What To Do With The Problem Patients

, , | Healthy Right | January 17, 2019

(I am a receptionist for a medical clinic primarily dealing with elderly patients, meaning that they usually need to have everything explained to them slowly and multiple times to fully understand. We have very few patients under 65, and they normally have no problem understanding anything the first time. Or so I thought. This patient calls in after seeing a doctor the previous day.)

Patient: “Hi, I just saw [Doctor] yesterday, and she ordered some labs for me, which I got done, but no one told me what to do next.”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry about that. Normally after you have blood work done, the doctor will call you if there are any abnormal results, or we can book another appointment for you to go over those results.”

Patient: “Okay, but no one told me what to do. I’m in pain now.”

Me: “I understand, but those are the options for following up with lab results. Would you like to book another appointment?”

Patient: “Look, no one told me what to do!”

Me: *thinking doctor noted followup instructions in visit notes that I can relay to patient* “Can I get your full name and date of birth?”

(The patient gives info and I pull up their chart. The patient is definitely not elderly.)

Me: “I apologize, I’m just looking at the doctor’s notes really quick.”

Patient: “This is so confusing; nobody told me what to do next! What do I do?”

Me: “I don’t see any followup notes in here. Would you like me to book you another appointment with the doctor to discuss your labs when the results are in?”

Patient: “Fine.”

(I check the schedule, but due to a shortage of doctors, we can’t get him in for two weeks.)

Patient: “This is so frustrating; I’m in pain now!”

Me: “I apologize. Would you like me to just have the doctor call you when the results are in?”

Patient: “This is so ridiculous. No one told me what to do and I’m in pain. What do I do?!”

Me: “We can book you an appointment or I’ll just have to doctor call you; which would you prefer?”

Patient: “I don’t know what to do; nobody told me anything! What do I do?!”

Me: “Sir, I’ve told you your options on what we can do. We can book you an appointment or I can have the doctor call you. What would you like to do?”

Patient: “The doctor didn’t tell me; WHAT DO I DO?!”

Me: “Sir, I’ve told you what your options are, so I guess I’m not understanding what you’re asking me. I can book you a followup appointment or just have the doctor call you.”

(After going back and forth like this for a few more minutes, the patient grudgingly decides to book an appointment. After struggling to find a time that works for him, we finally get it scheduled.)

Patient: “So, what do I do if I don’t understand something the doctor said?”

Me: *at this point frustrated to the point of shaking* “You should probably ask for clarification on something that isn’t clear.”

Patient: “So, if I don’t get something, I should ask the doctor or nurse?”

Me: “Yes, you should ask questions if you don’t understand something.”


Me: *head-desk*

Literally Sick Of Your Apathy

, , , , | Healthy | January 17, 2019

(I get very severely sick: throwing up anything I try to keep down and having constant diarrhea. I can barely keep juice down. This is exacerbated by the fact I have costochondritis — the cartilage in my ribcage gets inflamed and swells when I get sick, causing mind-numbing amounts of pain. After three days of this, my family forces me to at least go the local triage center if I won’t go to the doctor. I manage to check in with no problem; there are only a few people there so I figure I’ll get seen pretty quickly. An hour passes with people who were there before me and who came AFTER I came in getting in to see the doctors before me. I’m annoyed but hey, they might have seriously bad injuries I can’t see. Then my stomach lurches and I realise I’m all of a minute away from throwing up again.)

Me: *painfully walking up to the desk holding my ribs and stomach trying not to vomit* “I need the bathroom key.”

Receptionist: *doesn’t even look up from her computer* “No, you don’t. Sit down.”

Me: “I am literally about to projectile vomit. I need the bathroom key now.”

Receptionist: “Sit down. It’ll pass.”

(I barely manage to take another step before I’m forced to bend over and vomit stomach acid and bile on the floor in front of two kids and their mother.)

Woman: “Oh, my god!” *rushes over rubbing my back* “Oh, my god. Are you okay, sweetie?”

Me: *crying and gagging* “Sorry! Sorry, oh, god. I didn’t mean it!” *throws up again*

Woman: “[Son]! Get her some tissues and wipes out of my bag!” *to me* “Oh, it’s okay sweetie; you couldn’t help it.”

(The woman and her son managed to help me clean myself up while the two receptionists did nothing. The nice woman helped me sit down again; after ten minutes someone put a slip hazard over the puddle of my vomit but didn’t bother even trying to clean up. Despite that, it still took another hour for me to finally get seen to and just got some painkillers tossed at me, while told I was imagining my costochondritis and to drink fluids.)

