is it still the leg-lifts lady? I remember her." 

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"Yep, and she's still at it. Woman's got to have abs of steel by now - I made Dr Bloun up her tube feeds, she has to be burning extra calories with all that flashing the entire unit." 

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Marian was thinking that at least Elaine's patient, in the room directly opposite, wouldn't mind the fishbowl view of scrawny sixty-year-old alcoholic vulva. He'd been her patient three days ago, on her last shift, and had been in a medically-induced coma ever since an altercation with his tattoo artist ended with him being shot in the stomach.

Seriously, why was Reno like this. 

"What's the admit?" 

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"...I have no idea, honestly? He's not even at the ED yet. Some dude the cops just fished out of the river, major trauma, don't know details." 

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Marian does not say that this sounds interesting but she does think it. Then she stops. "- Wait. Is it anything to do with the giant explosion?" 

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"You saw that too? I nearly crashed my car, it startled me so bad." 

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"What was it? Airplane crash?" 

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"No idea! I'm sure it'll be all over the news by breaktime." She rolls her eyes. "If either of us gets a break today. Sounds like adventures for this morning. Let's go get up to date on 112." This is the patient also known as Leg Lifts Lady. "I'll keep 114, he's not going anywhere, and we can stick the admit in 113." 

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Marian sits on the urge to comment that Alice really could give her 114 instead; the poor man has been in a deep coma ever since an unfortunate fall from a ladder while fixing his roof. It's horrifically sad, but unlike Leg Lifts Lady he won't be constantly escape-artisting his way out of his hospital gown. OR doing his best to remove every single tube and wire and piece of essential lifesaving equipment nearby.  

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They get report from the night shift nurse, who eagerly escapes before anything else can go wrong. 

- less than three minutes later, Nina from the next pod over is desperately calling out for help from anyone familiar with dialysis machines, hers - well, her patients' to be precise - is having some sort of baffling problem. 

"Coming!" Alice yells. "Marian, be a dear and take report from the ED on my admit if they call, could you?" 

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"'Course." Surely it won't be for a good while, though. Marian plops herself in front of the nearest computer console, with a clear view of her new patient in 112, and logs in to skim through her chart. And to surreptitiously check who the trauma surgeon on for today is and where they rate on the Asshole Scale. She's mildly kicking herself for volunteering to stay on this unit when for all she knows it might be Dr Haste, who terrifies her. 

It's not. It's Dr Millinger, who's only middle-of-the-range on dickishness. Deep breath. She can handle that. 

There are still occasional muffled swearwords coming from the dialysis room when the phone rings. She checks the caller ID screen. Apparently it's the emergency department. 

Marian glares at the phone as though it's a snake that might bite her; she has not had enough coffee today for phone reports. Elaine looks busy, though, and she did promise she would take Alice's report. 

"HithisisMariancanIhelpyou." 

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The nurse on the line is probably staying late from night shift, since she sounds exhausted. "Got an admit for you - room ready?" 

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"Huh? Didn't he literally just get to you–" 

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"Yes, but we've got four ODs in here and we're short two nurses for the day shift - he needs a scan and I can't leave my pod to take him, I was hoping someone could come by from your side and swing by CT on the way back." 

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Marian scowls and sticks out her tongue, safely where the ED nurse can't see it. "Uh, maybe? I, um, we need more of an actual report first." Alice sounds occupied and this sounds time-sensitive, but being trapped in the radiology department with an unstable patient she knows literally nothing about does NOT sound like her idea of a good start to the morning. 

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"Uh, Lina took report from the paramedics but she's stuck dealing with an airborne iso patient right now." 

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This is fine this is fine thisisfine this is FINE. If she agrees to do Alice a favour then mystery airplane crash river guy will PROBABLY not code on her in the CT scanner, and if she hauls herself out to the emergency department in person, then maybe said paramedics will still be getting coffee or something and she can drag a proper report out of them - 

- not to mention if she goes that way, the coffeeshop is right there and there won't be much of a line right now since it's mid-shift-change. 

"Name and age, at least?" she says. 

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"Couldn't find ID on him. We're opening a chart under 'Fifty-Seven, Red'." 

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Opening the chart under a hastily assigned code name is standard for trauma patients arriving, not just for the ones who don't have their driver's license in their pocket. Marian carefully writes it down. 

"We'll be over to get him in ten minutes," she promises, and then heads over to check this plan with Alice. 

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There are several different sources of concerning alarm beeps coming from behind the closed curtains. Alice, as always, sounds unruffled. "Yes, Marian?" 

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"ED's swamped with drug overdoses for some reason and they want your admit moved out, plus he needs scans on the way. Should I go get him for you? 112 is fine, she's restrained, I think Elaine can keep an eye on her and your guy." 

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"- Sure, that'd be great of you. Don't let them send you to CT without at least two good IV lines, make sure you've got sedation ready even if he's not needing it yet, don't agree to go alone if his vitals aren't stable -"

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