Just Call Him Hal

, , , , | Healthy | August 2, 2020

I’m a nurse on a busy med surge floor. Shift change has just occurred. My CNA calls me to let me know one of my patients’ blood pressure readings is high. I pull up the chart, check the newest results, and realize their drug test is positive for absolutely everything drug we test for and they also have a very high alcohol score. I go into the room to access my patient and as soon as I get in, I know they are starting to go through withdrawals.

I call the doctor immediately to get a drug and alcohol withdrawal medication bundle on. I end up getting a brand-new resident. I introduce myself and explain the issue.

Me: “…and I need a stat order on the drug and alcohol withdrawal med bundle. Thanks!”

Resident: “I’m new; I don’t know what that is.”

Me: “No problem.”

I list the meds I need, the dosages, frequency, etc.

Resident: “I can’t write those orders; those are controlled medications.”

Some of them are, but most are anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea meds.

Me: “You’re a doctor; you can write controlled meds. This is a standard medication bundle for this issue.”

Resident: “I don’t think I can write those.”

Me: “Is [Doctor] there? Can you put him on speaker, please?”

He does and I repeat the request.

Doctor: *To the resident* “Start typing what the nurse tells you.”

Resident: “But I can’t write those orders; they are controlled.”

Doctor: “I’m only going to tell you this once more. Put in all the orders the nice nurse tells you right now. We have a patient who is about to go into severe drug withdrawals. She is trying to avoid the massive projectile vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures that are about to happen. Nurse [My Name], how long do you think we have?”

Me: “Thirty minutes, maybe less. They are already starting to sweat and look a bit green around the gills.”

The new resident was still arguing with the doctor that he couldn’t write those orders. The doc got fed up with him and told him that from then on he was to write every effing order I told him. I got my orders.

A few days later, the new resident was on the floor. I went up to get a med order and he started again with the “I don’t think I’m allowed to write that.” I smiled and let him know that I was nurse [My Name], and that he might remember that the doctor in charge of him told him not to argue with me about med orders. I did have to show him how to put them on, but it got done.

The other nurses asked how I managed to get orders out of him because he’d been pulling the same garbage with all of them. The doctor ended up giving him blanket orders that he was to listen to the nurses, and if he really wasn’t sure to call him or the pharmacist, but he was not allowed to utter “I don’t think I can write that” ever again.

We are wondering if he’ll last through the end of the month.

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Whatever She Saw, They Had It Comin’

, , , , | Healthy | August 1, 2020

I’m usually pretty chatty with my doctors; I’ve learned that they have seen and heard much more shocking stories than mine since I live a pretty boring and standard life. Every time I get a new doctor, I’m sure to be honest and unashamed because they kind of need to know things like that.

I start rambling this point to a new doctor and point out how she’s probably dealt with more embarrassing things than someone being a virgin when asked about their sexual history.

She gives me a knowing look and then says, “I was an ER doctor in Chicago.”

Now I definitely know that there’s no scaring her!

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We Need No Further Evidence Regarding Her Sanity

, , , , | Healthy | July 31, 2020

I work in a pharmacy and I get a call from an older customer.

Me: “[Pharmacy], how can I help you?”

Customer: “You gave me the wrong pills!”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, ma’am; did the bag have your name on it?”

Customer: “It’s my name, but the wrong pills are in the bottle!”

Me: “It’s possible we refilled one of your other prescriptions on fi—”

Customer: “No! The wrong pills are in the bottle!”

Me: “All right, can I have the number on the bottle?”

Customer: “Oh, no, you don’t! I’m not giving that to you.”

Me: “All right, can I have your name, please?”

Customer: No! I’m on to your tricks!”

Me: “Ma’am, I need to look up your file so I can figure out what the problem is.”

Customer: “No, you don’t! I know your sly ways. You’re just going to change my file so you can cover up your mistake!”

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t have that ability. I’d like to help give you the proper medication. Can you please tell me your name?”

Customer: “No! You’re going to change the names of the medications on my chart to hide your screwup!”

Me: “Well, ma’am, can you come back to the store so I can verify the wrong pills were given?”

