Sometimes You Have To Go Off-Script

, , , , , | Healthy | July 20, 2021

I work in a pharmacy, so you can imagine that we get more than our fair share of sick, coughing people. Unfortunately, that also means that we get more than our fair share of people who insist they cannot wear a mask. While corporate has refused to allow us to use curbside service, my management HAS been very good at backing us up and insisting we can refuse service to people that don’t comply.

Customer: “Hi, I just need this script filled.”

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, can you please put on your mask?”

Customer: “No, I have a medical exemption.”

Me: “I’m afraid that I am going to have to insist.”

Customer: “I cannot wear a mask.”

Me: “Ma’am, we will refuse service to anyone who isn’t wearing a mask. Many of our customers are high-risk.”

At this, she lifts her script to press it flat against the plastic of the barrier between us.

Customer: “The sooner you give me these, the sooner I can leave and start taking them so that I can wear a mask. But I need this script first.”

I am about to keep arguing, but then I realise what the medication on the script is. It’s a strong prescription painkiller, used for nerve disease and shingles and its complications.

I then look at the woman’s face again, and  I realise the redness on her cheeks and jaw are not embarrassment or just a ruddy complexion but inflammation.

Me: “Sorry, ma’am. I’ll… get right on that.”

Could she have been clearer? Given the particular painkiller, probably not.

1 Thumbs
331

Crown This Lady “Worst Patient Of The Day”

, , , , | Healthy | CREDIT: EWhiskeyM | July 13, 2021

I’m a dental assistant for a private practice. Most of our patients are wonderful people — friendly, happy to see us, respectful of our professional opinions and recommendations, etc. But today, I had the most entitled jerk in for what should have been a simple appointment.

When we do crowns — or caps, as some people know them as — we prep the tooth beforehand and take an impression. Then, that impression goes to a lab and the techs there make the crown. It takes two or three weeks for them to send the crown back.

When we deliver the crown to the patient, the doctor and I try the crown in first to see how it fits. It is VERY rare that it fits perfectly. We almost always have to make some adjustments — shaving down the crown here and there, checking the space between the teeth, checking the bite, etc. All of this is standard. The main thing we use is called “articulating paper”. When the patient bites down on it, we can see heavy blue markings where the bite needs adjusting. The more we adjust, the lighter those marks get, and it even stops marking altogether sometimes.

Most exchanges with the patient are like this.

Us: “How’s it feel?”

Patient: “It’s a little high.”

Us: “Okay, we’ll adjust that.”

We use the articulating paper and then grind the crown down a little.

Us: “How’s it feel now?”

Patient: “Oh, that feels much better.”

Us: “Okay, cool. Let’s cement it in.”

This takes maybe five minutes AT MOST. This lady we had tonight was having none of it.

Us: “How’s it feel?”

Lady: “Ugh, it’s way off.”

Us: “Okay, we’ll adjust it. How’s it feel now?”

Lady: “The same.”

Us: “Umm, really? No change?”

Lady: “The same.”

Us: “Okay, no biggie. Let’s adjust more.”

Over and over, she kept insisting that it was exactly the same, no change, even though the marks were gone at this point, meaning that her other teeth were no longer even touching the crown.

At this point, we had a couple of options that the doctor presented to her.

Doctor: “I can keep adjusting the crown. The only issue is that if I keep reducing the porcelain on top, the metal underneath might end up showing. Are you okay with that?”

Lady: “No.”

Doctor: “Okay. Well then, I need to make a small adjustment to the tooth above this one so that they don’t touch. It’s very superficial.”

Lady: “No! Don’t touch my other teeth!”

Doctor: “We do this all the time, ma’am. It doesn’t harm the teeth. We’re basically just polishing it.”

Lady: “No! That’s a lie! If you guys did it correctly the first time, you wouldn’t have to adjust it at all!”

Doctor: “Ma’am, we do this for everyone. The lab almost never makes them perfect. We either have to adjust the crown itself or the opposing teeth.”

Lady: “No, you screwed up.”

