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You Wish You Could Abbreviate Her Time Here

, , , , , , | Working | February 9, 2021

At the doctor’s office where I work, one person schedules appointments in a handwritten paper schedule book, and I create and print off the day’s fee slips the morning of. Her handwriting is difficult to read, and she frequently misspells or abbreviates patient names, so I have gotten in the habit of trying to find a close match for possible names when I make the fee slips. Usually, new patients are noted on the paper schedule with “NP” in a circle.

Today, we had two patients I could not find names for in the computer, but I found a close match for one; think “Mel Brooks” on the schedule but “Melvin Booker” on the computer. Given how bad my coworker’s handwriting is, the fact that it’s not marked as “NP,” and her history of misspelling and abbreviating names, I was fairly certain that Melvin is the person we were scheduled to see.

Nope.

This afternoon, my coworker comes charging up to my desk and slaps a new patient chart with Melvin’s fee slip on it

Coworker: “Does this look like Mel’s name?”

She gets in my masked face with her unmasked face. (She believes the health crisis is a scam invented for political gain.)

Me: “Closest match in the system. He wasn’t marked as a new patient, and you sometimes abbrev—”

Coworker: *Snarls* “I never abbreviate! And you should never assume that I wrote it down wrong! He’s obviously a new patient!”

I sighed, remade a fee slip for “NP Mel Brooks,” and requested that she note new patients when she schedules them so I could avoid looking for them in the system.

She’s not the only reason I’m job hunting — our boss is much worse — but seriously!

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