Monday, June 1, 2009

Got Sarcasm?

My cell phone rings at 11:58 p.m. on a Sunday. It's the hospital on the ID.

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy."

Miss Idiotclerk: "Hello? Is this Dr. Grumpy?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes."

Miss Idiotclerk: "You were here this afternoon and wrote an order for a head CT scan on Mrs. Stroke."

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes?"

Miss Idiotclerk: "So did you want that scan on her head?"

For those of you who are wondering, all I said was yes. Lord knows I'd LOVE to be sarcastic with this imbecile, especially when she's just woken me up for such an insanely stupid question. But, as I've learned from experience, doing so will get me written up to the hospital's board, and then I'll have to appear at some meeting to apologize for my actions, and write this bozo an apology, and agree on a 12 step plan to manage my anger. At the same time, though, there is nobody at the hospital for ME to complain to about criminally stupid employees.

I need some of this (I have no idea who did it)

(click to enlarge)


08armydoc said...

Good one. I'm always wondering what people think when they page me for the idiot questions.

A few of my favorites:

1. "Should I continue the patient's IV?" (no indication to stop it, and there was still a prescribed medicine running through it....)

2. Lab tech: You sent 2 different urine samples for this guy.

Me: Yeah - it's written all over the order to get test A on sample A and test B on sample B.

Tech: Soooooo, I see here that you want test A on sample A and test B on sample B.

Me: .....yeeaaaahhhh????

Tech: So, I'll run test A on sample A and test B on sample B?


3. Probably my all time favorite:
Nurse: Mr. Patient just sat on his balls - didn't hurt himself, but just thought I'd let you know.

Me: --silence--

Seriously - what was I supposed to say? I had aaaalllll sorts of terrifically inappropriate responses, but I, too, didn't want to be written up!

It was that night that I started the "dumbest pages of all time" list

This one's not funny, but appalling - just happened yesterday:

Nurse: I know you're really busy right now, so you can just come whenever you want - the patient scratched off a scab on his hand and there was a little pus - could you come look at it sometime later?

What do I find 2 1/2 hours later (in a gap in the cross-cover madness)???? Dude is tripoding, in respiratory distress! "Uhhh, maybe you should have paged me about his *breathing* rather than his 1cm old crusty IV site?" WTF?

Her answer: "I hadn't checked on him in a while and thought the hand was more important"

.... wait for it..... she had 1 other patient and hadn't checked on this *sick* guy in nearly 3 hours


Grumpy, M.D. said...

Ya beat me on that there. Good Lord.

Thanks for contributing those. I like them.

DreamingTree said...

I apologize, Dr. Grumpy, for hospital staff everywhere. This is wrong on so many levels. First, your order was clear. Second, if the idiot was confused by clear orders, why would she think you'd care to hear from her at midnight? Nevermind...I asked a question that contains the answer. If it makes you feel any better, I doubt that she would have understood a sarcastic reply.

Lulu said...

I love that ad. I especially love the diagnosis of "Violent Hysterical Sarcasm." I have a feeling that one day life will imitate art and VHS will join the ranks of other "personality disorders" like Intermittent Explosive Disorder (aka you're just an asshole) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (aka your brat kid just needs to have his ass beat)!

Tex said...

Perhaps the clerk was confused as to which head.

Ohhh, MRS. Stroke!!

Never mind.

Matt M said...

Apply scan directly to Head. Apply scan directly to Head.

Jonathan said...

3:00 AM
Nurse: Do you set up the PCA [for the post-surgical patient in pain]?
Me: No.
Nurse: But I'm going on break, and I don't know how to set it up.
Me: Then maybe the nurse covering you on break can set it up.
Nurse: Can't you write for something simpler?
Me: Okay. Here are some nursing boluses of hydromorphone. In the meantime, find another nurse who can help you with the PCA.

3:30 AM--Pager beeps
Nurse: Did you want 0.2mg of hydromorphone at a time, or 2mg?
Me: What did I write?
Nurse: You wrote 0.2mg.
Me: Then that's what I want.
Nurse: But it comes in 2mg ampules.

Maha said...

