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    There Will Be Blood… Everywhere

    , | USA | Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I work in a hospital laboratory as a lab scientist. Before testing some sample, you have to mix them. Every lab scientist has their own technique, but will put the tube in their hand and flick their wrists while inverting the tube. I’m across the lab when one of the other lab scientists (a late-20s male) squeals in a stereotypically girly manner.)

    Coworker: “Blood EVERYWHERE!”

    Me: “What did you do?”

    (I rush over there and see that there is, indeed, blood all over his lab coat and up the walls and across the floor. I also see a tube cap on the floor.)

    Coworker: *holds out the tube, which is capless* “Remember when we sent out the friendly reminder to all the nurses to make sure that they firmly cap all their tubes? Someone didn’t get the memo.”

    (Luckily, getting more blood at least didn’t mean stabbing the patient with a needle again, but just pulling it out of an indwelling line. But still. There was a lot of blood.)

    There Will Be Bloodwork, Part 2

    | Ottawa, ON, Canada | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I am in a rehabilitation hospital after having an operation that left me paralyzed from the chest downwards. I happen to have serious paranoia about hospitals after spending many months of my life in them back when I lived in England and I’m trying to inform the doctors of my paranoia, my conditions, and how I’ll need to go about doing this. I’d like to make a note here that one of my conditions is a terrible phobia of needles I’ve had ever since I was a child.)

    Doctor: “Okay, [My Name], we’re going to have to take blood from you.”

    (They’ve usually taken blood from my legs and feet which is below my level of injury so I can’t feel it, meaning I’m somewhat okay with it.)

    Me: “…Sure, I guess. From my feet as per normal?”

    Doctor: “No, we’re going to need to take it from your arms. It appears the ones from your feet aren’t giving us the results we need and we need to take them every few days. Your arms are our only option.”

    (Of course my needle phobia and my paranoia start kicking in but I manage to hold it together.)

    Me: *sweating a little* “Okay… Well, in that case… I’ll need a few things done first to calm me down or we’ll have another problem.”

    Doctor: “All right, name them.”

    Me: “First, I’ll need access to my iPhone for my music to try to block out the sound. Second, I’ll need a large dosage of the numbing cream on where you intend to put the needle in and—”

    Doctor: *suddenly strict* “You really need this much?”

    Me: “Yes, I do, because of my serious paranoia. I’ve told you before I’ve actually punched a doctor in the face because of it.” *trying to keep cool* “So I’ll need my iPhone for my music with my headphones to put in my ears, and a large dosage of numbing cream and warm towels there to make the cream act faster. I know this is important so I’m giving you all the details so I can do this quickly and easily for both of us.”

    Doctor: *nodding* “Sounds reasonable. All right, I can get you those things.”

    Me: *relieved* “Thank you.”

    (The next day I’m woken up and told that I’ll be having my blood taken. When they come around to take it however, none of the things I’ve asked for are there for me.)

    Nurse: “Okay, [My Name], I need to take blood from you.”

    Me: “Hang on! I asked for several things done beforehand! Can you wait a moment?”

    Nurse: *confused* “Like what? It just said we needed to take your blood today and that you were willing.”

    Me: “Yes, but I asked [Doctor] to make a note that because of my needle phobia, I need a few things done first, like numbing cream and a warm towel around the hand you’re doing it on.”

    Nurse: *confused* “We’re doing it on both hands. [Doctor] said you were okay with it.”

    (At this point, my needle phobia and paranoia are starting to kick in.)

    Me: “What?! I never agreed to that! I said only one hand!”

    Nurse: “We need two samples, one from each hand. Surely [Doctor] told you.”

    Me: “No, she didn’t! Now please – I need my phone for my music, some numbing cream, and warm towels!”

    (The nurse looks a little offended but goes away. I think she’s getting what I need and she comes back with the cream and warm towels to put them on. However I still haven’t been given my music which is still out of my reach. The call button for the nurse is out of my reach also now that my hands are toweled up so I can’t call for one. When the doctor and nurses come back I’m feeling myself starting to freak out.)

    Doctor: “[My Name], we’re going to do it now.”

    Me: *panicking* “No, no, I’m not ready! I need my music!”

    Doctor: *sternly* “We can’t give that to you because we need to communicate with you. We need you to hear what’s going on.”

