In Over My Head: Taking Care of a Gun Shot Wound Solo

If you haven’t followed the saga of my patient who was shot in the arm, here’s the story, in brief:

Armed robbery. Nothing to rob. Pissed off robber. Pulled trigger. Bullet in arm.

Emergency room (X-rays, splint, antibiotics, instructions to followup with primary care doctor)

NO CARE FOR THREE WEEKS. No dressing change nothing.

Wound debrided in office. Home nursing arranged.

But here’s the thing…

After two visits, home nursing refuses to return.

“We feel unsafe.”

Scared by the home. Scared by the neighborhood, in the most stable housing situation available to my patient.

Disparate care furthers health disparities.

Zip codes, not DNA codes, shaping health outcomes for this patient.

4 thoughts on “In Over My Head: Taking Care of a Gun Shot Wound Solo

      • I don’t think we should make a healthcare provider go someplace they feel unsafe. What to do? Improve housing (in case it was the condition of the home that made nursing staff feel unsafe). Build safer neighborhoods with trusted police (in case it was the neighborhood that made the nursing staff feel unsafe). Provide family counseling (in case it was fighting in the home that made the nursing staff feel unsafe).
        What the home nursing association can do: instead of a sending a nurse alone armed with a bandage, we can send teams of providers into some of these difficult situations–housing lawyers and trusted neighborhood peace keepers and counselors. Definitely social work alongside wound care.

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