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Why Nurses Should Rule The World

, , | Healthy | October 29, 2012

(My five-year-old son has received a serious injury to his eye. After a pediatrician recommends us to an eye doctor, we are referred to a specialist that works out of a university two hours away from home.)

Nurse: “These are all the contact numbers you should need. I also went online for some directions, and called ahead to let them know it should only be a few hours.”

Son: “I don’t want to.”

Nurse: “What’s the matter?”

Son: *visibly getting upset* “I’m scared.”

Nurse: “But you’ve been so brave this whole time! How about this: if you go see the new doctor, I’ll give you my phone number and you can call me if you get too upset, okay?”

(The nurse writes down her work extension and cell phone number on a piece of paper and adds it to my paperwork, insisting that I feel free to call if I have any problems or questions. My son stays calm all the way to the university and through the appointment with the specialist until we’re told he’s going to need surgery. Crying and upset, he begs me to call the nurse from the clinic.)

Me: *on the phone* “I’m so sorry to bother you, I know you’re still working, but he’s really upset and asked to talk to you.”

(I put the phone on speakerphone so my son, crying on the exam table, can hear.)

Nurse: “Hey, buddy! What’s wrong?”

Son: *crying* “The doctor here wants to give me surgery!”

Nurse: “There’s nothing wrong with that. It’ll make your eye all better. You’ll be able to see again, like we talked about.”

Son: “But I’m scared! It’s going to hurt!”

Nurse: “Of course it’s not going to hurt. That nice doctor wouldn’t hurt you!”

Son: “Have you been given surgeries?”

Nurse: “Yeah, kiddo, a few.”

Son: “And you came back to life?”

Nurse: “Every single time.”

Son: “Promise?”

Nurse: “Swear.”

(My son has calmed down considerably throughout the conversation, and there’s not a dry eye in the room.)

Son: “Okay…”

Nurse: “See? I knew you were brave.”

Son: “Thank you! Love you!”

Nurse: *laughing* “Love you, too.”

(I thanked the nurse a thousand times, and she insisted I call her ASAP to let her know how the surgery went. Later that day, she texted us a picture of herself and her family with a ‘GET WELL SOON’ sign they made for my son!)

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Technology Leads To Periods Of Confusion

| Working | October 16, 2012

(I call my doctor’s office about getting some paperwork.)

Receptionist: “Yes, we can get the papers for you. When will you be in to pick them up?”

Me: “Could you just scan them and email them to me? That would be easier.”

Receptionist: “Sure, what’s your email address?”

Me: “It’s [my first name] dot [my last name] at yahoo dot com.”

Receptionist: “Okay, I’ll send those right away…”

(About 24 hours pass and no email. I call back the next day and get the same receptionist.)

Me: “Hi, my name is [name]. I called yesterday about getting some paperwork emailed to me, but I haven’t gotten it yet.”

Receptionist: “Hmm, that’s odd. I sent it yesterday.”

Me: “Just to double check, you have my email address as [first name] period [last name] at yahoo dot com, right?”

Receptionist: “Oh, you said [first name] DOT [last name], so I was writing the word ‘dot!'”

Healer, Hear Thyself

| Working | October 11, 2012

(I’m calling to ask why my doctor has refused to refill my medication at my pharmacy. Note that I went in that same day and he told me he would give me a refill.)

Receptionist: “How may I help you?”

Me: “Hi, I came in earlier to see [doctor]. He said he’d give me a refill, but when I called the pharmacy, they said he denied my refill.”

Receptionist: “Well, you’ll have to come back in and make another appointment to see him.”

Me: “I came in today to see him, though, and he said he’d refill my medication, but he didn’t.”

Receptionist: “You’ll have to come in again and make a new appointment to talk to him about it.”

Me: “So, I’d have to pay the co-pay again just to ask him about that?”

Receptionist: “Yes.”

Me: “Can I speak to him on the phone?”

Receptionist: “He’s not available. You have to come in to talk to him.”

Me: “I don’t want to pay the co-pay again just to talk to him about something he already said he’d do, but didn’t.”

Receptionist: *annoyed* “That’s not my problem.”

Me: “May I PLEASE speak to him on the phone?”

Receptionist: “No.” *hangs up*

Kin Tell A Lot About This Patient

| Right | August 30, 2012

(I work at a walk-in clinic. A new patient has come in and I am gathering his information for his file at the front desk. He has blond hair, blue eyes, and is 30. He has been otherwise polite to this point. Note that another patient is standing in line behind him.)

Me: “So, that’s almost it. Last question: who’s your next of kin?”

Patient: “Am I Mexican?! What kind of racist question is that? I ain’t no Mexican freak, you racist B****!”

Me: “Sir, I didn’t ask if you were Mexican. I asked for your next of kin.”

Patient: “What the f*** is a ‘next of kin?’ You are just trying to make things up to cover up your racism!”

Other Patient: “‘Next of kin’ is your emergency contact, moron.”

Patient: “Oh, in that case, my mom. Her contact info is the same. I still live at home.”

Other Patient: “That explains so, so much…”

The Menopause Should Have Given You Pause

| Working | August 12, 2012

(My grandmother has macular degeneration and is partially blind as a result. I often call to schedule her doctor’s appointments for her since she has a hard time dialing the phone.)

Nurse: “Okay, now what is your grandmother’s date of birth?”

Me: “May 25, 1918.”

Nurse: “Alright, now is there any possibility that she’s pregnant?”

Me: “No.”

Nurse: “Are you absolutely sure that you’re grandmother is not pregnant?”

Me: “Well, since she went through menopause in the early 1970s, lost her husband in the late 1980s and just celebrated her 94th birthday, I can say with confidence that she is not pregnant.”

Nurse: *indignantly* “You never said she was in her 90s!”