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    When The Pill Popper Pops

    | FL, USA | Health & Body

    (My father is a physician. I am waiting to take him to lunch when a patient comes stomping out of his exam room with him.)

    Patient: “All I’m saying is, I need a prescription for Vicodin!”

    My Father: “Ma’am, I’m not writing you a prescription for that. Your condition is in no way severe enough for narcotic pain medication. I can prescribe you some Ibuprofen if you’d like something to help with inflammation.”

    Patient: “F*** you! I said I needed Vicodin! My wrist really hurts, and other doctors have given it to me without all this s***!”

    My Father: “I’m sorry your wrist hurts, but nothing shows up to suggest there is anything serious going on. If those other doctors will write you the prescription, you’re welcome to go to them for a second opinion.”

    (It has become obvious that she is not getting what she wants, so she settles instead for cursing and yelling at my father as much as she can on her way out. She verbally abuses the nurse at the front desk, and then turns to deliver the best parting shot she can come up with.)

    Patient: “You’re pathetic! Get a real f****** job!”

    The Waiting Blame Game

    | NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (It is a particularly busy day; the doctor is backed up nearly an hour. I am informing a patient who is checking in.)

    Patient: “AN HOUR?!? Are you kidding me? He expects me to wait an hour?”

    Me: “Yes, sir. I do apologize for the wait, but—”

    Patient: “I just need my test results. Give me a copy!”

    Me: “I can do that. Give me just a moment to make a copy.”

    (I take the report to the copier. A 94-year-old woman is checking out with my coworker.)

    Me: “Here you go, sir, your results.”

    (The patient reads through the results.)

    Patient: “Well, what does this word mean?”

    (He reads off a long medical term. Despite the fact that I know the meaning of the word, I am not allowed to explain his results to him due to HIPAA regulations.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I’m unable to explain the results to you. This is why you have your appointment to speak with the doctor.”

    Patient: “But you’re a nurse! You have to explain this to me! I didn’t eat any god-d*** lunch before this appointment, and if I don’t get a sandwich soon I’ll—”

    (The 94-year-old patient pipes up.)

    94-Year-Old Patient: “Excuse me, sir, but you are the rudest man I’ve ever known! Talking to a young girl like that! You ought to be ashamed of yourself. If you want your test results, you’d better wait. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 94 years on this earth, it’s that you should make the most of the time you have. If you have to spend that time in a doctor’s office waiting, well then, S*** HAPPENS!”

    (The man slinks away from the desk, sits in a chair, and mopes. He does, in fact, have to wait for an hour. He doesn’t say a word to any of us for the rest of his visit!)

    Adopting An Apologetic Attitude

    | Boise, ID, USA | Family & Kids, Health & Body

    Me: “Thank you for calling [clinic], this is [my name]. How can I help you this evening?”

    Caller: “Hi, I just needed to speak with a nurse about my son; he’s been coughing really badly this week.”

    Me: “Sure thing!”

    (I get her son’s details, and pull up her son’s account in the computer.)

    Me: “Alright, I will have the nurse give you a call back in the next 20 minutes. Is this the best number to reach you back at?”

    (I read her the primary number on the account.)

    Caller: “That is his biological parents’ phone number, but I’ve adopted him and have primary custody. Can you call me back at [this number] tonight?”

    Me: “Of course! Alright the nurse will call you shortly.”

    Caller: “Actually, can you remove that number and put mine as the primary contact number, please?”

    Me: “Unfortunately, I cannot do that for you this evening. I do not have access to any of the legal paperwork you would have on file, and I would be uncomfortable changing the information on the account at this time. But I will have the nurse call your number tonight. You can call back in the morning during regular office hours and speak with my supervisor to get that done.”

    (The caller immediately flies into a rage.)

    Caller: “I can’t believe this! I should be the primary contact for the child that I have full custody of! This is absurd! Why can’t you just replace the d*** number?”

    Me: “I’m very sorry. It has to do with the privacy laws surrounding your protected personal and health information, as well as the legalities of custody agreements. I wish there was more I could do, but I am just a receptionist. I have very limited access to your records, and have no way to verify who you are. But for tonight I can definitely have the nurse call you at your own number about your son.”

    Caller: “Whatever. Fine.”

    (The caller hangs up, but calls back again about five minutes later.)

    Caller: “Hey this is [name] again. I’m really sorry about being so short with you earlier. I realized that you were just protecting yourself, as well as my son and his information. You guys do a great job, and we really like coming to your clinic. So, I apologize. I’m just very stressed out with my son being so sick.”

    Me: “Wow, thank you for your apology! But I totally understand where you are coming from.”

    Caller: “It’s just been a rough few days. But thank you for your help, and being so kind while I yelled at you. Keep up the good work!”

    Pointedly Pointing Out Appointments

    | CO, USA | Extra Stupid, Time

    (I am a receptionist taking calls for a very busy doctor.)

    Caller: “Hi, I need to schedule an appointment with the doctor.”

    Me: “Okay. Can I have your name, please?”

    Caller: *gives name*

    Me: “Well, it looks like you already have an appointment on the schedule for tomorrow. Do you need me to move it?”

    Caller: “No, I don’t have an appointment.”

    Me: “Are you sure? The computer says you’re marked down for 10:30 tomorrow morning.”

    Caller: “I’m positive. I always write my doctor’s appointments down in my little book. And I don’t have an appointment written down in my book or anywhere else. That means it doesn’t exist. Your computer must be malfunctioning. Just give me an appointment.”

    Me: “Wait… so my computer accidentally scheduled you an appointment?”

    Caller: “Yes. Now, please make me a real appointment.”

    Me: “Well, we have to schedule this type of appointment two months out.”

    Caller: “No, no. I need to get in this week.”

    Me: “Well, in that case, I just had a spot open up tomorrow at 10:30. Will that do?”

    Caller: “Yes! Perfect! Thank you!”

    Kin Tell A Lot About This Patient

    | Saskatchewan, Canada | Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I work at a walk-in clinic. A new patient has come in and I am gathering his information for his file at the front desk. He has blond hair, blue eyes, and is 30. He has been otherwise polite to this point. Note that another patient is standing in line behind him.)

    Me: “So, that’s almost it. Last question: who’s your next of kin?”

    Patient: “Am I Mexican?! What kind of racist question is that? I ain’t no Mexican freak, you racist B****!”

    Me: “Sir, I didn’t ask if you were Mexican. I asked for your next of kin.”

    Patient: “What the f*** is a ‘next of kin?’ You are just trying to make things up to cover up your racism!”

    Other Patient: “‘Next of kin’ is your emergency contact, moron.”

    Patient: “Oh, in that case, my mom. Her contact info is the same. I still live at home.”

    Other Patient: “That explains so, so much…”


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