Thursday, July 14, 2011

Urgent Nonsense

Patient 1 had her toe stepped on 3 weeks ago. The pain was suddenly unbearable, so she came in today, wearing really cute sandals, baring all her toes. I can see how they got stepped on...
X-rays showed nothing, so she went home with a post-op shoe. Very cute, but a bit clunky for my taste.
Patient 2 had an abscess on her buttock. She hyperventilated to freak herself out, then screamed before the lidocaine (numbing agent) even went in. She didn't want to admit she didn't feel the pain anymore, so she screamed at times she thought were reasonable for pain production. If she is like this for popping a pimple in her (well-padded) butt-cheek, I really feel bad for the nurse on duty the day she has a baby.

Patient 3, Ms. Excuses, wasn't really our patient, but she said she was here last week. She needed a work note to replace the note she had "lost."

Me: Hmm, Ms. Excuses, let me check for you... How do you spell your last name?
IE: E-x-c-u-s-e-s.
Me: Ok, that's what I thought. What date were you here?
IE: July 6, and the doctor gave me the whole week off.
Me: Hmm, Ms. Excuses, I don't see you in our database.
IE: (Wide-eyed) Oh! But I was really here. I was here twice for the same thing... The first time was in April, where they gave me prescription xyz, and I came back last week to get another one.
Me: Ok, Ms. Excuses, I'm looking at all records with your last name through April. Is your first name "Illegitimate"?
IE: Yes, that's me!
Me: Ok, you're right. You were here two times. The first time was May 3, where it says you eloped. You left without being seen.
IE: Oh yeah, that's because it just took so long and I was feeling better... (trails off)
Me: (continuing) You were also here on June 1, and the x-ray did show you had a small amount of fluid around your knee.
IE: Yeah, so I was wondering if I could get a work note for when I was here last week. I can't believe I'm not in the system! Computers these days! (increasing nervous pitch) But yes, I had a note for the whole week.
Doctor: Well, we can write you one for when you were actually here. (writes note for June 1, able to return to work on June 2, gives to Ms Excuses)
IE: Ok, thanks Doc!
(returns 5 min later)
IE: I just wanted to make sure- is this a 6 or 7? I see you wrote over the 6, and I just wanted my employer to know for sure that it's the right date.
(Doctor writes new note with "JUNE" and hands to her.)
IE: Thanks Doc! Have a great night.

You, too.
(Thanks Dave H. for image sources)

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