    Me: *panicking* “No, no, no. I CAN’T hear it or I’m gonna—”

    Doctor: “Can we just start this now?”

    (Due to my paranoia and problems, I start freaking out and the blood test doesn’t happen. As I’m coming down from my paranoid panic attack, I hear my doctor talking to another nurse.)

    Doctor: *coldly* “No, don’t bother anymore.”

    Nurse: “What? But we need this done…”

    Doctor: *even colder and quiet tone* “If he’s going to be a f****** child having a tantrum then don’t bother. If he gets sick it’s his own fault.” *leaving the room* “There really is no point.”

    (When my wife called later, I told her about this. She was so angry that she immediately filed for me to be taken home. It’s been over three months now and I’ve recovered twice as much at home under my wife’s care than I did in the rehab center. We were told we needed to see this doctor again but my wife flat-out refused and we now have a referral to a different doctor. Ironically after this situation happening in the hospital, my ‘doctor’ never once came back to see me – not even when I was being discharged.)

    There Will Be Bloodwork

    Wish You Could Doctor What You Said

    | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Bigotry, Health & Body

    (A meet-and-greet is full of older male doctors and a male pharmaceutical rep. Note I am female and in my 30s. Also, nurses don’t attend these events as a rule.)

    Me: “Hello.”

    Rep: “Hi. You must be one of the nurses.”

    Me: “Ah, no. I am one of the doctors. Welcome to the 21st century.”

    (He did apologise!)

    Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 7

    | Gosford, NSW, Australia | Employees, Health & Body

    (I am pregnant and suffering from toxaemia, which is a form of blood poisoning. My blood pressure is extremely high and I have been admitted to hospital. I have been there for two weeks when my blood pressure goes even higher.)

    Matron: “You have been scheduled for an emergency induction tomorrow morning; we can’t leave you like this for any longer.”

    (Very early the next morning, she comes in and starts the preparation for the induction when a doctor comes in.)

    Doctor: “[Matron], I need you to stop what you are doing. I need to speak to the patient. Please leave us alone.”

    Matron: “Yes, doctor.” *leaves*

    Doctor: *to me* “We are postponing your induction.”

    Me: “But I’ve been told I have to have it.”

    Doctor: “We’ve decided not to do it right now. It doesn’t really matter, seeing as this is elective.” *meaning I chose to have it done*

    (He says nothing to reassure me and leaves. Later one of the nurses comes by.)

    Nurse: “[My Name], what are you still doing here? I was sure you would have had your baby by now.”

    Me: “Dr [Doctor] told me that it wasn’t being done, and told me it was elective.”

    Nurse: “He said what? Did you elect to get pre-eclampsia? I’ll go and see what’s going on.”

    (A few minutes later she is back.)

    Nurse: “I found out why they postponed you. We only have four birthing rooms and there are a dozen screaming women down there waiting to get into them. You were considered stable enough to wait one more day”.

    Me: “I would have understood if he said that.”

    Nurse: “Yeah, doctors don’t think.”

    Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 6
    From NotAlwaysRight
    Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 5
    Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 4

    An Alarming Lack Of Alarm

    | USA | Coworkers, Health & Body

    (I work in a hospital lab. Our carbon monoxide alarm is going off intermittently for a few minutes at a time. It’s probably a flaw in the alarm, but we call engineering just in case.)

    Me: “Hi. This is [My Name] up in the lab. It’s probably a fluke, but our carbon monoxide alarm goes off for like a minute and a half every ten minutes.”

    Maintenance Man: “Okay. It’s probably just something coming through the vent from the helicopter pad that gets to it every once in awhile. Call us back in two hours if it doesn’t stop.”

    (I’m kind of shocked by this response, but figure he’s probably right and end the phone call. I explain to my coworkers what the maintenance guy said.)

    Coworker: “Two hours?! What is he going to do if we’re all dead by then?”

    Me: “Eh. Don’t worry. We’re medical lab scientists. We’re currently in a medical lab. If we all start getting headaches, one of us can be the sacrificial lamb who gets stabbed and we’ll test their carboxyhemoglobin levels.”

    Coworker: “I don’t think you’re concerned enough about this.”

    Me: “Maintenance is less concerned than I am, so…”

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