Might Have To Come Back Anyway For Stress

, , , | Healthy | June 16, 2018

(I work at the main information desk of a hospital. A fast-food delivery man comes inside with a bag of food.)

Delivery Man: “Is this the front desk?”

Me: “Yes, it is!”

Delivery Man: “Great. I’ve got an order for [Customer]. Their instructions said to meet them at the front desk, and they just got a text saying I’m here. I’m going to wait for them to come down, okay?”

Me: “That’s fine.”

(Several minutes go by. No one comes down. The delivery man begins to get irritated.)

Delivery Man: “You’re sure this is the front desk?”

Me: “Yes, sir. There are other desks in [departments], but this is the main, front information desk.”

Delivery Man: “Well, why isn’t [Customer] here?!”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. I don’t know. Do you know if they’re a patient or a visitor?”

(The delivery man is now on his phone and not paying attention to me.)

Delivery Man: “I just don’t understand! My instructions say to meet [Name] at the front desk of [Brand] Inn!”

Me: “I’m sorry, did you say the [Brand] Inn?”

Delivery Man: “Yeah.”

Me: “That’s a hotel.”

Delivery Man: “Yeah.”

Me: “This is a hospital.”

(He looks around, apparently noticing the “TO EMERGENCY ROOM” sign, the pharmacy, and the several rows of wheelchairs around my desk for the very first time.)

Delivery Man: “CRAP!”

(He runs out of the lobby, leaving the drinks from the meal behind. He returns about five minutes later, grabs them, and runs out without saying anything. About two hours later, he returns with another order.)

Delivery Man: *sheepishly* “I’m in the right place this time. I checked.”

Me: “That’s good!”

Delivery Man: “Is [Man] here?”

(I look around. There are no men in the lobby.)

Me: “Sorry, I guess not.”

Delivery Man: “What?! My instructions say [Man] is waiting in the Women and Infants Services lobby! He’s supposed to already be here!”

Me: “Well… The Women and Infants Services lobby is down that hallway to the right, actually. This is the front lobby—”

Delivery Man: “So I’m in the wrong spot again?”

Me: “Well, the wrong department—”

Delivery Man: “G**d*** it! I thought this job would be easy!”

(He stormed out of the lobby and stomped off to the correct department. At least this time he remembered his drinks!)

Don’t Even Start With Me

, , , | Healthy | June 15, 2018

(I work in IT for a medical laboratory, and part of my job is to troubleshoot connections between medical devices and our software. The medical devices themselves are not ours to manage, however. I get this call one morning:)

Lab Tech: “Hi, my machine is not working. Could you help me, please?”

Me: “Sure! What device, and what seems to be wrong?”

Lab Tech: “It’s [Device], and I don’t know; it’s just doing nothing.”

Me: “Okay, let me check.”

(I see nothing wrong with my monitoring. However, our connectors have a tendency to need regular reboots, as they’re quite old and tend to give us trouble, so I’m expecting it to be something wrong with our equipment.)

Me: “Can you please reboot the connector? The one behind your machine.”

Lab Tech: “Sure, give me a sec.”

(My monitoring starts showing its usual shutdown and boot-up messages.)

Me: “Okay, looks good. Can you try the device again?”

Lab Tech: “Nope, still nothing.”

(I try every trick in the book to get the device to work, including having her reboot the medical device itself, which is kind of a last solution, since they’re not ours to troubleshoot. Nothing ever seems wrong on my end, but the lab tech still says it’s not working. This goes on for FIVE HOURS! I’m way past desperation point, when I ask her to walk me through every step of her process to see where exactly it hangs.)

Lab Tech: “Well, I put my samples in the tray…” *pause*

Me: “Yes, and then?”

Lab Tech: “Well, that’s supposed to be it…” *pause* “Oh, wait… I didn’t press the start button.” *pause, then my monitoring starts flooding with orders* “Now it’s working.”

Me: *screaming internally but somehow managing to keep my cool* “Well, there you go. Have a nice day.” *hangs up*

Weak In The Knees

, , , , , | Healthy | June 14, 2018

(I have gone to my general practitioner to get a referral to a specialist for endometriosis. My regular GP is a middle-aged, Singaporean man, but I don’t mind having male doctors for female issues.)

Me: “I’m seeing [Specialist] for endometriosis, and I need a referral.”

GP: “You realise that you’ll have to have surgery to know for sure?”

Me: “Yes, I have a family history.”

GP: “Okay, I just have to make sure that you have a reason to go. Do you have painful periods?”

Me: “Yes, definitely.”

GP: “So, it hurts in your abdomen region? Is it cramping, or other pain?”

Me: “Actually, my knees hurt.”

GP: “Come again?”

Me: “I get pain from my knees up during my period. But it’s worst in my knees.”

GP: “Really?” *chuckles* “All right, just give me a minute to write that referral.”

(I honestly hadn’t realised how weird it was, before that. I did end up having endometriosis — it turned out the knee pain was nerve damage from that.)

In-Law Practices Out-Law Medicine

, , , , , | Healthy | June 13, 2018

(My sister is a recent medicine graduate, and is now a doctor. My mother-in-law finds out that she’s practicing.)

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, your sister is practicing now? So ,that means she writes prescriptions?”

Me: “Well, yeah, I would think she does?”

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, you have to get her to write me a prescription for this ADHD medication that makes you lose weight like crazy!”

Me: “Well, you’re welcome to go and see her and ask for it, but I don’t think she’ll give it to you. Why would you want it, anyway?”

Mother-In-Law: “I want to lose a few kilos before summer this year.”

Me: “Well… No. I think that medication is for people whose weight is putting their health in danger.”

Mother-In-Law: “Can’t you just get her to write me one? I don’t want to go and see her.”

Me: “Um… No, I think that’s illegal.”

Mother-In-Law: “Well, then, can you get me a prescription for Xanax? I’m super stressed.”

Me: “No.”

An Ambulatory Emergency

, , , | Healthy | June 12, 2018

(I’m working at the window as a tech in the ER. It’s three am, but pretty busy, and the wait times are very long because we only staff half a dozen nurses and only one doctor at this time. A very impatient woman with a headache comes up to the window several times demanding to know how much longer it will be. Being an ER and not an urgent clinic, we see patients based on how likely they are to die in the waiting room, and we have seen her twice in the last week for her headache, so she has to get in line behind ambulances with broken bones and heart attacks.)

Patient: “How much longer is it going to be?!”

Me: “I’m so sorry, ma’am. Unfortunately, we’ve been getting many ambulances with critical patients in tonight, so it’s going to be a while before you can be seen. We cannot give out exact wait times, as we never know what kind of emergencies we will receive in the interim.”

Patient: “Well, if I go outside and call an ambulance, will it get me seen sooner?”

Me: “Well, no… the charge nurse would have you sent right back here to the triage area. Then we would be calling the police. Calling an ambulance from outside an ER for a medical emergency is against the law and they could arrest you.”

(She walked away from the window in a huff and waited another hour to be seen for the headache she should have seen a primary doctor for after her first visit a week ago. Our doctor gave her no more pain medicine, just a referral identical to two others she had gotten in our ER.)

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