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Just Scrub This Interaction From Your Mind

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: rosexknight | April 6, 2022

I work at a fairly large, fairly well-known cancer treatment center. I am a scheduler, so I’m not clinical, but I do work in the clinic and often see patients after their appointments, so I wear scrubs. Each team’s scrubs here are color coordinated so staff and patients know what team you’re on, and it’s a pretty good system. But outside of the center, they just look like everyday scrubs. You can probably see where this is going.

I am grabbing some snacks for the office on lunch break at the grocery store when I get a tap on my shoulder. I turn to see a lady with a fairly full buggy grinning at me.

Lady: “Hey. Can you take a look at this spot on my son’s foot? It’s really been bugging him and it’s super swollen and I’m just worried about it.”

I am confused, of course, but she points at this huge ace bandage she has wrapped around her toddler’s foot. It does look big, but of course, it is out of my range of expertise.

Me: “I’m sorry. I’m not a nurse or clinical or anything. I’m a scheduler.”

She just continues to give me this condescending smile.

Lady: “But you’re wearing scrubs.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I work in the clinic of a cancer center, but I’m a scheduler, not medical. You should take your son to a doctor or an urgent care if it’s that bad.”

My easy and concise explanation goes right over the lady’s head.

Lady: “But you’re wearing scrubs.”

Me: “Yes. But I’m not a nurse.”

I don’t know how else to reply because she just keeps staring at me. I repeat the thing about urgent care and go back to looking at chips. The lady is not happy; she blows up.

Lady: “Is this because of money? Can’t you do something nice for a single mom?! Aren’t you supposed to help people?! All you nurses and doctors care about is money! None of you give a d*** about the patient!”

Me: *Snapping* “Lady! I’m not a nurse!”

She continued her rant.

Lady: “Well, you shouldn’t wear scrubs, then! That’s fraud! That’s impersonating a medical worker! That’s a felony! I bet you just want the attention because of the health crisis! You need to—“

I just grabbed my chips and walked away. I swear as I did I could hear her stomp her foot like a child. I can see the confusion, but I have no idea what this lady’s logic was. Literally no medical professional is going to give a diagnosis in the grocery store unless it’s an emergency. I hope the kid is okay either way, though. He was very well-behaved for a toddler who was probably in a good bit of discomfort.

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