Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

Hippocrates Is Rolling Over In His Grave

, , , , | Healthy | May 13, 2009

Me: “Thank you for calling. How can I help you?”

Doctor: “I need to verify my patient’s coverage. Her number is [number].”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there is a problem and I can’t access that account. I will have to forward this issue over to our technical department, and they will get back to you as soon as possible.”

Doctor: “I need this information immediately. Can I talk to them now? It’s very important.”

Me: “I’m sorry, they are very backed up over there and everything is handled in the order it is received. You will be added to the queue and they will get back to you later today.”

Doctor: “What if she was dying and I needed her coverage information? What then?!”

Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, if the patient was dying there in your office, I would hope you would treat her regardless of her insurance coverage.”

Doctor: “Well, yes — I mean… Just make sure they call me today.” *click*

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Where The Sun Don’t Shine, Bungholio

, , , | Healthy | May 12, 2009

Customer: “These things don’t work! They are hard to swallow and I nearly choked to death.”

Me: “Ma’am, they are suppositories. You don’t swallow them; you insert them rectally.”

Customer: “What does that mean?”

Me: “You unwrap them and insert them in your rectum.”

Customer: “What’s my rectum?”

Me: “Ma’am, please forgive me, but your rectum is your butthole.”

Customer: “Well, up yours, too!” *stalks off*

(This is not the first time someone misunderstood when we explained how to use a suppository. It’s the only time we can tell a patient, “Up yours,” and get away with it!)

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The (Brain) Damage Has Already Been Done

, , , , | Healthy Right | May 6, 2009

(Note: 1-1-2 is Germany’s version of 9-1-1.)

Me: “1-1-2, what’s your emergency?”

Caller: “Oh, my god! Help me! Help me!”

Me: “Calm down, please. Can you tell me what happened, if someone is hurt, and where you are?”

Caller: “I’m at home, and my brain stopped working!”

Me: “Your brain… stopped working? Sir, if your brain would stop working, you would be dead. Can you tell me exactly what happened? Are you bleeding?”

Caller: “No, no. But my brain stopped working! At least half of it! Oh, my god, will the other half stop working as well?! Will I die?! My wife was right! I can’t believe it!”

(At this point, I’m unsure what to do. The man is really in a state of panic, but sounds otherwise fine.)

Me: “Sir, is your wife at home? Can I speak to her? If not, please tell me exactly what you did when your… brain stopped working.”

Caller: “I watched soccer! And drank beer! My wife always told me ‘When you don’t stop that crap, your brain will stop working’ and now it did! I was sitting on the couch and turned my head to look at the clock and suddenly I can’t move my head anymore because the left side of my brain stopped working! Help!”

Me: “Sir, it sounds like you only cricked your neck!”

(I start describing him what a cricked neck feels like and he agrees that this is indeed his problem and that he’ll see a doctor in the morning. I’m about to end the call, when…)

Caller: “Hey, dude…”

Me: “Yes?”

Caller: “Is she right?”

Me: “Who?”

Caller: “My wife. You seem to know a lot about medicine and stuff, so can my brain really stop working from watching too much soccer and drinking beer?”

Me: “Well, alcohol is known for indeed killing brain cells when you drink too much, but you won’t–”

Caller: “Oh, my god! Thank you! I thought she was only kidding me, but when you say it, then I’ll stop! Thank you so much for saving my life! Thank you!”

Me: “Wait, I didn’t say–”

Caller: *hangs up*


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It’s Called Healthyitis

, , | Healthy Right | April 16, 2009

Me: “Thank you for waiting. My name is [My Name]. What is your call regarding?”

Patient: “Yeah, I want to ask the nurse a question.”

Me: “Is this regarding symptoms you are experiencing?”

Patient: “Yeah… well, kind of.”

Me: “What symptoms are you experiencing?”

Patient: “Actually, none.”

Me: “You are experiencing no symptoms?”

Patient: “Yeah… I have no pain and I just want to know if that is normal.”

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Flattery, The Best Medicine

, , , | Healthy Right | August 26, 2008

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

(An elderly lady falls down in her apartment and has a cut on her wrist.)

Coworker: “Ma’am, I am afraid, we have to go to the hospital. You will need stitches for that cut and an X-ray to make sure your wrist isn’t broken.”

Patient: “No, I don’t wanna go. Just give me a shot and it will be okay.”

Coworker: “You mean for the pain?”

Patient: “No, so it will heal!”

Coworker: “Ma’am, I’m afraid we don’t have this kind of medication.”

Patient: “But it worked last time!”

Coworker: “Someone gave you a shot and the wrist healed by itself?”

Patient: “No, my sugar was too high and they gave me a shot and everything was okay!”

Coworker: “I see… Well, I can’t fool you; you know this stuff! Listen, I can give you a shot for the broken wrist, but this counteracts the anti-sugar medicine. So every time your sugar is too high, you can never get a shot again.”

Patient: “Never ever?”

Coworker: “Never ever again…”

Patient: “So why didn’t you just say so in the first place?”

Coworker: “Well, not every patient has such an understanding of medicine as you, so I always try to keep it simple.”

Patient: “Okay, then let’s go to the hospital.”

Coworker: “Gladly.”


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