The Needling Issue Doesn’t Have To Be

, , , , | Healthy | January 16, 2018

Due to a chronic condition, I needed to have a series of blood tests done, some of which required larger gauge needles than normal. I headed to the hospital closest to my apartment in Tokyo, waited to see the specialist, and got my notes to take to the blood draw lab reception.

The intake nurses were a bit flustered to be treating me, but my Japanese was good enough that I got through the first steps just fine. Then, I headed into the blood test room and the nurse there started telling me that the tests would hurt, the needles are pretty big, etc., and that in Japan, they don’t use skin-numbing cream. I assured her that I’d be fine, but she didn’t believe me and stomped out of the room to find a nurse that spoke English, despite the fact that we had been conversing in Japanese just fine.

I took off my cardigan, and my heavily-tattooed arms were now visible, right when the nurse came back, dragging a young doctor behind her. He looked at me and said to the nurse, “I think she’s okay with needles,” then burst out laughing as the nurse just gawked at me. Turns out I was the first foreign patient she’d ever taken blood from and she was terrified I’d flip out or faint because of the needles.

The Bone Isn’t The Only Thing Broken Around Here

, , , , , | Healthy | January 15, 2018

(I fall in my house while holding my two-year-old. As I fall, I turn my body to hold her against the wall so I do not crush her, and as a result, end up with a spiral fracture on my fibula, and a broken and dislocated ankle. When I arrive at the hospital, they try to wrench my ankle back into place but don’t quite align it, so they have to do it again. Of course, this time I know it’s coming, so they decide to use some sort of anesthesia that is meant to make the patient woozy and forget what happened. I’m concerned about whether this will work, and express that concern to the nurse preparing me for the injection.)

Nurse: “Don’t worry; you won’t remember a thing! It probably won’t hurt, either.”

Me: “Can’t you just use this with some actual pain medicine, too?”

(The only pain medicine I’ve received at ALL has been two doses of Fentanyl administered by the paramedics, an hour ago. Fentanyl at the dose I was given lasts 20 minutes, tops.)

Nurse: “Look: you won’t remember, and you won’t feel anything. The only time you might feel something is if I pricked you with a pin, or something!” *he says this as though he’s a genius for thinking of this persuasive argument*

Me: “You mean like the kind of pain I’d feel if someone was moving around my dislocated ankle?!”

(I remembered everything. They also acted like they were doing me a massive favor in keeping me overnight instead of sending me home with three broken bones before surgery the next day. I finally got pain medicine six hours later at the room they begrudgingly gave me, and the call button didn’t work! I had to call my own room phone number with my cell phone and let it ring until a nurse came, because I couldn’t find the nurse’s station phone number!)

What A Dummkopf

, , , , | Working | January 13, 2018

(I have fractured my wrist. I’m at the ER, getting an x-ray. The x-ray technician is trying to strike up a conversation.)

Tech: “You have an accent! Where are you from?”

(I have a slight accent, although I was born in the US.)

Me: “Oh, well, I was born in the US—”

Tech: “I mean, what nationality are you?”

Me: “I’m a quarter French, a quarter German—”

Tech: “German?”

Me: “Yes?”

Tech: “What’s that?”

Me: “German? Like Germany?”

Tech: *confused look* “I’ve never heard of Germany, ever. I’m going to have to look this up later!” *laughs*

(Needless to say, I was concerned with how he was working in a hospital.)

Pregnancy Brain Affects The Men Even More

, , | Healthy | January 13, 2018

(My cousin is a nurse. One of the doctors, male, at the hospital where she works has gotten a few complaints for dismissing women complaining about certain symptoms as “pregnant.” One day she’s talking to a fellow nurse and another doctor, female, in the hallway, when they hear this from a nearby room:)

Patient: “HALLELUJAH! I’M PREGNANT WITH THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS!”

(My cousin and her coworkers exchange looks as an energetic and loud speech about “virginal conception” and “accepting my heavenly duties” sounds from the room.)

Cousin: “Isn’t [Doctor #1] in there right now?”

Nurse Coworker: “He just wrote someone off as pregnant again, didn’t he?”

Doctor #2: “Ladies, let’s roll.”

(She went in and took over the rest of the exam while my cousin and her coworker escorted the other doctor out. She said the look on his face was priceless! Needless to say, the story quickly spread around the hospital staff, and the doctor in question got in some trouble with the higher-ups thanks to this and the previous complaints. It’s been two months now, and he has yet to dismiss another woman’s complaints since then.)

Pray That Incompetence Isn’t Airborne

, , | Healthy | January 12, 2018

(I am doing clinicals at the hospital as part of my certified nursing assistant (CNA) program, on the communicable disease ward. I enter at patient room. Now, in this program students aren’t even allowed in the rooms of any patients with airborne contagious diseases. It is also a rule of the hospital that signs be placed on the front of the door along with masks for airborne diseases. I’m making my rounds and enter a room where the patient is sleeping, and grab the chart. He has a serious infectious airborne. I backtrack out of the room and look at the door. No sign, no masks. I approach my teacher about this, and then the head nurse.)

Me: “I read the chart in 334—”

Nurse: “You shouldn’t be in 334. He’s airborne and you’re a student.”

Me: “That’s why I came to you. There is no—”

Nurse: “Why were you in there? You could get seriously sick.”

Me: “You assign—”

Nurse: “It doesn’t matter what I assigned you to. You should know the rules. That’s why I hate working with students. Too stupid to even notice the sign on the door.”

(Now I’m irritated at the interruptions as well as the insinuation of stupidity.)  

Me: “Look, lady, I’m not dumb; I’m top of the class. If you’d let me finish a sentence, I could tell you–”

Nurse: “Oh, God. If you’re top of the class, I’d hate to see—”

(I finally snap and interrupt her.)

Me: “And if you’re the head nurse here who is in charge of making sure people are doing their jobs so patients don’t die, I’d hate to see your mortality rate. As I was saying before, there is no sign, no masks, nothing on the door to indicate airborne. There aren’t masks inside or out. As the head nurse, shouldn’t you know this? You assigned me three rooms. When I said the room number you immediately knew he was airborne without pulling a chart. One could figure you knew this upon assigning my rooms, and ignored the rules, or have come across this information since, and rather than changing my assignment, or at least informing me, you just let it go.”

Nurse: “I shouldn’t have to tell you not to enter an airborne room. Now you say you went in without a mask?”

Me: “You should be sure that airborne is indicated as per the rules.”

Nurse: “You’re rude to me. You make a mistake then you’re rude to me. Your teacher will hear about this. Go work on your other patient rooms.”

Me: “My teacher has already heard about this. From me. And I’m not going to work with other sick people when I may have been contaminated. I’m going to tell my teacher I’m going home. I’d suggest you get a d*** sign and masks on that door before you get someone killed.”

(I go to my teacher and fill her in on the conversation. My teacher said she would deal with it, I should go, and to be sure to get tested as well. Then she says this…)

Teacher: “Maybe don’t apply to work here?”

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