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Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 15

, , , , , , | Healthy | January 14, 2022

I’ve had a severe chronic illness since I was a baby. Due to this, growing up, I spent a lot of time in different hospitals and medical offices and have had a wide variety of treatments and tests.

When I was around ten years old, I was due to have an MRI of my brain. I was pretty nervous about it, especially since I needed IV contrast and wasn’t sure how I’d handle the whole “laying super still in a confined space for several hours” thing. There was also a layer of extra anxiety for me, since they were looking for brain cancer.

I was also told before the appointment that I could bring a few DVD movies which could be played for me to watch during the scan to keep me calm and distracted.

Nurse: “Hello! So, you’re here for an MRI, right?”

Me: “Yes.”

Nurse: “Okay, go ahead into the changing room to put on your gown, and make sure to leave all your belongings in there, too. When you’re ready, go through the door on the other side, and that’ll lead you right into the MRI room. Oh, also, did you bring any movies to play during the scan?”

Me: “Yes, they’re here.”

I handed them to her and then went into the changing room. After I put on my gown, I pushed my way through the door to the MRI room and was immediately rendered speechless. The walls of the room seemed to be made of wall-to-ceiling digital screens, and playing on the screens was a scene of the ocean with fish darting around and whales floating by. On top of that, the MRI machine had been turned a blue color to match the scenery.

I was totally surprised and just went to pieces, smiling and crying, and I could feel my anxiety and nerves melting away. One of the nurses was sort of hovering nearby and watching my reaction.

Me: “How…?”

Nurse: “Since this is a children’s hospital, the screens were put in to help children feel better about getting scans done, and to reduce the number of kids that need to be sedated.”

Me: “Wow, but… how did you know that I love the ocean?”

Nurse: “Well, we noticed that all three of the movies you gave us were about the ocean, so we assumed that you like the water and that seeing the fish might help you feel calmer.”

Me: “Gosh, thank you so much! I hadn’t even noticed that all of my movies were about the ocean!”

The scenery did make me feel better, and I wasn’t nervous at all after seeing it. I managed to last the entire MRI without freaking out or moving and was able to see the scenery and my movies through a small mirror inside the helmet that I had to wear during the scan.

Honestly, the kindness of those nurses left a huge impact on me, and I consider it to be one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me. I still think about it now, as an adult, especially since most hospital nurses are overworked and have chaotic schedules. I know that noticing a tiny detail about me, and then intentionally going out of their way to help me feel better was immeasurably kind. I’ve had many MRIs after this, none of them with the special screens and effects, but I’ve never felt nervous about them, and I think it’s because my first MRI wasn’t nearly as traumatizing as it could have been.

Related:
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 14
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 13
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 12
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 11
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 10

They Went To Medical School For THIS?

, , , | Healthy | January 11, 2022

I’m an emergency ward doctor. One day, they told me my mom was having problems breathing. She was suffering from a certain contagious illness, and I couldn’t see her in three days. The news wrecked me for some minutes. I sat down and grabbed my head to put my mind together.

At that exact moment, someone with a massive brain stroke came to ER. I rushed to help. It took around thirty minutes for me to come back.

This resulted in a man screaming and swearing at me.

Man: “What’s taking so long? My son could’ve died waiting for you!”

Me: “Sir, there’s a person whose brain is literally bleeding. We had to attend to them.”

Man: “Well, they’ve probably been bleeding for some days now! My son has a runny nose!”

We Need Rubber Glove Balloons! STAT!

, , , | Healthy | January 8, 2022

After graduating college, I thought I was lucky enough to get a management position with a company on the Forbes 500 list. In all honesty, I am just a glorified dispatcher handling one of the departments in one of the hospitals in the inner city of a very old, old historic city.

In most hospitals, there is something called a priority list: who goes first in any situation. Number one priority are intensive care patients, codes, STATs, and traumas. Next is operating room patients, special procedures, people going to XRAY, Cat Scan, etc. On the very bottom is equipment — things like the pumps used to give people an IV.

