Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

We Think We May Actually Be Speechless

, , , , | Healthy | January 18, 2021

I’m having my first eye test in a few years and the doctor gives me the colorblind test to flip through. I surprisingly stumble on a few of them, and my wife comments that she’s noticed I tend to confuse certain colors.

Doctor: “You’re not fully colorblind, but you do have something there. Probably a muted form inherited from your father. Does he have trouble with colors?”

Me: “Not that I know of, but he doesn’t really—”

Doctor: *Interrupting me* “Oh, then he’s not your father because you’re definitely a little colorblind. Women have to inherit the gene from both parents. I wonder who your real father is.”

Me: “Did you really just say that to me?”

It turned out that I have tritanomaly, which can come from a blow to the head — and I was bucked off a few horses in my life — OR can be inherited if both your parents at least carry the gene as it’s a mutation. So, it turns out that it IS possible for a non-colorblind man to father a colorblind(ish) daughter!

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The Whole Head Will Have To Go

, , , | Healthy | January 16, 2021

I’m at the dentist having some work done. The dentist has just placed a permanent crown in and is attempting to floss around it. Unfortunately, the floss keeps getting stuck because of the cement. He asks his assistant to hand him a tool to help and it isn’t exactly one I was expecting.

Dentist: “Pass me the saw.”

I’m surprised and try to figure out if I heard right.

Dentist: “It has what looks like little saw teeth on it.”

Nope, I definitely heard right. Once she handed it to him, I could see that it was a very thin, flexible piece of metal with tiny teeth. It reminded me of a band saw blade. He used it to go between the crown and the tooth next to it to break up the excess cement. It worked perfectly, but it was not something I considered a dentist having.

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Russian To Ridiculous Conclusions

, , , , | Healthy | January 13, 2021

I work at a healthcare clinic as a receptionist. Due to HIPAA policies, whenever I call a client, I have to confirm I am actually speaking to the client. If I am speaking to someone else, I am not allowed to disclose the reason I am calling. I typically say something generic like, “This is the doctor’s office.” This doesn’t always soothe people’s curiosities, though.

Me: “Hello, is [Client] there?”

Caller: “No, she is busy.”

Me: “Okay. This is the doctor’s office. Can you ask her to call us back?”

Caller: “The doctor’s? Which doctor?”

Me: “I am not allowed to say. Can I leave a callback number?”

Caller: “You’re not allowed to say? What is this? Russia?”

I guess following the federal American law of not giving away personal information is considered by some to be an act of Communism?

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Leave The Diagnostics To The Pros

, , , | Healthy | January 10, 2021

About two and a half years ago, I started working as a health care assistant in the local women’s prison.

All in all, it was an okay job. I got on with most of the women, especially those who would stop me to ask about my day or just tell me about the new photo their friends or family sent. The officers were nice, if a little dismissive of genuine health problems at times.

I left the job after almost two years, but I still work there sporadically to keep my hand in, so to speak. I am working today.

The day starts as normal: handover and then medication rounds.

My registered practitioner is late in, due to a prior agreement we were not made aware of, so we go to the prison wing and find out that the lone officer won’t have a second for an hour. We need two officers for meds: one to supervise the girls taking the meds and one to unlock and lock up.

No problem. We get some admin done.

Meds start, and all is going well until two girls end up in a verbal altercation and are restrained back to their cells.

We then change sides to do the other section of the wing on the other side of the building. It’s slow, but everyone gets medicated. Then, it’s just clean up and breakfast. It’s about 11:30.

Now, to clarify, as a member of healthcare, I am required to carry a radio. We take a call sign and respond to location updates and alarms. Most notable alarms are our emergency codes. Code Red is heavy bleeding. Think a bloodbath, sprayed on the walls type. Code Blue is unresponsive or not breathing.

For either of these, it’s not uncommon to see five staff members sprinting the length of the prison with a 15-kg bag in tow.

We get set up to go back to our office in the centre of the prison, when an alarm is sent across the radios, signalled by a near-deafening klaxon.

Control: “Code Blue, [MY WING]. Acknowledge [OFFICER AND GOVERNOR IN CHARGE]. Acknowledge [NURSE IN CHARGE].”

Safe to say I’m hauling this 15-kg bag down two flights of stairs whilst trying to locate the cell.

As I arrive, the officer in charge of that wing tells me the patient is fine.

Officer: “There’s nothing wrong with her.”

Either way, I entered and tried to rouse the woman, a known epileptic. 

In the next thirty minutes, this woman suffered twenty-four witnessed seizures, each lasting between twenty and sixty seconds. She did not regain consciousness between, and she left for the hospital with the paramedics.

She returned later, self-discharged due to a fear of hospitals, but understandably tired and sore.

So much for “nothing wrong with her!”

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Testing The Students And Your Patience

, , , , , | Healthy | January 7, 2021

I am a receptionist at a secondary school. This happens during December 2020, when we have several students and staff contracting a well-known illness. Every day, more students are having to go home and isolate and MOST of them are doing their best to stick to the rules.

The phone rings.

Me: “Hello, [School]. How can I help?”

Caller: “Hi, I’m the mother of [Student]. I’ve just had her test result back and it’s positive.”

Me: “Okay, I’m sorry to hear that. Thanks for letting us know. Could I speak to [Student] to get a list of her close friends as they will need to self-isolate?”

Caller: “What do you mean? She’s not here; she’s in school.”

Me: “Excuse me? You sent her into school whilst waiting for her test result?!”

After spending a few seconds headdesking, I told the parent to come and pick up her child immediately and rushed up to collect them. I realise the rules are confusing, but the guidance — and common sense — is clear that if you are tested, you need to stay at home until you get your result!

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