That Is Off The Charts

, , , , , | Healthy | February 21, 2019

I’m an RN who previously worked in a hospital unit where we dealt with concussions. This is the best thing I’ve ever written in a patient’s chart:

“Patient educated on not riding with chainsaw in the uplifted bucket of the Bobcat.”

Doctors Have Homes?!

, , , | Healthy | February 20, 2019

(I am a resident on long call, staying after all of the other residents leave at 5:00 pm and admitting patients until the night team takes over. Near 8:00 pm, I get a call from the emergency department to admit a patient who was brought from her primary care provider’s office. Her condition is not that serious and she is generally pleasant, except for one thing:)

Patient: “[Attending Doctor] promised me that he would meet me right when I arrived!”

Me: “Oh? When did you speak with him?”

Patient: “When I was in the clinic.”

(Note that that was six or seven hours ago.)

Me: “Oh, well, the ambulance company never tells us a time of arrival, and it sounds like yours was pretty delayed. And the ED doesn’t tell every attending doctor when they admit a patient. [Attending Doctor] likely isn’t at the hospital anymore, but I’m sure he would have been here if he had known what time you were coming.”

Patient: “But he promised that he would be here waiting for me when I arrived!”

(She brought it up over and over again, making sure to interject it after each question she answered. I was a little taken aback by how fixated she was on this, especially considering how calm she was about her actual medical condition, and also by the fact that she assumed doctors don’t have lives and spend all of their copious free time at the hospital instead of with, I don’t know, their families? It turns out [Attending Doctor] was at a meeting and he drove back to the hospital to see the patient when it was done. I’m sure the patient was still upset that he did not use his psychic powers to know the exact time she arrived so he could be at the emergency department doors to greet her.)

The Only Time It’s Acceptable To Ask

, , , , | Healthy | February 11, 2019

(My daughter has had an accident at daycare where she smacked her nose pretty hard into the side of a table, so I’ve taken her to the urgent care clinic across the street. Due to the location of the injury, my husband and I have agreed to have them do an x-ray, just in case. Unfortunately, my husband has to return to work, so it’s just me with my daughter. It is important to note that I am also five-months pregnant, and it’s starting to be very obvious.)

X-Ray Tech: “Hi, Mom! We’re all ready to take [Daughter] for her x-ray.”

Me: “Great! Come on, [Daughter]. We’re going to go take a picture of the inside of your head!”

(The tech takes a better look at me, looks down at my rounded belly, looks back up at me, and puts on an impressively good poker face.)

X-Ray Tech: “I’m sorry, but um… I have to ask; is there any chance you might be pregnant?”

Me: “Yes, five months!” *smiles at her for a few seconds, and then the penny drops* “Ohhh, right.”

X-Ray Tech: “I’ll just get one of the nurses to go in with [Daughter].”

(Pregnancy brain is real!)

The Mummy Of All Bad Jokes

, , , , , , | Healthy Right Working | February 11, 2019

(I am answering the phone at an OBGYN office when a woman calls to make an appointment.)

Me: “[Office], how can I help you?”

Woman: *sounding a little nervous but also very excited* “Ah, well, I need an appointment. It’s the strangest thing; I went sightseeing a few months ago, to see the pyramids. I thought I got food poisoning or indigestion from eating things I wasn’t used to. But it’s lasted for a few months, and this morning I glanced in the mirror and thought I looked a little heavier.”

(I can see where this might be heading, and am almost giddy because I can’t believe the fantastic joke opportunity I’m about to have.)

Woman: *continuing* “—so I took a pregnancy test. I think I’m three months pregnant!”

Me: *cheering internally* “Well, ma’am, it sounds like did get sick on your trip.”

Woman: “Oh?”

Me: *holding back laughter* “You caught the Egyptian flu. You’re going to be a mummy!”

Woman: *laughs*

Me: “And congratulations. Let’s figure out your due date and get in your with one of our doctors.”

(As soon as I was done with work, I called my parents to tell them; they were also very amused.)

Pray They Won’t Be Back(bone)

, , , | Healthy | February 8, 2019

(Making bookings for patients is very easy. All I need is the patient’s name, phone, modality, body part, and doctor’s name. I’ve been on the phone for a few minutes. The patient is giving me a rather detailed explanation of why she needs a scan of her back, yet not telling me anything I need to know. I’m polite and don’t interrupt, but I am spending too much time on this call and my coworker needs help with patients lined up.)

Me: “Okay. That doesn’t sound good. Did your doctor want an x-ray, ultrasound, or CT?”

Patient: “Scan of my back. My back.”

Me: “On the form your doctor gave you, did they write XR, CT, or US anywhere?”

Patient: “My doctor’s name is [Doctor].”

Me: “Lovely.” *first piece of information off my checklist, but not what I asked for* “Did they check any boxes? Can you see, ‘spine,’ etc., anywhere?”

Patient: “Yes. It’s so sore. So sore.”

Me: “The paper the doctor gave you. Can you read it to me?”

Patient: “I have a paper. It says nothing.”

Me: *still very polite* “It doesn’t have your name on it? Not the doctor’s name and signature?”

Patient: “Yes, my name is [Patient]!

(I can’t take it down until I know what they need and what room to start in, so I make a mental note for later.)

Me: “Okay. Now, the paper has nothing on it?”

(I know it’s repetitive, but I have to confirm for what I have to say next if it’s true.)

Patient: “Nothing. There’s nothing!”

Me: “Okay. So, that means its invalid. You’d need to go to the doctor and get him to write you a referral.”

Patient: “It’s here!” *now livid* “No! No. No. It says here!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Patient: “It says XR spline. Yes, s-p-l-i-n-e! Lubosac — My back!’

(I gathered it was an x-ray lumbosacral spine, but don’t you just love how information materialises?)

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