Me: “Thank you for calling [hospital]. How may I help you?”
Caller: “Yeah. I had a baby at your hospital about a week ago, and when I was discharged I got a lot of papers and some samples. One of the papers says something about a PKU test.”
Me: “Yes, ma’am. How can I help you with that?”
Caller: “Well, it says on this paper that I need to bring my ‘new arrival’ to registration and they would help me get the PKU test done. I want you to know that I have looked all through the papers and stuff you gave me and I can’t find anything marked ‘new arrival’. What is this ‘new arrival’ I am supposed to bring with me when I come in?”
Me: “Ma’am, that would be your infant child…your new baby.”
Caller: “Oh my freaking God! If you mean ‘new baby’, then write ‘new baby’! Not everyone understands this hospital medical jargon!”
Sadly Wasn’t Born Yesterday
(I work front desk and am checking in a new patient. Note that I am a lesbian, wearing a clearly visible pentagram necklace, and am in a 5 year relationship.)
Me: “Good morning! Go ahead and sign in and I’ll let the doctor know you’re here.”
Patient: “Your eyes are gorgeous!”
Me: “Thanks. Have a seat while I look through your paperwork.”
Patient: *doesn’t move*
Patient: “Your eyes are really just so beautiful. I can see the power of God in you. You are truly an angel, do you know that?”
Me: “I…get that a lot?”
Patient: “Are you single?”
Patient: “Are you sure? Is it serious?”
Me: “Yeah, pretty serious.”
Patient: “Oh, but you’ll just love my son. You have to meet him as soon as he gets back from his Mormon mission!”
Patient: “Are you sure you can’t consider breaking up with your boyfriend?”
Me: “I really don’t think she’d take that well.”
Me: “I said I really don’t think I’m allowed to date patients or their family members.”
Patient: “Oh…but do think about it. Your eyes are really just so pure! He’d really be perfect for you!”
(She called several weeks later to say she’d been committed to a mental hospital.)
Me: "Thank you for calling [Hospital]. How may I help you?"”
Caller: "I would like to know where people go to buy those cups."
Me: What kind of cups are you looking for, sir?"
Caller: "Sample cups."
Me: "Sample cups? Do you mean like for a urine sample?"
Caller: "Yeah! I need quite a few."
Me: "I guess you could get them at a medical supply company. Have you tried that?"
Caller: "Oh boy! Thank you, lady! You have helped me so much! See, I am looking for work and most places require a urine test. I want to have my samples all ready to go!"
(I work in a hospital kitchen with an adjoining cafeteria. A doctor pokes his head in the door and calls attention to himself. I stop what I’m doing to help him.)
Doctor: “Excuse me, the coolers in the cafeteria are all turned off. Could you please turn them on?”
Me: “Well, there’s nothing in them right now. We’re still making the food. It would be a waste of electricity to turn on an empty cooler.”
Doctor: “But I’m a doctor.”
Me: “I…I know that.”
Doctor: “If you know, then why won’t you turn them on?”
Me: “Sir, I can’t turn them on. There’s no need.”
Doctor: *pauses* “But I’m a doctor.”
Doctor: “I’m a doctor!”
Me: “Okay, I can turn them on.”
(I walk into the cafeteria with him and flip the switches on the empty coolers.)
Doctor: “Thank you.”
(He walks away empty-handed, apparently satisfied.)
Me: “Okay then.”
(I turn the coolers off again and go back to the kitchen.)
Me: “How can I help you today?”
Patient: “Um. I think I have an STI.”
Me: “Okay. What symptoms do you have that makes you think that?”
Patient: “Well, I don’t really know. My computer told me to be here.”
Me: “Oh, did you do a self-analysis online?”
Patient: “No. I’m not sure. I’m here, I need to be here!”
Me: “Exactly what did your computer tell you?”
Patient: “Don’t judge me! Stop it! I need to be here!”
Me: “I can assure you that I am not judging you. Can you explain to me exactly what happened before you came here?”
Patient: “Well, I was looking at some porn last night online and this morning I turned my computer on and it told me I have a virus!”
Patient: “Stop judging me!”