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Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

Sadly Wasn’t Born Yesterday, Part 2

, , , , | Healthy Right | November 20, 2010

Me: “Thank you for calling [Hospital]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Yeah. I had a baby at your hospital about a week ago, and when I was discharged I got a lot of papers and some samples. One of the papers says something about a PKU test.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. How can I help you with that?”

Caller: “Well, it says on this paper that I need to bring my ‘new arrival’ to registration and they would help me get the PKU test done. I want you to know that I have looked all through the papers and stuff you gave me and I can’t find anything marked ‘new arrival.’ What is this ‘new arrival’ I am supposed to bring with me when I come in?”

Me: “Ma’am, that would be your infant child… Your new baby.”

Caller: “Oh, my freaking God! If you mean ‘new baby’ then write ‘new baby’! Not everyone understands this hospital medical jargon!”

In(tentional) Sickness And In Health

, , , , , , | Healthy Right | March 14, 2010

(We respond to an unconscious diabetic. While my partner is treating the patient, I am asking the wife some questions.)

Me: “So, is your husband on any medications?”

(She lists the medications her husband is on, including insulin.)

Me: “And has he been compliant with those medications lately?”

Wife: “Nope.”

Me: “Do you know why not?”

Wife: “Well, we had a big fight last week, so I hid all his meds. He hasn’t found them yet.”


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He’ll Be In The Afterlife After The Birth

, , , , | Healthy | October 31, 2009

(It is Halloween. The hospital staff have put up decorations, but they’re minimal. I’m trying to wheel a patient who is in labor to the room she was assigned, along with her husband.)

Patient’s Husband: “We should put her in the room with the witch hanging over the door.”

Me: “I’m sorry. That room’s actually a different size. I’m supposed to take you to room 79.”

Patient’s Husband: “But that room has a ghost. She wants a witch.”

Me: “The only room we have with that decoration is half the size of this one, and doesn’t have all the same equipment in it. This is the room you paid for.”

Patient’s Husband: “It has to be a witch. She’s been real nasty all week.”

(As she hears her husband say this, the wife is looking less and less pleased. She is a week overdue, and has been in for false labor pains the past two weeks.)

Me: “That’s interesting, but there aren’t any decorations inside the room anyway. What is inside this room is a much wider space for the doctor and nurses to provide her with better care.”

Patient’s Husband: “She wants a witch, so put her in the room with the witch.”

(Finally, the patient has had enough and speaks up.)

Patient: “Shut up. I want to get this kid out in whatever room the people who know what they’re doing think is best, you dumb troll!”

Totally Plastered

, , , , | Healthy Right | October 30, 2009

Me: “All right, your cast is on nice and secure. It should heal within four to six weeks.”

Patient: “Really? Only four to six minutes?”

Me: “No, four to six weeks.”

Patient: “Okay, four to six minutes.”

Me: “Sir, it’s impossible for it to heal within four to six minutes. It takes about four to six weeks.”

Patient: “Oh, all right.”

(I turn around to fill out his form. When I turn back around, he has taken off his cast.)

Me: “Sir, why did you take off your cast?!”

Patient: “Well, you said it heals within four to six minutes, but you said it was too short. I waited seven minutes… but it still hurts.”

Me: “Sir, your arm is still broken. Four to six weeks is around a month and a half.”

Patient: “Well, why didn’t you tell me that in the first place?! A month and a half is five weeks! Why did you say four to six minutes?”

Me: “I never said…” *I pause and compose myself* “…Okay, nevermind. Let’s put on a new cast.”

Patient: “Oooh! Can I have a pink one?”


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Loosely Based On A True Story

, , | Healthy Right | October 28, 2009

Patient: “I think there’s something wrong with my tooth.”

Me: “Can you describe the problem?”

Patient: “Well, I think it’s loose.”

(The patient suddenly spits his tooth onto the counter in front of me.)

Me: “Yes… Yes, I think you’re right.”