That’s What I (N)Said

, , | Healthy | January 14, 2018

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

Customer: *holding a box of OTC medication* “Excuse me. My wife is allergic to the Niacide family.”

Me: “Pardon? Do you mean NSAIDs?”

Customer: “No! NIACIDES!”

(I give him a puzzled look.)

Customer: “You know, ibuprofen and stuff!”

Me: “Right… NSAIDs.”

Customer: “Oh, whatever. Can she take this or not?”

(Then he showed me a box of acetaminophen.)

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Pregnancy Brain Affects The Men Even More

, , | Healthy | January 13, 2018

(My cousin is a nurse. One of the doctors, male, at the hospital where she works has gotten a few complaints for dismissing women complaining about certain symptoms as “pregnant.” One day she’s talking to a fellow nurse and another doctor, female, in the hallway, when they hear this from a nearby room:)


(My cousin and her coworkers exchange looks as an energetic and loud speech about “virginal conception” and “accepting my heavenly duties” sounds from the room.)

Cousin: “Isn’t [Doctor #1] in there right now?”

Nurse Coworker: “He just wrote someone off as pregnant again, didn’t he?”

Doctor #2: “Ladies, let’s roll.”

(She went in and took over the rest of the exam while my cousin and her coworker escorted the other doctor out. She said the look on his face was priceless! Needless to say, the story quickly spread around the hospital staff, and the doctor in question got in some trouble with the higher-ups thanks to this and the previous complaints. It’s been two months now, and he has yet to dismiss another woman’s complaints since then.)

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Pray That Incompetence Isn’t Airborne

, , | Healthy | January 12, 2018

(I am doing clinicals at the hospital as part of my certified nursing assistant (CNA) program, on the communicable disease ward. I enter at patient room. Now, in this program students aren’t even allowed in the rooms of any patients with airborne contagious diseases. It is also a rule of the hospital that signs be placed on the front of the door along with masks for airborne diseases. I’m making my rounds and enter a room where the patient is sleeping, and grab the chart. He has a serious infectious airborne. I backtrack out of the room and look at the door. No sign, no masks. I approach my teacher about this, and then the head nurse.)

Me: “I read the chart in 334—”

Nurse: “You shouldn’t be in 334. He’s airborne and you’re a student.”

Me: “That’s why I came to you. There is no—”

Nurse: “Why were you in there? You could get seriously sick.”

Me: “You assign—”

Nurse: “It doesn’t matter what I assigned you to. You should know the rules. That’s why I hate working with students. Too stupid to even notice the sign on the door.”

(Now I’m irritated at the interruptions as well as the insinuation of stupidity.)  

Me: “Look, lady, I’m not dumb; I’m top of the class. If you’d let me finish a sentence, I could tell you–”

Nurse: “Oh, God. If you’re top of the class, I’d hate to see—”

(I finally snap and interrupt her.)

Me: “And if you’re the head nurse here who is in charge of making sure people are doing their jobs so patients don’t die, I’d hate to see your mortality rate. As I was saying before, there is no sign, no masks, nothing on the door to indicate airborne. There aren’t masks inside or out. As the head nurse, shouldn’t you know this? You assigned me three rooms. When I said the room number you immediately knew he was airborne without pulling a chart. One could figure you knew this upon assigning my rooms, and ignored the rules, or have come across this information since, and rather than changing my assignment, or at least informing me, you just let it go.”

Nurse: “I shouldn’t have to tell you not to enter an airborne room. Now you say you went in without a mask?”

Me: “You should be sure that airborne is indicated as per the rules.”

Nurse: “You’re rude to me. You make a mistake then you’re rude to me. Your teacher will hear about this. Go work on your other patient rooms.”

Me: “My teacher has already heard about this. From me. And I’m not going to work with other sick people when I may have been contaminated. I’m going to tell my teacher I’m going home. I’d suggest you get a d*** sign and masks on that door before you get someone killed.”

(I go to my teacher and fill her in on the conversation. My teacher said she would deal with it, I should go, and to be sure to get tested as well. Then she says this…)

Teacher: “Maybe don’t apply to work here?”

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Doctors Need To Have Patience With The Patients

, , | Healthy | January 12, 2018

(I am a student in a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program doing rotations in a nursing home shadowing a CNA working there. This patient is not part of our assigned rooms but is screaming for help. I ignore it at first, as I’m literally surrounded by medical professionals and figure her CNA or nurse will be in soon. Instead it carries on.)

Me: “Shouldn’t we check in on her?”

CNA: “She’s not ours, and she’s always like this. She just wants attention.”

Me: “Okay.”

(Ten minutes later, she is still screaming for help. Nobody is paying attention, and my CNA goes to do something without me. So since I have a 15-minute break without anyone to shadow, I decide to check on the woman. If she just wants attention, no harm done, I can talk a few minutes.)

Me: “Hi, I’m a student. Can I help?”

Patient: “My stomach.”

Me: *picks up chart* “How does your stomach feel?” *I look at the page detailing all she has ate and drank and any output, or waste, that day, thinking it’s an upset stomach*

Patient: “It’s exploding.”

Me: “That’s awful.”

(Then I notice she’s on a catheter, but no urine output has been recorded on her otherwise detailed chart. I look at her cath bag, and there is no urine in it. For those who don’t know much about caths there is always something. The body is constantly producing urine, and with a cath it drains straight off. This seems dangerous to me.)

Me: “I’m going to get you some help.”

(To the nurse at the station.)

Me: “The patient who has been screaming, I just checked in with her.”

Nurse: “She wants attention. Ignore it.”

(I find my teacher.)

Me: “This patient isn’t mine, but she’s been screaming. I keep getting told she’s attention seeking, but she has a cath and no output.”

Teacher: “I’ll check her.”

(I go about my day, and right before the students meet with the teacher for end of the day, I check in with the patient and she starts crying and thanking me profusely, saying nobody else listens, and I helped, and now she is ok. I note there is urine output in the bag. I go on to meet my class, and my teacher starts our reporting. As her final note:)

Teacher: “Oh, and [My Name] saved a woman’s life today!”

Me: “I did?”

Teacher: “Her catheter was misplaced. She had no urine output. You noticed while everyone else ignored her. When I placed her catheter correctly, the bag overflowed. Her bladder was close to bursting, which could have been serious or even killed her. Let this be a lesson, class: don’t ignore a patient just because they aren’t yours or want attention.”

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Eating In Reverse

, , | Healthy | January 12, 2018

(I am in the ER waiting to be treated for a severe migraine with EXTREME nausea. In the next cubicle is a man who apparently had a blockage in his digestive system. A stomach pump has just begun when I am shown to my cubicle. I am very happy not to have been an “ear-witness” to the tube insertion!)

Female In Next Cubicle: “Oh, look! There’s a jelly bean! And that must be the chicken from dinner!”

(She continued describing every morsel being pumped from his stomach. My nausea increased to the point that I vomited on the floor near the curtain. She wasn’t as excited about seeing what I had eaten. It stopped her narrative, though.)

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