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My protagonist gets shot in the side at the back of a hotel. The doctor operates but would he leave a nurse with her to change bandages and give pain medicine or would he come daily to check on her? Also, would he leave her in a room at the hotel?

Edited by Sarah Daffy

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What is the time period? That will make a huge difference in what happens. If it is an early time, say 1800's, then the next question is, would the doctor have a nurse? A simple country doctor likely would not, and would teach someone how to change bandages since he could not be there all the time. While a lager city doctor might have nurses who could do that. Or another hotel guest could be a nurse. Lots of working parts there. Modern-day doctors would call an ambulance and insist they go to the hospital until they were no longer considered critical. 

Edited by Alley
Autocorrect and I were fighting... Again. 🙄
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11 minutes ago, Alley said:

What is the time period? That will make a huge difference in what happens. If it is an early time, say 1800's, then the next question is, would the doctor have a nurse? A simple country doctor likely would not, and would teach someone how to change bandages since he could not be there all the time. While a lager city doctor might have nurses who could do that. Or another hotel guest could be a nurse. Lots of working parts there. Modern-day doctors would call an ambulance and insist they go to the hospital until they were no longer considered critical. 

I keep forgetting to mention the time period! Sorry. 😳 It is 1840s New England. In a city at a fancy hotel. 

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Does your character have to be shot in the side? It would greatly increase his/her chances of survival if the injury was to an extremity...or if the bullet wound was just a graze, perhaps. Unless you mean for the character to die, of course...

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10 hours ago, Zee said:

Does your character have to be shot in the side? It would greatly increase his/her chances of survival if the injury was to an extremity...or if the bullet wound was just a graze, perhaps. Unless you mean for the character to die, of course...

I wanted there to be a small chance the protagonist would survive. She does though. 

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In that time period doctors could practice whether they knew anything or not. Most meds of the time could kill as quickly as help. If a patient was given medicine, I would imagine it affected their imagination more that it cured.

Lots of room there for uncertainty to build up in the story. Even now it's awful to be shot. Back then the chances for infection was five fold.

Hope that helps.

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On 9/21/2020 at 4:35 PM, Sarah Daffy said:

I wanted there to be a small chance the protagonist would survive. She does though. 

I'm not an expert, but it might be worth a line of dialogue that the bullet "missed all internal organs." If it's 1840's and an organ is ruptured, I believe there is nothing left but a slow (or quick, depending on the organ) death. Even if the wound is sutured. 

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1 hour ago, Darrel Bird said:

If a patient was given medicine, I would imagine it affected their imagination more that it cured.

Was there opium at this time? It is the only thing I can think of. I think they called it laudanum. 

Edited by PenName
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1 hour ago, Darrel Bird said:

 I would imagine it affected their imagination

Meaning they might hallucinate or go crazy?

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11 hours ago, Sarah Daffy said:

Meaning they might hallucinate or go crazy?

 

She’s  not likely to hallucinate, and certainly not go crazy, on a medical dose of opium, but she’d feel pretty out of it for a while.

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 I would imagine it affected their imagination

Meaning they might hallucinate or go crazy?

 

Those too, """"

Sometimes while I'm writing I feel like some old Doc has loaded me up on opium.

 

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Hmmm..

Since you mentioned that this is in the 1840's, I believe that there wouldn't be a nurse during that time period. After reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder series as a younger girl and watching the series with my mom, there was just a main doctor whom everyone called upon when needed. Of course, he didn't have the fancy stuff that we have today, but he should have the current knowledge that he needs about medicine. Unfortunately, that's all I know, so maybe do a little bit of research?

Most likely he would come daily or every other day, and there would be someone such as the protagonist's friend or mother or whoever to care for her.

And I agree with what a lot of the others have said. if she got hit on the side, she should be able to survive unless it was lodged in there for so long and it never got pulled out...I think... It would be more fatal if she got hit in the heart or head.

Hope that helped in a way!

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