Customer: “No! I’m holding onto this bottle! It’s evidence!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t change any ‘evidence,’ since you have a printed label on the bottle. Can you tell me the name of the medication?”

Customer: “No! Do you think I’m stupid? I’m not telling you anything!”

Me: *Sigh* “Okay, ma’am, if you won’t let me see your file or the pills, and you won’t bring it back, then what would you like me to do?”

Customer: “I want you to know that you’re a horrible pharmacy. And you are a terrible person!”

Me: “Excuse me? I’m trying to help—”

Customer: “No, you are an awful person! You don’t deserve to be in business, trying to poison me with the wrong pills!”

Me: “Well, can you describe them to me? Are they white? Oval?”

Customer: “I’m not telling! You are a bad person!”

Me: “Ma’am, I would really like to help you, if you could give me some informati—”

Customer: “No, you don’t! Shame on you for trying to kill me and then hiding the evidence!”

She hung up.

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A Pathological Need To Be Cautious

, , , , | Healthy | July 30, 2020

I finally have an in-person appointment with a psychologist after having several phone appointments during the global health crisis. The secretary calls me the day before to do what is now the usual health check.

Secretary: “Hello, [My Name], is now a good time to ask you a few questions before your appointment tomorrow with [Psychologist]?”

Me: “Yes, absolutely.”

Secretary: “Oh, great. Have you had any coughs, fevers, sore throat, or body aches and pains?”

Me: “No, to the cough, fever, and sore throat, but the body aches and pains are common with my fibromyalgia.”

Secretary: “That should be fine. Have you been overseas or in Victoria in the last fourteen days?”

Me: “No.”

Secretary: “Okay, and have you been in contact with anyone who could have [spreading illness] recently?”

Me: “I work in a pathology lab.”

Secretary: “Oh. Um… I don’t know what to say to that.”

She laughs awkwardly.

Me: “I was tested a week ago and I was clear. But I also appreciate it if you don’t want me in the building; I can have a phone appointment again.”

Secretary: “Um, do you mind if I go and ask?”

Me: “Go for it. Just call me back. This isn’t the first time I have flustered people.”

Secretary: “Thank you for being so understanding! I will call you back soon.”

Me: “All good.”

They are going to let me in.

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Need Something Stronger To Deal With This Doctor

, , , | Healthy | July 29, 2020

I suffer from chronic gastritis. Most doctors who do not realise the severity of my condition will prescribe a mild drug that is not strong enough. I often have to request something stronger.

At the clinic, I get a very condescending doctor who looks down her nose on the patients, as though she thinks she’s too good to waste her time on us. She doesn’t even look at me the entire time while I describe my symptoms but stares somewhere to my right, and she talks to me as though I am a five-year-old kid.

Doctor: “This is just a stomach ache. I’ll give you [Drug #1].”

Me: “I’ve taken that before; it’s too mild. Can I have [Drug #2], instead?”

Doctor: “You don’t need that. [Drug #1] is good enough.”

Me: “I have a history of chronic gastritis. I’ve taken [Drug #1] before; it’s not strong enough.”

Doctor: *Even more condescendingly* “Oh, what medicine do you want to take, then?”

Me: “I’ve taken [Drug #2]; it’s more effective.”

Doctor: “I’ve never heard of that medicine. Are you sure of the name?”

I figure I may be mispronouncing the name because, after all, I’m not a doctor. I try to describe it.

Me: “I’m not sure if I’m mispronouncing it. It’s by the same company as [Drug #1] but with three active ingredients instead of two. It comes in a green bottle.”

Doctor: *More condescendingly than ever* “Well, girl, I can give you something else, but I can’t guarantee it will come in a green bottle.”

Me: “Do you think I’m two years old? Wanting a medicine for the colour of the bottle like candy? I’m describing it to you in simple terms since you don’t seem to know which drug it is.”

The doctor looked stunned like she didn’t think I was smart enough to know the difference. She sputtered something and changed the prescription. I ignored her, checked the prescription to see that she did give me the stronger drug, and left without saying another word to her.

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