Just In The Click Of Time

| Santa Clara, CA, USA | Employees, Health & Body

(I am out of town when my husband starts showing signs of extreme dehydration, as well as some strange symptoms, meaning hospitalization. We call a friend to take him, but are all new to the area and are having trouble finding info about local hospitals. My husband calls the 24 hour nurse line for our insurance.)

Nurse: “Nurse Line, how may I help you?”

Husband: “I need to go to the hospital. What is the closest one in our network?”

Nurse: “What are your symptoms?”

(My husband gives her the symptoms.)

Nurse: “When did they start?”

(He gives the general timeline, but she keeps asking for more details. He starts panicking and repeatedly states he needs to go to a hospital. Finally, after 15 minutes it clicks in the nurse’s mind…)

Nurse: “You need to go to the hospital!”

Husband: “YESSSS! Where is the nearest one?!”

Nurse: “Let me transfer you to the correct department…”

Husband: *speechless*

(Thankfully, my husband is fine!)

Healer, Hear Thyself, Part 2

| Vienna, Austria | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Coworkers, Health & Body

(I’ve just started medical school and am taking an elective course for organ transplantation where we got to see the patients and help with the surgeries. It’s my first day at the hospital. Two older colleagues and me are allowed to watch a renal biopsy performed by the senior physician. She’s looking at the tissue from the biopsy when she turns to me.)

Senior Physician: “Oh no, that doesn’t look too good… quickly!”

(The senior physician writes a few numbers on a piece of paper, puts it in my hand and shoves me out the door which she immediately shuts behind me. I’m left standing in the hallway not knowing what to do, so I decide to ask a nearby nurse.)

Me: “Hello! I’m a med student and [senior physician] just gave this to me. Could you please tell me what I should do?”

Nurse: *examines the paper* “What is this? No, sorry, I can’t help you. Hasn’t she given you any instructions?”

Me: “No, just this—”

(Suddenly, the door bursts open and the senior physician jumps out of the biopsy room, snatches the numbers from the nurse’s hands, and stomps into the office. I’m curious as to what I should have been doing, so I follow right behind her. In her office, she curses and picks up her phone. She requests a bed and gives additional instructions for a procedure, half of which I neither catch nor understand.)

Senior Physician: *hangs up and turns to me*

Me: “So, what was—”

Senior Physician: “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!”

Me: “What? I—”

Senior Physician: “YOU SHOULD HAVE CALLED THAT NUMBER AND PREPARED [procedure]!”

Me: “I didn’t know it was—”

Senior Physician: “THIS IS IMPORTANT! YOU CAN’T JUST TREAT PATIENTS LIKE THIS! THIS IS SERIOUS! THAT PATIENT NEEDS [procedure] AND [surgery] IMMEDIATELY!”

Me: *near tears* “But I—”

Senior Physician: “AND DON’T JUST COME RUNNING TO THE NURSES TO HAVE A CRY ON THEIR SHOULDER!”

Me: “No, I was—”

Senior Physician: “WITH THAT ATTITUDE, YOU WILL NEVER—”

(Suddenly, the nurse I talked to earlier steps in.)

Nurse: “How can you talk to her like this? This is her first year! How should she know what all this is about if you never explain it to her?!”

(The doctor shuts up on the spot and I leave the ward with the nurse thanking her. I later talk to my colleagues and they tell me they had no idea what was going on either. Luckily, I never had to go back there and I no longer want to be a surgeon.)

Related:
Healer, Hear Thyself

Playing Doctor, To A Degree

| Scotland, UK | Coworkers, Health & Body

(I’m a nurse and work with a know-it-all healthcare assistant. I’ve just started in the job but he has been there 2 years. One day, I hear him shouting at a patient.)

Coworker: “YOU CAN’T HAVE ANY PAINKILLERS! YOU HAD SOME HALF AN HOUR AGO!”

Patient: “I’m really sore; are you sure?”

Coworker: “YES! NOW SHUT UP!”

(I go to the patient and check his prescription. He hasn’t had any pain meds. I talk to him and find he is in pain from intensive physio earlier that day.)

Me: “Hey, [coworker], why are you telling him he can’t have any pain meds?”

Coworker: “Because he can’t. The drug round was half an hour ago… he had some then. He can’t have more!”

Me:I’m the nurse here. I give the meds. If you knew how to read a prescription, you’d know he didn’t have any pain meds at the last round but he’s written up for painkillers as and when he needs them. Next time, if a patient says he’s in pain, tell me and I will check out if they can have any. Not you… okay?”

(As a result of this conversation, my coworker hasn’t spoken to me for over five months.)

The Hippocratic Loaf

| USA | Employees, Health & Body, Lazy/Unhelpful

(My husband is suffering from a long term illness that causes him extreme pain. One night after dinner, he collapses and I drive him to the hospital, but I can’t carry him from the car to the ER. I go inside and try and ask the receptionist for help.)

Me: “Hello! Do you have a wheel chair my husband can use? He can’t get out of the car.”

Receptionist: “Sorry, our wheelchairs are for patients only.”

Me: “Well, how is he supposed to get out of the car? He can’t walk, and I can’t carry him.”

Receptionist: “That’s really not my problem. When he checks in I can get him a wheelchair then, if he even needs one.”

(Panicked, I turn to another employee nearby.)

Me: “Please help me! I can’t get my husband out of the car and she won’t give me a wheelchair!”

(Hearing this, the receptionist shoots me a dirty look. However, the other employee just smiles.)

Employee: “I’d be more then happy to help you find a wheel chair for your husband, ma’am.”

(The employee happened to be an ambulance driver that stopped in for a cup of coffee. He not only found a wheelchair, but also helped me get my husband safely into the ER.)

So Much For Wrist-sponsible Healthcare

| PA, USA | Employees, Health & Body, Ignoring & Inattentive

(My mother is in the hospital. She has an allergy to Prednisone which is uncommon, but not unheard of. She also has a Medic-Alert bracelet to warn hospital staff off this. A nurse comes in and hands her a small paper cup with medicine in it.)

Nurse: “Here’s your medicine.”

Mom: “What is it?”

Nurse: “It’s your medicine.”

Mom: “I know… what is it?”

Nurse: “It’ll make you feel better.”

Mom: “…I’m sure it will. What medicine is this?”

Nurse: *indignant* “It’s your medicine. It’ll help you get better.”

Mom: “Oh, I’m sure it will, but I want to know what medicine this is.”

Nurse: “The doctor prescribed it for you.”

Mom: “…Yes, I’m sure he did. But I want to know the NAME of the medicine I’m about to take.”

Nurse: “You wouldn’t know what it is.”

Mom: “Maybe not. I still want to know.”

Nurse: “It’s a type of steroid.”

Mom: “Oh. Like Prednisone?”

Nurse: “How do you know about Prednisone?”

Mom: *holds up her wrist with her Medic-Alert bracelet*

(As soon as the nurse sees the bracelet, she SNATCHES medicine out of my mom’s hand as though she was trying to forcibly take it.)

Nurse: “Oh, you CAN’T have that!”

Mom: *sighs*

(A bit later, a doctor comes in and checks her chart.)

Doctor: “Hmm… why don’t we have you on Prednisone?”

Mom: “I’m allergic to Prednisone.”

Doctor: “It’s very unusual to be allergic to Prednisone.”

Mom: *holds up wrist with bracelet*

Doctor: “Oh, yes… well, clearly you can’t have Prednisone.”

(Yet a bit later, another doctor comes in and checks her chart.)

Doctor: “Why don’t we have you on Prednisone?”

Mom: *holds up wrist, again*

Doctor: “Ah, I see. Yeah, that would be bad!”