Our primary customer is the hospital. We live and breathe to serve the hospital.

Here is a REAL conversation I had with one of the hospital personnel. I have MANY conversations like this daily.

Nurse: “Hello, I am calling from [Unit]. We called for some equipment an hour ago.”

Me: “Yes, I am sorry for the wait, but we currently do not have anyone available to bring that equipment up. As soon as we do, I will make sure it gets to you.”

Nurse: “Well, why is no one available?”

Me: “They are handling other patients in the hospital.”

Nurse: “My equipment is more important.”

Me: “I am sorry, ma’am, but the hospital has strict priority standards that we have to stick to.”

Nurse: “Yes, but this equipment is for a patient.”

Me: “Yes, I understand that, but unfortunately, we have had several ICU patients that have had to go down to testing units. In fact, we just received a call for a STAT (very important) ICU to go down for an emergency test for complications.”

Nurse: “Well, equipment should come before anything, as it is for a patient. This is a problem; it needs to change. I want to complain!”

Me: “If I am understanding you correctly, ma’am, you would like things such as a wheelchair, a stretcher, or a pump to come before a patient that is profusely bleeding?”

Nurse: “Yes! The equipment is for the patient. It’s just as important!”

Me: *In disbelief* “Well, I would like to apologize again for the wait, but we will get the equipment up to you as soon as we are able to. Goodbye.” *Click*

Isn’t it nice to know that the next person taking care of you could be this nurse who values an inanimate object over getting you down to a testing procedure that could save your life?

Sometimes I wonder what was worse: retail or hospital customer service.

At Least They’ll Probably Wear Their Mask

, , , , , | Healthy | January 5, 2022

It’s the middle of the health crisis, and everyone is still on edge about infection control protocols. We assure everyone that we have hospital-level infection control and take it very seriously. I’m the owner dentist, and occasionally, I listen in on calls to ensure patients are being helped. This is a call I listened to.

Office Manager: “Thank you for calling [Dental Office]. How can we help you?”

Patient: “This is [Patient]. I want to know what you guys are doing for infection control. I don’t want to get the [disease].”

Office Manager: “We have eliminated our waiting room, and you wait in your car until your appointment. We also have a strict mask policy until in the dental, as well as a hydrogen peroxide rinse before we work on you.”

Patient: “What about barriers?”

Office Manager: “I’m sorry?”

Patient: “Do you have those plastic plexiglass barriers set up in between the patients?”

Office Manager: “Between each patient chair? No, we don’t—”

Patient:What is wrong with you?! Haven’t you seen how even the grocery stores have those barriers to protect the customers? If I am getting my teeth cleaned, my mouth is completely open! You need to install plastic barriers between the chairs! What if another patient is next to me and has the [disease]? You need to have us separated!”

Office Manager: “[Patient], we have walls. Actual, real walls. All of the chairs are in separate rooms. With walls. And doors. Doors that close.”

Patient: “…”

Office Manager: “[Patient], you have been coming to us for ten years. The layout has never changed…”

Patient: “I still think you should put up the plastic barriers!” *Click*

I have no idea if the patient was just hotly embarrassed or genuinely thought we should replace our solid walls — and enclosed rooms — with plexiglass ones that are open on the tops and sides.

This Feels Super Illegal

, , , , | Healthy | December 31, 2021

This is my great aunt’s story, from before the age of computers. Her regular doctor retired and a new one took his place. On her first visit to him, he diagnosed her with an illness and referred her to a specialist that he knew. He had to hand-write the referral and left the room to do so, returning a short while later with it in a sealed envelope.

Doctor: “Give this only to [Specialist].”

[Great Aunt]’s old doctor always wrote referring letters in front of her, he never sealed the envelopes, and the letters were usually handed to the receptionist.

[Great Aunt] was suspicious, so she steamed the envelope open to read it as soon as she got home. The note basically said that she didn’t have the illness he had diagnosed and also stated why he referred her.

Note: “This old lady is loaded; milk her for all she’s worth.”