Doctor: “We have to adjust one or the other, so which would you prefer? Do you want metal showing?”

Lady: “No!”

Me: “So we can polish the opposing tooth?”

Lady: “No!”

Me: “It’ll literally take a few seconds.”

Lady: “No, you’re lying! It’s gonna harm my teeth!”

The doctor suggests getting our office manager to talk to the patient. Our office manager is an awesome lady. She’s old — two years away from retirement — and doesn’t give a f*** anymore. I tell her the situation and she laughs.

Office Manager: “Okay, let’s make her wait another month. I don’t give a s***.”

I laugh as she marches right in there.

Office Manager: “Okay, ma’am. Since you don’t want this crown, we’ll send it back to the lab and have them redo it.”

So, instead of just waiting the sixty seconds for us to adjust, she now had to wait three weeks to come in again. And that was just to RE-PREP the tooth. Then, she had to wait another three weeks for the crown to come back from the lab, again.

She had every right to request that the crown be redone. That’s not my issue. My issue is that she accused us of lying, screamed at us, wouldn’t tell us why it felt “exactly the same,” and didn’t want any solutions we offered.

1 Thumbs
347

They’ve Got This Pain Management Thing DOWN

, , , , | Healthy | June 29, 2021

I work in a pain management medical office. We always ask the pain level our patients are experiencing when they come in.

Me: “And what is your pain level today on a scale of zero to ten, zero being no pain and ten being the worst pain you’ve ever experienced?”

Patient: “Oh, a ten.”

Me: “Really? Worse than childbirth, kidney stones, getting hit by a bus?”

Patient: “Yep.”

And then they went back to sitting comfortably in their chair and playing happily on their phone.

1 Thumbs
290

Paying Your Bills Should Be A Priority, But… Yikes

, , , , , | Healthy | June 28, 2021

I work in the accounts billable department of one of the two major hospitals in Iowa City. It’s my job, essentially, to explain to clients why the amount they have been billed isn’t what they expected.

I’m the low peon on the totem pole, being the newest hire. That means I get to deal with the clients face to face across the billing counter.

One lady is yelling at me about her bill, when suddenly she makes a very strange, strangled sound. I figure she’s having some sort of medical event, so I immediately press the emergency medical event call button.

This turns out to be a very good idea. The lady is wearing a fairly short-skirted pantsuit, so I can see her legs. Specifically, I can see the stitches on her right leg coming undone. First, the top stitch pops, then the next one, and then the next, faster and faster until she’s got an open gash from her garters to her ankles.

Despite this, and despite her collapsing almost immediately like a puppet with her strings cut, the client continues to weakly try to discuss her billing with me, even as the orderlies pick her up and transfer her to a stretcher to carry her right back into surgery.

Still in shock from this whole affair, I stare at the massive puddle of blood in the middle of the floor, and I make the mistake of asking my coworker who’s responsible for cleaning it up.

Turned out it was me.

1 Thumbs
357

Find A Job You Love

, , , , , , | Healthy | June 23, 2021

I am working as a phlebotomist at a labcorp. That means I’m the guy that draws your blood whenever you need it done for some sort of test. The latest person I’m drawing blood from is polite with a decent sense of humor and doesn’t freak out at the idea of having blood drawn, so generally, I consider him a decent customer.

Me: “Apply pressure here, please.”

Patient: “Okay. I guess you’re almost done with me, huh?”

Me: “Just about.”

Patient: “Lucky you. Most people agree five minutes of dealing with me is about the most anyone should have to endure.”

Me: “Oh, that’s not fair. I didn’t mind drawing for you at all.”

Patient: “I guess I can understand that. I mean, most people I meet end up wanting to stab me, but you’re one of the few that actually gets to do it! Must be very therapeutic, huh?”

Me: “Yep, stabbing people for fun and profit — what’s not to love about this job?”

Patient: “That’s the spirit! Have a good day now. Enjoy making people bleed.”

Me: “Oh, I will, I promise.”

1 Thumbs
562