Enough To Make Your Bloodwork Boil

| USA | Right | January 24, 2017

(I work in the outpatient lab at a large hospital. This conversion happens multiple times a day.)

Me: “Welcome. Let’s start with your last name.”

Patient: “I’m already in your system!”

Me: “I’m sure you are, but I need to look up your account in the system.”

(Patients often assume we know who they are and their entire medical history even if they have never met us. After verifying the patient’s account we need to get information about the actual order themselves.)

Me: “And which doctor ordered your lab work?”

Patient: “I don’t know. They just told me to come get bloodwork.”

Me: “Okay, who are ‘they’?”

Patient: “I don’t know, some one from the doctor’s office.”

Me: “And which doctor’s office is that?”

Patient: “I don’t know.”

(Sometimes patients have orders in the computer already but if there are multiple doctors we can’t just guess which one they are there for.)

Me: “Do you know what they want you to get done?”

Patient: “NO, just bloodwork.”

Me: “Do you know when they ordered the labs?”

Patient: “NO, I don’t know. They just told me to come to the lab and get my blood drawn!”

Me: “Well, if you don’t know then I don’t know either.”

Patient: “…”

The Low Point Of Their Relationship

| NY, USA | Romantic | January 18, 2017

(A week before this story, I had to take my boyfriend to the ER for a bad head wound that ended up needing staples. I take him back to the ER to get them removed a week later and chat with one of the doctors while another doctor removes the staples behind a curtain.)

Me: “Yeah, I already heard the joke of ‘What did you do to him?’ when we came here last week.”

Doctor: *laughing* “Well, what DID you do to him?”

Me: “Look, I’m 5’4”, and he’s really tall. If I was going to do damage to him, I wouldn’t be able to do anything to his head. It would be—“

Doctor: “His knees?”

Me: “Or, you know, other areas that would hurt.”

(My boyfriend and the other doctor come out from behind the curtain, and the doctor I’m talking with sees that my boyfriend is 6’5″ tall.)

Doctor: “Oh, man, you weren’t kidding.”

Me: “See? I told you! Below the belt!”

Boyfriend: “I don’t even want to know… do I?”

(I promise I love him!)

Very Worrying Reception

| Berlin, Germany | Working | January 17, 2017

(My husband was recently released from hospital after a lengthy stay and serious complications. He had to go back a few weeks later for further testing:l specifically, cognitive tests since he’s still pretty absent-minded and forgetful following a stroke. He knew when and where the appointment was, so I felt it was ok to let him go on his own while I went to work. In the middle of my workday, I get a call from the hospital.)

Nurse: “Hi, is this Mrs. [My Name]? It’s just, your husband didn’t show up for his appointment and we’re wondering where he is.”

Me: *nervous* “But he texted me earlier saying he’s on his way… Oh, dear. I’ll ask around.”

(I am close to panic pretty quickly, because my husband won’t answer his phone and no one else has seen him. Finally, having no way of finding him short of calling the police, I call the nurse back.)

Me: “Look, sorry about the missed appointment, but now I’m really worried. I can’t reach him and you know what he’s like right now. Maybe he’s on the premises somewhere.”

Nurse: “Huh. Well, dear, I guess I’ll check. Maybe he did show up after all.”

(She puts the phone down, and returns a while later.)

Nurse: “Haha, my bad! He’s here and was already in the doctor’s office. That’s why I didn’t see him.”

(Seriously?!)

A Feeding Frenzy

| Bangor, ME, USA | Working | January 12, 2017

(This is about a month after I gave birth to my daughter 14 weeks early. My daughter was taken to another hospital for the NICU. I go up every weekend, sometimes during the week, and during this time I am healing from an infection in my C-section incision. This happens one day when I go up to visit her. I have taken her out of her incubator and am holding her. The nurse starts her feeding tube.)

Me: *holding my daughter for only 45 minutes and talking to my dad* “Her feed is nearly done.”

Dad: “Is that how long it takes, 45 minutes?”

Me: “Used to take only ten!”

Nurse #1: “Dear, her feed is up. You need to put her back.”

Me: “But… But I’ve held her for longer! She needs me!”

Nurse #1: “No, you need to put her back.”

Dad: “Can’t you let her hold her own child for a while!? We live two hours away from here! She can’t be up here constantly like some of the parents are!”

Nurse #1: “I don’t care; I’m the nurse on duty.”

(The nurse then removes my daughter from my arms, and lays her FLAT in her incubator. My dad quickly leaves to go get my mom.)

Me: *buttons up shirt and starts crying*

Nurse #1: “Oh, stop, it’s been a month.” *leaves*

Me: *crying and goes over to my daughters incubator to watch her*

Daughter: *suddenly vomits*

Me: “[Daughter]! Someone help! She’s vomiting!”

Nurse #2: “Move out of the way, dear!” *quickly gets in and starts cleaning up my daughter and making sure she isn’t choking*

(By now I am inconsolable and my mother has arrived. I’m in shock from seeing my tiny baby vomit so much.)

Mom: “Who laid her down flat?!”

Nurse #2: “I’m not sure…”

Nurse #1: “I did.”

Mom: “YOU NEVER LAY A BABY DOWN FLAT AFTER THEY EAT! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! I SHOULD REPORT YOUR A** AND GET YOU FIRED! GET AWAY FROM MY GRANDBABY!”

Nurse #1: *speechless*

(I have to be pulled out so I won’t upset the other babies. After the nurses let me back in to hold my daughter’s hand before I leave, and to give her a kiss. I get home that night and they call.)

Supervisor: “Hi, may I speak with [My Name]?”

Me: “Speaking.”

Supervisor: “Hi, I’m sorry to bother you, but it seems [Nurse #1] has given [Daughter] another mother’s breast milk.”

Me: “WHAT?!”

Supervisor: “I’m terribly sorry, but we are going to need you to get blood work done next time you come up, and we will run tests on both the mother and your daughter. I also heard about what happened earlier. That nurse will NOT work on your daughter again while I am at this hospital.”

(Next time I went back, the head nurse gave me two gift cards and a card from the entire NICU, and expressed how sorry they were about the incidents. Thankfully neither the mother or I had anything and my daughter was all right, but I had never been more angry and sad in my life that someone could pay so little attention to a preemie!)

Losing Your Appetite For Private Care

| UK | Working | January 10, 2017

(I am 15. A nurse perforates my eardrum while syringing it, which is incredibly painful, and is left to heal naturally for months. When it doesn’t, I have to have a myringoplasty to repair it. My parents pay for a private room, and after my surgery I stay overnight in the hospital.)

Nurse: *takes pulse and BP* “Did you decide what you want for dinner yet?”

(I’m not a foodie, and rarely have an appetite.)

Me: “No, I’m not really hungry.”

Nurse: “It doesn’t matter. You have to eat something.”

(I eventually give in and agree to eat a boiled egg. When this is brought to me, I take two bites and promptly vomit them back up along with everything else in my stomach. I’m too weak from my head surgery to even sit up on my own. I press the button to get a nurse, but there’s no response. After five minutes, I press it again. Another five minutes pass and a nurse finally appears.)

Nurse: *walks in, sees me literally LYING IN A POOL OF VOMIT, and impatiently tells me* “Yes, we’ll be with you in a minute.”

(And this, my friends, was in a private hospital.)

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