March 18, 2013

chief complaint

The following is not FACTUALLY accurate. Details have been changed, things deleted, stuff made up, all to protect identity. But it is 100% absolutely true.

Abbreviated CC, it stands for chief complaint. It is supposed to be a verbatim statement of what is bothering the patient the most at that moment, in their own words. My favorite thus far was from one of my patients who was seen by a specialist. A delirious, but violent patient, they were put into restraints not only for the safety of the staff, but of the patient as well. The Chief Complaint one particular day read, and I quote, "I need me some wire cutters". Given that the patient didn't know where they were and was asking me about the blue cats in his room, I'll never be quite sure if the wire cutter request was a rare moment of lucidity or just more delirium.

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