Monday, October 20, 2014

Going to die...

Patient:  "I'm going to die, aren't I?"

Me:  "Oh, no, I don't think so."

Patient:  "I meant someday."

Me: "Oh, well yes, then."

Patient:  "I knew it!"

Friday, October 17, 2014

Same thing...

Me: Do you wear your CPAP every night?

Patient: Not really. I usually have the window open or a fan going, does the same thing. 

Submitted by Kate.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy to please... (guest submission)

I had to do a rotation on a psych unit, so for half a semester I spent two days a week on a GPU/GBU floor (Geriatric Psych/Behavior). The GBU was the half of the floor where the very unstable/violent older patients stayed for a few weeks or months, usually while their meds were being adjusted to get the behavior/side effects under control. Some would be on nearly complete “drug holidays” (taken off most/all of their psych meds) to clear them out before trying new dosages and combinations.

For a few weeks there was a lady on the GBU side that was an unstable diabetic who seemed to hate all the female staff (RN's, LNA's, etc) and thought that they were always out to screw her over or generally harm her in some way. But she had no problem talking about this to the female patients at the table with her. As such she rarely interacted well with female staff but with guys she seemed to be smitten as ever.

So one day I'm on the unit observing and talking to staff and some of the patients when the nurse caring for her comes over and tells me they need my help again with getting her to take the meds (family member had DPOA and important meds were to be given despite patient objection). So I walk over to the table where she's sitting calmly and seemingly oblivious (a very unfocused gaze that made me feel like she was watching the entire room.. even the bits behind her, without looking around) with her morning meds in a cup on the table in front of her. As I approach it went like this (as best I can recall):

Me: “Hey there Mrs. Happy”

Mrs. Happy: “Hey, I know why you're here.”

Me: “Oh?”

Mrs. Happy: “You want me to take those meds. They (the female staff) told you to. I'm not going to take them.”

Me: “Oh, I understand.”

Mrs. Happy: “Yup, I'm not going to take them.”

Me: “Ok, no problem. Well.. while I'm here, do you think you could do a favor for me?”

Mrs. Happy: “Oh sure!”

Me: “...could you take these meds for me?”

Mrs. Happy: “Oh sure!” 

-she grabs the cup of pills on the table in a shaky hand and pours them into her mouth and accepts a cup of water from me to wash them down-

Me: “Thank you so much, Mrs. Happy”

Mrs. Happy: “You're welcome!” and she went back to blankly staring... at everything.

Submitted by Chris.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A new way to inject drugs... (guest submission)

I recently admitted a patient for bleeding during pregnancy.  During the initial history, she denied any drug use. However, when the urine drug screen came back positive for cocaine, she explained it like this:

"My boyfriend was doing cocaine and didn't use a condom when we had sex. That's how come my drug test is positive for it."

Friday, October 10, 2014

Can't accept this...

I am starting to do a lot of locums work to try and pay down my student loans. I'd like to be nearly debt-free by the time my 40's roll around, so we'll see how it goes.

Locums company:  "We cannot accept this photograph you submitted with your application. You stapled through the picture."

Me:  "Your instructions told me to staple directly through the picture, not to use glue or tape."

Locums: "That is incorrect. We do not recommend stapling pictures. That would be silly."

I had to scan in the application document which showed these instructions and send it to them. They have not replied to my email since.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Well, apparently I set up my posts for what I thought was this week in October, but they seem to have moved to November dates. I will remedy this for Friday. 

Friday, October 3, 2014


Patient:  "Aren't you worried about Ebola?"

Me:  "Not really."

Patient: "It just seems scary."

Me:  "Well, the flu kills about 30,000 people a year or so. I'd be more worried about something like that than Ebola."

Patient:  "I hope they come up with a vaccine for Ebola soon."

Me:  "Did you get your flu shot last year?"

Patient:  "No. Why?"

Me: *sigh*

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