PH’Duh

, | ME, USA | Working | April 21, 2016

(I work in the laboratory of a major hospital. Part of my duties as a lab assistant is to determine if a specimen is acceptable for testing. I’ve received a specimen in a pediatric tube with a testing request that can only be done with the amount obtainable in an adult tube. I call the floor to let the nurse know we can’t run it.)

Me: “Hey are you the nurse for [Patient]? We can run [Test #1] on the tube you sent but [Test #2] requires two milliliters more blood.”

Nurse: “Oh, geez. Okay, I’ll let the doc know and see if they still want it. Thanks.”

(At this point he hangs up. Not even five minutes later, the physician calls.)

Me: “Laboratory, can I help you?”

Doctor: “Yeah, why don’t you run [Test #2]?”

Me: “We can’t run it on this specimen; the minimum amount for the test is two milliliters.”

Doctor: “Well, can’t you LOWER the minimum? This is a child we’re talking about!”

(At this point I’m stunned. Yes, doc, I’m going to bend the rules of science just for you.)

Me: “I… no, we can’t lower a minimum. We need more blood to do this test.”

Doctor: “Well, it’s a child and they’re in critical care!”

Me: “I understand but we literally cannot work with this little amount of blood; I’m sorry.”

(He finally hung up in a fury.)

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