Monday, August 22, 2011

Because Dentistry is just like Emergency Medicine

"Hi Mrs. Dentist's Wife, my name is S and I am a technician here. There will be a lot going on at once, so I'd like to explain what will happen. First, I will help you into this hospital gown and put you on our monitor. Then, I will be taking an electrocardiogram and nurses will come in to insert an IV and draw labs..."

"Now just wait a minute," her husband interjected, "I'll tell you exactly what she needs." He puffed up his chest, and straightened to his full height to try to intimidate me. "She doesn't need an EKG or labs, she needs to go to the OR now because she has a small bowel obstruction."

"Sir, I'm sorry I don't know about any of that, but it is protocol for us to get a cardiogram for every patient of a certain age that comes to our critical care section."

"I know you don't know anything. But I'm here telling you that she doesn't need an EKG."

"I'm not in charge of that, sir, but..."

"Well find me someone who is."

As it turns out, this gentleman was a dentist; he and his wife were visiting from the midwest when she had abdominal pain and decided to stop by our fair establishment. What possessed him to try to bully us into treating her as he thought fit was a mystery to me, but he remained surly the whole visit. Luckily, I did get my cardiogram after several rounds of different people explaining that if she were to be admitted and to go to the operating room, she would definitely need an EKG.
I sure wouldn't want this guy pulling any of my teeth!


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