Pray They Won’t Be Back(bone)

, , , | Healthy | February 8, 2019

(Making bookings for patients is very easy. All I need is the patient’s name, phone, modality, body part, and doctor’s name. I’ve been on the phone for a few minutes. The patient is giving me a rather detailed explanation of why she needs a scan of her back, yet not telling me anything I need to know. I’m polite and don’t interrupt, but I am spending too much time on this call and my coworker needs help with patients lined up.)

Me: “Okay. That doesn’t sound good. Did your doctor want an x-ray, ultrasound, or CT?”

Patient: “Scan of my back. My back.”

Me: “On the form your doctor gave you, did they write XR, CT, or US anywhere?”

Patient: “My doctor’s name is [Doctor].”

Me: “Lovely.” *first piece of information off my checklist, but not what I asked for* “Did they check any boxes? Can you see, ‘spine,’ etc., anywhere?”

Patient: “Yes. It’s so sore. So sore.”

Me: “The paper the doctor gave you. Can you read it to me?”

Patient: “I have a paper. It says nothing.”

Me: *still very polite* “It doesn’t have your name on it? Not the doctor’s name and signature?”

Patient: “Yes, my name is [Patient]!

(I can’t take it down until I know what they need and what room to start in, so I make a mental note for later.)

Me: “Okay. Now, the paper has nothing on it?”

(I know it’s repetitive, but I have to confirm for what I have to say next if it’s true.)

Patient: “Nothing. There’s nothing!”

Me: “Okay. So, that means its invalid. You’d need to go to the doctor and get him to write you a referral.”

Patient: “It’s here!” *now livid* “No! No. No. It says here!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Patient: “It says XR spline. Yes, s-p-l-i-n-e! Lubosac — My back!’

(I gathered it was an x-ray lumbosacral spine, but don’t you just love how information materialises?)

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