Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

Not Getting A Good Drug Deal

, , | Healthy | December 21, 2017

(I am working as a receptionist in a GP surgery. As part of my job, I have to take orders for and print out repeat prescriptions, as well as note down any special requests to pass on to the doctors. Patients are aware of this and will often try to bypass the 48-hour wait time between ordering and collection by asking me to “just print it,” apparently unaware that I need a doctor to sign it first. On this day, a late-30ish man approaches my desk:)

Patient: “Hi, I need a prescription for [opiate].”

Me: “You usually need a doctor’s appointment for that; do you want me to book you in in two day’s time?”

Patient: “No, I’ve run out. It should be on as a repeat prescription.”

(I’m suspicious, because this drug rarely if ever is put on repeat. Nevertheless, I check his file. Not only is it not down on his repeats, but there is a pop-up note saying DO NOT SUPPLY THIS PATIENT WITH [OPIATE] DUE TO HISTORY OF ABUSE.)

Me: *trying to be tactful* “Well, sir, it looks like the doctor has taken you off of this medication. If you like, I can give you a phone appointment this afternoon?

Patient: *suddenly aggressive* “DO YOU WANT ME TO SUFFER? IS THAT IT?”

Me: “No, sir. I simply can’t give you the prescription without a doctor’s approval.”

Patient: “PRINT IT OUT!”

Me: *refusing to show that I’m feeling intimidated* “I can’t. And even if I could, I’d need a doctor to sign it for me, and they’re all in with patients.”

Patient: “Well, you’d better f****** interrupt one, shouldn’t you, you stupid little b****?”

Me: “No doctor is going to sign this prescription right now. I’m asking you once to stop using abusive language and allow me to try to help, or I will have to ask you to leave.”

Patient: “Well then, you f****** sign it!”

Me: “I’m not a doctor.”

Patient: “Just sign it!”

Me: “You’re asking me to break the law and put my signature to your prescription.”

Patient: “Yes.”

Me: “You want me to put my name to a prescription which, if caught, will land me in jail, cause legal trouble to the doctors here, and probably not even get you the medicine you want?”

Patient: “I NEED MY [OPIATE]!”

Me: “I’m not going to do that. Either take one of the appointments I’ve offered you, or leave.”

Patient: “WELL, MAYBE I’LL F****** MAKE YOU DO IT!”

(Thankful for the plastic barrier between us, I pressed the security button, and he was escorted from the building by two of my other coworkers, cursing the whole time.)

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Whether You’re A Brother Or Whether You’re A Mother You Should Learn CPR

, , , | Healthy | December 20, 2017

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

I am sitting in the waiting room of my doctor’s office waiting to be called back. They have a TV playing some health network with short tips and tricks to being healthy.

One of the tips was to perform CPR to the beat of the song ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees. I laugh out loud in the quiet waiting room imagining passing out only to be revived by someone singing that song.

I got quite a few weird looks before I was able to get my giggles under control. But I guess I won’t forget the beat if I ever have to perform CPR now because I will want them to be ‘Staying Alive’!

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My Case Against You Is Swelling

, , | Healthy | December 20, 2017

(I have been suffering from a cough and breathing problems for a few days. Thinking it is just a passing cold, I don’t worry too much about it until one night I notice that my neck is noticeably swollen. Concerned, I go to my mother, who is a nurse, and ask her opinion. She decides to take me to the ER due to the swelling and my issues with breathing. After arriving, I am taken to a room to wait for the doctor to evaluate me.)

Nurse: “I hear you’re having some trouble breathing.”

Me: “Yes, I’ve been coughing, and I thought it was just a cold, but now my neck is swollen.”

Nurse: “Well, let’s just listen to your chest for a minute.”

(She listens to me breathe for a few moments, makes a note on her chart, and leaves. Several minutes later, the attending physician enters the room.)

Doctor: “So you’re having issues with breathing?”

Me: “Yes. I told the nurse I thought I had a cough, but now my neck is swollen and my mom was concerned it could be something else.”

Doctor: “Well, let’s just listen to your chest.”

(He also checks my lungs, the same as the nurse.)

Doctor: “Well, you seem to have some labored breathing, so we’re going to give you a breathing treatment to help with that.”

Me: “What about the swelling?”

Doctor: “I don’t really see any swelling.”

(My mother and I both stare at the doctor in disbelief. Full disclosure, I am overweight, and because of that, I do have somewhat of a ‘double-chin’. However, this is far beyond double-chin territory; it was noticeable enough for both me and my nurse mother to be concerned.)

Mom: “Her neck is obviously swollen. This isn’t normal. I know what normal is for her, and this isn’t it.”

Doctor: *dismissing her* “I’ll be back with the breathing treatment.”

(My mother and I are completely irritated by his behavior. My mom, in a stroke of genius, pulls out her phone. Not a week before, we had been on vacation, and had taken many pictures; my mom pulls up a picture of me, facing forward, that shows how I usually look. When the doctor returns, she shows him this picture as evidence that my neck does not normally look as it does now.)

Doctor: *taken aback* “Oh, your neck IS swollen! Let’s get you in for an MRI!”

(Thankfully, I just had bronchitis. However, neither my mother nor I were pleased that one of my symptoms was ignored, simply because the doctor assumed that it was irrelevant!)

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I Know First Aid And Last Rites

, , , | Healthy | December 20, 2017

(I’m a shift supervisor on break with someone, tending to a swollen ankle.)

Colleague: “You’re a doctor, though, aren’t you [My Name]?”

Me: “I wouldn’t be here if I was; I’m a first aider.”

Colleague: “Which means you know medical stuff right?”

Me: *deadpan* “It means I know enough that a patient has a higher chance of staying alive until paramedics arrive.”

Colleague: “Whoa, that’s rather…”

Me: “Cynical?”

Colleague: “…yeah.”

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There’s Nothing They Can’t Do

, , | Healthy | December 19, 2017

(For whatever reason, several of my friends have been taking turns in the hospital recently. My husband and I are bringing food to the third one in the past month, at a different hospital than the others, who is admitted with an extremely damaged hand after an accident. His wife meets us at the door and walks back with us to the room, but becomes lost in the process. The hallways have letter flags on them, but she is unable to locate the one we need. Fortunately, nearby staff take turns stepping in to help.)

Friend’s Wife: “Oh, no. I don’t know where ‘J’ hall is…”

Nurse #1: *on another hall and out of view* “Take a right at ‘H’!”

Friend’s Wife: “Thanks!”

(We get to the end of ‘H’ and become lost again.)

Friend’s Wife: “I don’t see ‘J’ hall. Did we go the right way?”

Nurse #2: *passing behind us* “Through the double doors.”

Husband: “They’re good.”

(We walk through the doors and pass a few doctors.)

Friend’s Wife: “Now we just need room J123.”

Doctor: “Just there on your left.”

Me: “Why can’t every hospital be this easy to navigate? It’s like we have a GPS with us.”

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