Friday, September 19, 2014

Doing this to me...

Patient:  "I can't believe you're doing this to me."

Context:  Patient found unresponsive at home next to an empty bottle of 180 hydrocodone, filled three days ago. Also, an empty bottle containing 120 Xanax, filled three days earlier.  She was mad because I wouldn't let her leave and go pick her kids up from foster care.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Me:  "Is it okay to talk in front of everyone in the room?"

Patient:  "Yeah.  They can hear everything you have to say to me."

Me:  "Okay. Well, I think the reason you are in kidney failure is because you were out in the sun using methamphetamines and got dehydrated."

At this point, the family in the room went nuts, nearly attacking the patient over the drug use.  The yelling was such that I was worried I'd have to call security.  I ended up leaving the room because no one wanted to hear what I had to say anymore.  Later, I got a phone call.

Nurse:  "That patient says he's going to sue you for telling his family he takes drugs."

Me:  *sigh*

Monday, September 15, 2014


Patient:  "Would you mind calling my sister and asking her to bring me a pizza?"

Me:  "Sure.  I'll get her number off the chart and call her."

Patient:  "No, I'll give you the number."

Me:  "Okay.  What is it?"

Patient:  "555....."

Me: "555-what?"

Patient:  "555...."

Me:  "Want me to get it off the chart?"

Patient:  "No, I have it.  It's 555...."

This went on for about five minutes until she agreed to let me get it off the chart.

Me:  "Okay. I'll call her."

Patient: "Okay. She will want to know what I want on the pizza."

Me:  "What do you want?"

Patient:  "Pepperoni and...."

Me:  "And?"

Patient:  "Pepperoni and...."

Me:  *sigh*

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fat Christy...

Moonlighting, a few weekends ago at outside hospital:

Me:  "I need the nurse for 361.  Says it's Christy here."

Other nurse:  "You mean Fat Christy?"

Me:  "Umm...I don't know how to respond to that."

At this point, a Vietnamese nurse walked up wearing a name tag reading "Christy Phat."

Fat Christy:  "Relax, they do that to the new doctors on purpose.  I'm used to it."

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Me:  "We're having trouble getting your blood pressure controlled so I need to add a medicine or two today."

Patient:  "Well, you're only giving me my blood pressure meds once a day, but I'm supposed to take them twice a day."

Me: "You told me when you came in that you only took them once a day."

Patient:  "I know.  I just thought I was taking too many pills so I halved the dose."

Monday, September 8, 2014

What kind of nurse...

There is a pervasive belief among non-medical people that doctors know everything nurses do, but then know a lot more beyond that.  This is incorrect.  Nurses have a separate knowledge/skill set from us.  The two are related and we have overlapping knowledge bases in terms of patient care, but I don't know how to do things like backprime IVs, secure rectal tubes and such.  For lack of a better phrase, such things are "not my job." It's not that I am opposed to doing them, it's that it falls under someone else's job description and they know more about them than I do.

Family:  "Nurse (I don't wear a white coat at the hospital), come in here and help me with him a moment, please."

Me:  "Oh, okay.  What is it that you need?"

Family:  "The IV pole has started acting weird.  It's saying error on the screen."

Me: "Oh, I'm not sure I'll be able to fix that."

Family:  "What kind of nurse can't fix an IV pole?"

Me:  "The doctor kind."

Friday, September 5, 2014

Treating the symptom...

Nurse:  "This woman is on Dilaudid 4 mg every two hours and also getting 2 mg of Ativan every two hours.  She also has morphine and benadryl ordered.  What exactly are they treating with all that?"

Me:  "Consciousness?"

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