My Bonnie Doesn’t Know Who She Is

, , , , | Working | July 21, 2020

I am a medical assistant, the person who gets the patient and gets them ready to see the doctor. I am going out to get a patient from the waiting room. For funsies, let’s say her legal first name is Bonnie. Her chart indicates that she has a preferred name; let’s say it’s Michelle.

Me: “Michelle?”

There’s a pause. No one is moving, so I move to the other side of our large waiting room and call out the name again. No response. I go to one of the receptionists for some assistance.

Receptionist: “Who are you looking for?”

Me: “[Doctor]’s 2:30; her preferred name is Michelle, but—”

Receptionist: “No, the 2:30 is Bonnie.”

Me: “I know that, but her preferred name—” *points to the screen* “—is Michelle. I’ll try Bonnie, though.” *To the waiting room* “Bonnie?”

A woman next to the door stands up and comes to me.

Bonnie/Michelle: “I thought you were looking for someone else!”

Me: “I’m sorry for the confusion, I had Michelle listed as your preferred name. Do you prefer to go by Bonnie, then?”

Bonnie/Michelle: “No, I prefer Michelle.”

Me: *Internal screaming*

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