It’s Going To Be A Long Week That Lasts Two Months

, , , , | Healthy | April 8, 2019

(It is currently the beginning of April and this patient needs an appointment.)

Me: “Our next available is mid-June.”

Patient: “Okay, go ahead and schedule me for next Thursday.”

Me: “Our next available is mid-June.”

Patient: “I can’t schedule now; just schedule me for next Thursday.”

Me: “If you can’t schedule right now, that’s fine, but we are booking out until mid-June.”

Patient: “Okay, I’ll call back and schedule for next Thursday.”

He’s Far From The Shallow Now

, , , , | Healthy | April 7, 2019

(My grandfather has fallen, hit his head hard, and had a stroke. Doctors are trying to figure out if the stroke he had caused the fall or if he fell so hard that it caused a stroke. Shortly after he is transferred to the stroke ward from the ICU, the doctor is asking my grandfather some questions to check his mental condition.)

Doctor: “Do you know what year it is?”

Grandfather: “Lady Gaga.”

Doctor: *slight pause* “Okay, but do you know the year?”

Grandfather: “2029.”

(Unfortunately, he wasn’t joking with his responses, but his doctors say he is making a good recovery even though he’s not quite sure what year we’re in.)

Shunting That Entitlement Away

, , , , , | Healthy | April 5, 2019

(My mom is an x-ray tech at a world-renowned children’s hospital. She helped pioneer a number of techniques now commonly used today, but the hospital’s main focus is on the patient’s overall welfare. This involves things like minimizing the number of x-ray frames taken to cut down on radiation exposure, cropping x-rays as tightly as they can to cut down on radiation scatter, etc. Most doctors treat the techs well and make sure they have all the necessary information, but one new doctor doesn’t seem to get how things work at this hospital.)

Doctor: “I need a head x-ray on this patient. Forward facing.”

Mom: “Great. What am I looking for?”

Doctor: “You don’t get to ask questions. I tell you what frames to take, and you take them. Me: doctor! You: tech! You don’t talk to me!”

Mom: *doesn’t say a word, just smiles politely and goes to take the x-ray*

(As per the hospital’s policy, she narrows the field as small as she possibly can, so literally only the skull itself is in the path of the radiation. The kid has a full head of curly hair, by the way. After the films are developed and sent up, the doctor comes storming down, furious.)

Doctor: “How could you not get a picture of his shunt?!”

Mom: “What shunt?”

Doctor: “The one in his skull! The whole reason for wanting to x-ray him in the first place!”

Mom: “Well, maybe, if you’d told me why you needed the x-ray, I would have focused on that area. Instead, you just told me to shut up and take the x-ray, which I did exactly according to hospital policy. The kid has a ton of hair; there’s no way to see the shunt, and no one told me he had one, nor was it included in the written orders. If you want an x-ray of something specific, you need to specify!”

Doctor: *glares, and then stomps off to tattle to the head of Radiology, who reads him the riot act for being so rude to a tech*

(Mom did retake the film, this time focusing strictly on the shunt and its surrounding area. She felt very bad that the kid was being exposed to a second dose of radiation, however small, though.)

A Benign Hair Style

, , , , , | Healthy | April 3, 2019

(My mom is an x-ray tech at a world-renowned children’s hospital. Patient welfare is the top priority, so they try to minimize tests and procedures as much as possible.)

Mom: *walks into the break room to see two doctors and an x-ray tech — all male — looking at a series of films*

Doctor #1: “Obviously, we need to operate, cancerous or not. So, I say we just skip the biopsy and go straight in. We don’t want to put her under twice for no reason!”

Doctor #2: “I agree, but these tumors are very unique. I’ve never seen anything quite like them, and with them being so close to both her heart and her lungs, I’m worried about what will happen if we do take them out. We don’t know how firmly they’re attached or entrenched in either of those organs.”

Mom: *curious* “Do you mind if I have a look at the films? If you haven’t seen a tumor like this before, it must be very rare.”

Doctor #2: “By all means.”

([Doctor #2] hands over the films, and then continues to debate with his colleague about how quickly they can schedule the surgery, while Mom spends a few minutes looking closely at the x-rays.)

Mom: “Um, guys? We’ve got a problem here, but I don’t think it’s the problem you think it is.”

Tech: “What do you mean?”

Mom: “I don’t think that’s a tumor.”

Doctor #1: “Of course it’s a tumor! What else could it be?”

Mom: “A hair tie.”

All: “WHAT?!”

Mom: “You know, those little round hair ties? The elastic kind with a pair of balls on the ends that little girls like?”

Doctor #2: “Yes, my daughter uses those. But what makes you think…”

Mom: “These tumors are perfectly round, they’re both exactly the same size, they slightly overlap, and if you look really closely, this one even has a hole through it… exactly where the elastic would be.”

All: *looks like she just hit them in the face with a board*

Tech: “You can’t be serious!”

Mom: “Do you want me to retake the film, just in case? I mean, I don’t want to expose her to more radiation, but better a single film than opening her rib cage! And if I’m wrong, then fine. But we wouldn’t want to operate on a child without being certain.”

Doctor #2: “Do it. Fast! She’s in room [number].”

Mom: “On it!”

(She runs up to the girl’s room:)

Mom: “Hi! I’m [Mom], one of the x-ray techs here at [Hospital]. There was a little problem with one of your daughter’s x-rays, so we need to retake it really fast. No need to worry!”

Girl: “I wiggled, didn’t I?”

Mom: “Don’t worry, sweetie. You just need to hold still for one last picture, I promise!”

(Mom, the girl, and her mother all head down to Radiology. When then get to the door, Mom asks the girl to take off her hair tie — yes, one of the kind with the little plastic balls! — from the end of the braid hanging down her back.)

Girl: “Do I have to? The other guy didn’t make me, and I don’t want my braid coming out!”

Mom: “Here. Let me see if I can find you an elastic. We just can’t have the little baubles; they might confuse the doctors when they’re reading your x-ray.” *goes to her purse and digs out an elastic of her own* “Here you go! Your mom can help you change that, and then she can wait right outside the door. We’ll only be a minute.”

(After helping the girl wrap a protective apron around her waist and hips, Mom took the film, and then the girl went back to her room. Mom immediately developed the film, and, as predicted, there were no tumors. The little girl was treated for her pneumonia and was sent home, healthy and happy, a week later. It became hospital policy after that to check for hair ties, barrettes, bobby pins, etc., before taking any x-rays.)

A Different Kind Of Socializing

, , , , , , | Healthy | April 1, 2019

Doctor: “Are you sexually active?”

Me: “I’m not even socially active.”

(The doctor had to leave the room from laughing so hard.)

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