I Don’t Care About You And That’s The Tooth

, , | Healthy | January 16, 2019

(I’m studying dentistry in France. Like every fourth- to sixth-year students, I work at the dental clinic, which is split into different wards with different dental fields: surgery, emergencies, radiology, etc. The way it is set up is that without A. having been seen in any other ward or B. a letter of referral from your dentist, we cannot remove your tooth, no matter how adamant you are on wanting to have it removed. We’re supervised by professors and have to get an OK from them to do anything, but we do all the work. Unlike most of my fellow students, I don’t take crap from anyone and am not scared to talk back to disrespectful or unruly patients. That led to me being called to talk to them every time one of my friends feel like they can’t handle it and don’t want to call a professor just because of that. Late one afternoon, a guy comes up to the surgery ward wanting us to remove one of his teeth. A friend briefly talks to him then comes and gets me because the guy refuses to understand what he’s telling him.)

Patient: “You gotta remove it! It hurts so bad!”

Me: “I get it, but I just looked at your file and it’s the first time you’ve ever been here. We don’t even have an X-ray or anything. We can’t risk removing anything without one. We don’t know if we can even keep it! It would be a shame to remove a ‘keepable’ tooth. Go to the emergency ward and check with them. If we can’t keep it, then you just come back up and I’ll remove it personally. You’ve got just enough time to squeeze in. They’re gonna close the admissions in, like, ten minutes, but if you get there before, they’ll see you. I’ll even make sure we keep the surgery ward open in case you come back up to us.”

Patient: “But it hurts! I want you to remove it now! I can’t wait at the emergency ward!”

(It should be noted that non-traumatic dental emergencies take weeks, if not months to develop. I have very little patience for people who come in after years of neglecting their dental hygiene and command me to do anything right this instant.)

Me: “I just told you, you have to go down to the emergency ward. They’ll X-ray it and if we have to remove it, I’ll do it. It won’t take more than thirty minutes, wait time included. They’re not especially busy at the moment, and neither are we.”

Patient: “Look into my mouth! If you’re really studying dentistry, you’ll know it can’t be kept!”

Me: “Oh, actually, I’m a liberal arts major doing an unpaid internship. I’m not studying dentistry or anything. I can’t help you. Either you get it X-rayed and you come back, or you can go home, take a big pair of pliers, and remove it yourself, for all I care.”

(He did go and get it X-rayed and it indeed had to be removed, which I obviously could tell before, but I wasn’t able to bend the rules. And even if I were, I wouldn’t have done it for an impolite bastard like him. Of course, if it had been a life or death situation that couldn’t have waited fifteen minutes, I would have done something for him. It wasn’t one of those.)

Casting You In A Bad Way

, , | Healthy | January 15, 2019

(When I was younger, I kept breaking my arms and legs. This takes place during that period. I think that I was about six years old. I break my right leg during gym class and go to the hospital with my parents. I go through the whole process of having doctors look disbelievingly at me, because surely my leg couldn’t be broken from such a minor fall; I have extremely brittle bones. However, the x-rays confirm that my leg is indeed broken and that I will need a cast. Right after the nurse has finished putting my cast on:)

Nurse: “All done. You can go to your own doctor in six weeks to have the cast removed.”

Me: *looking at my mum* “Mum, why is it my other leg that hurts?”

(The nurse had put the cast on the wrong leg! I can’t really blame her though. it was pretty late, and she was probably tired and overworked. I was tired, too. That is probably why I didn’t speak up about it being the wrong leg sooner.)

Your Favorite Stories Of 2018!

| Friendly Healthy Hopeless Learning Legal Related Right Romantic Working | January 14, 2019

Dear readers,

We asked you to let us know what your favorite stories from 2018 were, and boy did you deliver! We’ve rounded up many of your great suggestions below. We’ve ensured we haven’t repeated any stories from our twenty top rated posts of 2018.

Not The Only Terrorists That Day

Giving You A Bridge To Cross

Innocent Until They Prove Themselves Guilty

Allow Me To Deposit Some Reality Right Here

The Hour Turned Sour

Doctors Need To Have Patience With The Patients

Scream Bloody Murder

The Drive-Thru At Pride Rock

If You Treat The Cows Like Crap…

Don’t Get The Grilled Cheese

Fall Of Bridezilla

He’s About To Get A Chile Reception

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