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Doctors, nurses, and staying healthy

What Did They Call For In The First Place, Then?

, , , , , | Healthy | May 8, 2022

I’m a nurse and I work in a hospital. I’m working through the triage voicemails because, while we do have nurses answer triage calls live, we also have voicemails where typically doctors will call about setting up appointments or pharmacies will call regarding prior authorization. I am returning a call from a doctor regarding a patient.

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from triage returning a call regarding [Patient].”

Doctor: “I cannot discuss the patient as it would be a violation of HIPAA.”

Me: “But I am a nurse. At [Doctor’s Hospital]. Calling from the triage phone number. Specifically regarding [Patient]’s care. I am returning a call you left a voicemail for.”

Doctor: “It is against HIPAA policy. I cannot discuss [Patient] over the phone.”

Me: “I don’t know what you want me to do. I cannot help you if you don’t want to discuss the patient. I’m sorry.” *Hangs up*

I let my manager know and we eventually figured out what the call was about and figured out the care for the patient.

When The Needles Are Covered, But You’re Not

, , , , | Healthy | May 5, 2022

To prepare for medical procedures, I sometimes had to give myself a shot of heparin every day for ten days prior. The medicine was packaged in 100-ml syringes, but my daily dose was 90 ml, so I had to be careful to only inject the right amount. After using it, each syringe had a safety cover that snapped out and locked, covering the needle.

Ten days of preparation, ten syringes.

The last time I did this, I picked up the package of syringes at the local pharmacy. That evening, I found only nine syringes in the package. I called the pharmacy.

Me: “The package you gave me has only nine syringes. I need ten because I have to give myself a shot every day for ten days.”

Pharmacist: “That’s right. You need 90 ml every day. You have 900 ml total in the nine syringes. 90 ml times ten days is 900 ml.”

Me: “Let me get this right. You want me to give myself a 90-ml shot every day for nine days, and then on the tenth day, give myself nine shots to use the 10 ml left in each syringe. From syringes which have already had the safety covers locked shut.”

Pharmacist: “Oh. Er. Um. Come in and we’ll give you that tenth syringe.”

Big, Dumb Dogs Are The Best

, , , | Healthy | May 2, 2022

Our German shepherd, Donner, is a very big dog — 120 pounds of muscle and bone and a head the size of a microwave oven. He’s also very sweet-tempered and not, alas, the sharpest Crayola in the box.

Our vet, who is a tiny little woman, has him up on the table at his annual exam. When the time comes for him to get a booster shot, she asks me to hold his head in case he responds badly to the needle going in. He doesn’t, nor to the next one she administers. In fact, he doesn’t even seem to notice.

Vet: *After a thoughtful pause* “You know… I’m not sure his brain and his pain centers are connected.”

Me: “That’s an awfully nice way of putting it.”

You Know, Literally Anyone Can Buy Scrubs

, , , , | Healthy Right | CREDIT: german_big_guy | May 1, 2022

I’m a male nurse and work in the emergency room. My shift ended a little late today (like always) and I really wasn’t in the mood for bulls***. I headed to the changing rooms to shower and change. The locker rooms are in a separate building, so normally, I have to leave the building the ER is in, cross the main building, and then enter the separate building. But there are some shortcuts in the hospital and really, no one cares. If you wear scrubs or a lab coat, no one will bother you.

I was wearing dark blue scrubs. Only the ER and ICU staff wear dark blue; most bedside nurses wear white.

As always, I walked through the hospital, greeted some other nurses or doctors I knew, and then I stopped to look at my phone. And then, it started.

Woman: “Umm, excuse me?”

Me: “Huh? Me?”

Woman: “Yes, you! Is there anyone else here? I’ve been searching for a d*** nurse for, like, ever, and the unit clerk couldn’t help me.”

Me: “Okay. Maybe I can help. What’s the problem?”

Woman: “In which room is [Patient]? The clerk wouldn’t tell me.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, ma’am, but I don’t work here.”

Woman: “I don’t believe you! You’re wearing scrubs, so you’re a nurse! Now, where is [Patient]? I’m his wife and want to visit him.”

Me: “As I said, I don’t work in this station. You’ll have to just ask one of the nurses around here.”

Woman: “Ugh, you’re just lazy!”

At this point, I was really annoyed, so I basically detached my ID card from my scrubs and showed it to her. It said clearly, “RN OP — Emergency Room”. She looked at it, then at me, and then again at the ID card.

The woman apologized and then she flagged down another nurse who actually worked there.

Panda’s Having Puppies!

, , , , , | Healthy | April 29, 2022

The veterinary clinic where I work has the most employees in the area; we often have students from the local tech school, and on any given shift, we have at least eight people working in the treatment area alone. This is well known by other clinics, and it is not uncommon for us to get referrals because someone’s regular veterinarian just doesn’t have enough staff to perform the procedure.

We get a call from a clinic with only three people on staff asking if we can do a C-section on a labrador retriever named Panda that has been in labor for hours and no puppies have been born yet. Labs generally have larger litters, and with a C-section, you need a person to stimulate each puppy until it wakes up. No way can that clinic handle more than five puppies. This will also be a great learning experience for our students.

So, our doctor agrees, and the patient is brought over and anesthetized. The procedure goes well, the dogs are recovering, and I get tasked with calling the other clinic to let them know how it went.

Me: “Hey, [Receptionist], we just got done with that C-section you sent over.”

Receptionist: “Oh, really? How’d it go?”

Me: “Great! Panda is recovering fine, 100% survival rate, nursing well.”

Receptionist: “Oh, wonderful. [Doctor] will be so glad to hear that.”

Me: “Did you guys take bets on how many pups there would be?”

Receptionist: “Given how big Panda was, we figured twelve or so. How many?”

Me: “One.”

Receptionist: “What?!”

Me: “One. There was one puppy — average-sized, too, not a giant. We had all the kids lined up ready to get puppies, the doctor handed the pup off to the head tech, and she started demonstrating how to stimulate. Then, the doctor called out, ‘That’s all, folks!’”

Receptionist: *Laughing* “Of course. You know what [Her Coworker] said when we called you?”

Me: “No.”

Receptionist: “He said, ‘I’ll bet there is only one puppy.’ We asked why, and he said, ‘Because Pandas don’t breed well in captivity.’”