, | 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.)

Not Properly Monitoring The Situation

| CT, USA | Working | April 8, 2016

(My dad works at a hospital in a nearby city, where he helps run the servers. They’re buying a smaller hospital to add to the chain, and he is in a meeting with his coworkers.)

Supervisor: “We just don’t know how we’re going to be able to pay for all the hardware in this new hospital.”

Dad: “Sir, you throw away three or four perfectly good monitors every week because nobody needs them. We can just use those.”

Supervisor: “That doesn’t fix the problems with everything else. How are we going to get the new computers, or the servers?”

Dad: “Stop buying monitors we don’t need.”

Your Pill Popping Days Are Popped

| NC, USA | Working | April 8, 2016

(My mother has taken me to the ER one night, for what we later learned was a double-whammy of an ovarian cyst and acute colitis, which manifested as a distressing amount of pain and bleeding. I’ve been in and out of the bathroom a few times, and upon each return find that the doctor came to see me while I was away. Finally, after two hours of having an IV line in but not being allowed to be hooked up to fluids or drink anything, the doctor enters the room. We tell him my symptoms.)

Doctor: “Well, that certainly seems unpleasant. It sounds like you’ve got what we call C. diff, which can be dangerous. Where do you work?”

Me: “I’m a full-time student at [State University]. I’m just home for Thanksgiving. I’ve got finals in a little over a week, actually.”

Doctor: “So, you don’t spend a lot of time in nursing homes? Doctor’s offices?”

Mom: “What exactly is this disease you’re talking about?”

Doctor: “Clostridium difficile is mostly found in the elderly and immune-compromised, usually picked up in nursing homes. Are you sure you haven’t been in close contact with the elderly?”

Me: “No, although my dorm isn’t particularly clean.”

(He hooks me up to the IV line, and after one final attempt to convince my mother that it is absolutely C. diff and that I am dying and need three different heavy-duty antibiotics, he left with no clear indication of what else was going to be done for me. Around three am, more than an hour since a nurse last checked in, we page the nurses to tell them we’re going home. After I get the IV removed, the nurse ducks out to get me a dose of antibiotics.)

Nurse: “Here’s your first dose of [Antibiotic #1] and [Antibiotic #2]. Make sure to fill those prescriptions in the morning, okay, hun?”

Me: *awkwardly stares at her, one arm through my sweater with the rest bunched around my neck, little cup of pills that she shoved in one hand and cup of water in the other*

Nurse: *realizing why I’m not immediately chugging the pills* “I’m not backwards, I swear!

(When I got in to my regular doctor’s office a few days later, they were shocked that appendicitis hadn’t been considered at all and rushed me off for an emergency CT scan!)

An Open And Closed Statement

| Auckland, New Zealand | Related | April 7, 2016

(It’s a couple of days after my brother had surgery on his back. He had always described the pain before surgery like having daggers in his back.)

Me: “So, how have the daggers been feeling now?”

Brother: *looking worried* “Worse. Yesterday it felt like I had actually been stabbed by a dagger. It can’t be right.”

Me: “You pretty much literally were.”

Brother: “Oh, yeah, I didn’t think of that.” *visually looks relieved*

Double Whammy

| Mexico | Working | April 5, 2016

(I have had a minor surgery to extract a cyst on my armpit, which shouldn’t really hold me up for more than three to four hours since according to the nurses, it’s a slow day. My appointment is at 1:30 pm, and they have the prep done (clothes off, vitals taken, IV etc.) by 2:30. The nurse finally comes to get me to the surgery room and this happens:)

Nurse: “Name?”

Me: “[Full Name].”

Nurse: “Uh? Wait you’re not [Other Name]?”

Me: *starting to get a little worried* “…No, it’s [My Name].”

Nurse: “Oh, sorry. We have someone else ahead of you. Sorry.” *as she goes to once again put me on the waiting bed I remember something*

Me: “Wait. There wasn’t anyone before me, except that one man who was already being discharged.” *the previously mentioned name was clearly a women’s name*

Nurse: “Oh, yes. Unfortunately Doctor [Surgeon] scheduled both of you at the same time, so, we’re taking her first.”

Me: “Wait. This girl isn’t even prepped yet and we were double booked by the surgeon, and here I am ready for a minor, short surgery and you’re saying you can’t take me first?

(The nurse ignores my question and still has me waiting another two hours in between the prep of the other patient and her surgery. At the end of my surgery (around 6 pm) they still have me waiting another hour and a half for my discharge papers (even though they told me they would have it in 15 minutes). This exchange happens at the exit.)

Nurse: “There. You behaved very well. Now, take care.”

Me: “…Thanks. I hope no more double-bookings happen after today.”

Nurse: “Oh! That just something that [Surgeon] does all the time. We’re already used to it by now!”

(I left completely speechless. Well, now I know I’m never requesting the same doctor again!)

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