Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pronto Soccorso

I got a phone call from a friend of mine on Friday evening, or should I say Saturday morning at 2 a.m. We were supposed to be going out on a date, but he was calling from the Emergency Room (Pronto Soccorso), to let me know that he had been injured at work.

Santa Maria Novella is the hospital directly across from my school, and so I got dressed and made my way over to wait with him there. When he called me, he had already been there for 2 hours. Two o’clock in the morning is no different than 10 p.m. on the streets. There are lots of people, and the streets are well lit. I am often out at this time of morning, and have not once been afraid.

When I arrived at the hospital, I follow the signs to the Pronto Soccorso, and had to ring a doorbell for someone to let me in. My friend had only explained to me over the phone that he was in the ER, but not what had happened, so I was not certain what I was walking into. He was sitting in a wheelchair in the triage area, with one young man who was bleeding from his hand and arm in front of him.

He was very upset with the length of time it was taking. He hurt his knee while working, and decided to come into Firenze, even though he works outside the city, because Santa Maria Novella has a good reputation. He told me that when he got there, there was no one, but people who were "more injured" than him had gone in front of him. Of course they have a triage system, but he was losing patience.

Long story short, we waited another 2 hours before he got in to see the doctor. During this time, a few overly drunken students were wheeled in unconscious, which nearly sent him over the edge. Once he was in, they did x-rays, released him, and told him to come back the next day to see an ortho.

The hospital is very old, with terra cotta tile floors, and large wooden medieval doors into the narrow corridors. When they were taking him to x-ray, the wheeled him in a hospital bed, through the waiting room, and down the open corridor to x-ray, and back again once they were through.

All in all, it wasn’t the best "date" that I have had, but yet another interesting experience in Firenze!

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