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Fine Time To Take A Tea Break

, , , , | Healthy | July 24, 2022

I’m a nurse in a busy hospital ward. Each ward has a little kitchen where the tea trolley lives. Each one also has a fridge with basic supplies, including the meal replacement nutrient milkshake bottles that many patients are prescribed because many people in the hospital are a bit malnourished or struggle to eat full meals.

Despite these milkshakes being part of the normal running of the ward, they don’t get automatically restocked by our dedicated ward food staff. The nurses have to call the kitchen to request restocks.

The kitchen is notorious for not picking up the phone, and there is often very little time for us nurses to spend trying to call them.

Day 1: I notice our fridge is getting a little low on drinks. I try calling the kitchen. No one picks up. I don’t get another chance during my shift.

Day 2: Our fridge is really low on drinks. I have to steal a few from the next ward, but they are also running low. I call the kitchen repeatedly. It goes to voicemail every time.

Day 3: There are almost no drinks in the fridge. I dial the kitchen — voicemail. It’s near mealtime after all; they’re busy.

I call again. It doesn’t go through. I redial repeatedly. Nothing.

I call again an hour late. It’s picked up! There’s a voice on the other end, but they’re kind of quiet. I can only pick out a few words. What are they saying?

Voice: “Dignity… duty… respect… relationships…”

They had picked up the phone and left it off the hook, so the ringing wouldn’t disturb them getting a lecture on professionalism.

Meanwhile, our cupboards were bare.

I managed to get through and make a request at about 2:00 pm that day. I finished at 3:00 pm, and I’ve been off since, so who knows if the amount or type of what I requested even turned up with the dinner trolley.

We’ve Seen Cats With Weirder Names

, , , , , , , | Right | July 16, 2022

I named my cat Muesli, like the cereal. Not everyone has heard of this kind of cereal, but then again, very few people ever have the need to pronounce my cat’s name, so it doesn’t really matter.

One day, however, I bring Muesli to the vet for his annual checkup. We’re sitting in the waiting room when we hear the vet tech reading from a clipboard.

Vet Tech: “Okay, the vet’s ready to see… uh… is it… Mussolini?”

No. No, it isn’t. I did not name my cat after a fascist dictator.

Whispering The Opposite Of Sweet Nothings

, , , , , | Healthy | July 12, 2022

I’m a nurse. I’m required to get my titers drawn, a physical, an eye test, and a hearing test as part of my pre-employment screening for a new out-of-state job. I’m sent to one of the local urgent care centers that handle these requests.

Everything is going well until we get to the hearing test. This is not a fancy hearing test, just a screening where the nurse faces the wall several feet away and whispers words for you to repeat back. 

Nurse: “Please cover your left ear and repeat the words I whisper.”

Me: “Ummm, that’s going to be a problem since I won’t have any idea you’re speaking when you do that. I’m deaf on my right side. It would be better to do the left first.”

Nurse: “This is part of the exam you must pass. Are you seriously claiming you can’t hear anything?”

It should be noted that my chart CLEARLY states that I am completely deaf on my right side. 

Me: “Yes, I’m deaf on the right side, and with a mask on and your back to me, I won’t be able to hear anything nor read your lips, so it’s rather pointless.”

Nurse: “Well, you have to pass it.”

Me: “Actually, I don’t. It’s noted in my medical record and I have an ADA accommodation already in place. Trying to tell me I have to pass isn’t true. Please just finish the test for the left side and send the doctor in.”

I covered my left ear and stared at the wall until she turned back around, all huffy, because guess what? I couldn’t hear her tell me to switch ears, either! Duh! I passed the left side with no problem.

The doctor came in and said we were all done. She asked if there was anything else I needed and was happy to give me a form letter regarding my latex allergy. She was rather confuzzled by the nurse’s declaration regarding my hearing, or lack thereof, and stated that, of course, that’s not a test you have to pass to get a job as a nurse… especially if it’s already known and documented.

Give ‘Til It Hurts

, , , , | Healthy | July 6, 2022

I was just starting to work as a nurse at a new hospital, and I was still pretty new to everything. I was checking on one of the patients and was surprised to see that his room was much larger than the usual rooms, with only one person in it and a nice view out of a window, as well.

Me: “Oh, wow! Looks like you got the fancy room today. What do you have to do to get one of these?”

Patient: “Well, you know some men would give an arm and a leg for this place. Me, I only had to give a kidney.”

And that’s how I first learned that my hospital gave organ donors extra nice rooms as a thank you for their sacrifice.

Just A Sample Of Bad Service

, , | Healthy | June 8, 2022

My job requires yearly blood work, as I work with chemicals on a daily basis. I am phobic of needles and have hard-to-find veins, so the onsite health services usually refer me straight to a lab with a trained phlebotomist to make things easier on everyone.

This year, they apparently switched which company they contract through, so I am told to go to a new place, which turns out to be an Urgent Care clinic. I warn the nurse about the issues getting blood from me before and about my phobia, but despite me trying to point her to the best spot, she insists she knows better and ended up digging in my arm for a good two minutes before I beg her to stop and have a minor panic attack.

Once I calm down, not wanting to have to come back, I give them one more chance, but ONLY in the spot that I indicated. After about fifteen seconds of digging while I cover my face and try not to shake:

Nurse: *Surprised* “Oh!”

Me: *Shaky laugh* “Told ya.”

I keep it together long enough to finish the blood draw and get out to go have another panic attack in my car. Whatever, it’s over, and I don’t have to do it for another year.

And then, a week later, I get a call.

Nurse: “[My Name]?”

Me: “Yes?”

Nurse: “We’re going to need you to come back in. We lost your sample.”

Me: “You what?!

Nurse: “It got lost in transit.”

Me: “It took half an hour and two panic attacks to get that sample!”

Nurse: “I apologize, ma’am, but…”

Once the call finishes, I immediately call health services, and their reaction is a similar, “They WHAT?!” followed by an apology that I have to do it again and a promise to send me straight to a lab. Unfortunately, I have to return to the Urgent Care to get a referral from them, though health services send me with additional paperwork and a number to call if there are any issues. Sure enough:

Nurse #2: “Oh, we don’t do referrals.”

Me: “Please call the number listed here. They should be able to clarify things.”

I am not sure what was said on the phone, but from a combination of [Nurse #2]’s expression and how I was meekly given a referral several minutes later, I can make some educated guesses. Thankfully, the lab I went to had a trained and experienced phlebotomist on staff, and the second blood draw went much smoother.