Sometimes its an extreme exercise in self restraint to just stay quiet and walk away from silly questions. I had a patient who was NPO for an abdo CT. The conversation went something like this:

Patient: I'm hungry. Why can't I eat?
Me: You're scheduled for an abdo CT and to get the best image possible, you need to have an empty stomach. Instead, drink your contrast solutions.
Patient: So why can't I eat something with the solution?
Me: Because then you'll be exposed to a LOT of radiation just so the radiologist can see doody as its being formed instead of what's actually causing the pain.
Patient: What if I eat outside?
Me: *headdesk*

One Nurse said...

I hate that there are nurses out there like these that make the rest of us look so stupid and incompitent!!

I worked on a neuro unit for 5 years. . .the docs were always writing orders for MRI's and CT's and forgetting to write of the head. But really? If they came in with a stroke do you want the CT or MRI of there leg? That is just common sense. That is where you just write a clarification order instead of waking a doc in the middle of the night and then let them know the next morning when they are rounding! At least the docs I worked for trusted MOST of the nurses to do just that. Cover there behinds and they would cover ours.
Your order was clear so there is no reason to call. That was just stupid!

And the nurse from the comment above that can't set up a PCA. . . what is that about? Then to choose lunch over a patient that is having pain! And really, I don't get questioning the 0.2mg vs 2mg of dilaudid IVP. That is just laziness!

So I am apologizing for all the idiot nurses out there that give the rest of us a bad name!!!

OH, Dr. Grumpy, thanks for checking out my blog and for the nice comment you left! It made me smile!!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

DreamingTree, Tex, and OneNurse:

I should point out this was NOT a nurse- it was the HUC.

Also, she asked TWO really stupid stupid questions. Not just one.

She was a gem.

Nurse K said...

When I worked up on The Floors, they instituted this gay-ass policy where we'd have to clarify morphine orders written as MS or magnesium orders written as Mg++ or whatever, and I worked nights so I had to wake everyone up.

"I'm sorry, but I'm calling at the behest of administration and JCAHO. This is the dumbest thing ever but "MS" means "morphine sulfate" right? They're making me humiliate myself with these types of questions now, I'm sure you understand."

"Yeah. Morphine."

"Good night, doc."

Anonymous said...

This blog is absolutely hilarious.


Avoid anger management write-up/referral at all costs!!!

ERP said...

Well, she probably has not even finished high school. If she has, then I would call that a glaring failure of our educational system.

Tonjia said...

OMG! you guys deserve so much for putting up with stupid nurses! I have worked in the ED for going on 13 yrs. You know how we take ownership of our patients..

I just cannot tolerate incompetent nursing! I want to have different levels of nursing generated with a license. ie (RN1 is a new grad, RN5 is an ER nurse,) then you will know if you are talking to an RN2, that she is just barely past a new grad, and maybe it will help.

I apologize for their ignorance, it annoys me too.

have a great week, guys!

The Bus Driver said...

I take Fukitol for all of life's problems.....

Google it. You'll thank me.

Flyaway said...

I made an appointment Dr. Phil N. Goode, M.D. for some Sarcasma and fukitol XR, since some of my hard working coworkers love to put forth the effort and work over and complain about it to everyone...

And when they ask stupid questions i want to throw a brick at myself in the forehead. To see if they get any smarter....

Big Hugs everyone Big Hugs

MDB said...

I find the best cure is the old board treatment. First you find a nice sturdy board and then smash into your head till unconcious or offending party in out cold (if offending party is in reach).

God knows I get enough crap in the pharmacy about orders not being clear. I get them from both docs and nurses, some just being really stupid mistakes like writing "metoprolol 50mg UD #QS, 4 refills." Things like that make me want to strangle someone. That and things like "STAT" orders for a bleeping tylenol when we have boxes of them in each nurse station outside of the pyxis. Or the annoying calls to inpatient pharmacy asking if the pharmacy is the one making up the IVs or the questions from a nurse on really simple things like "is 1cc the same thing as 1ml?". And you have to love the idiots who decide they're going to make an IV of some drug but need to call the pharmacy to have us walk them through making it because they can't figure out the math, and go figure it's one of the many IVs we have a stock of and can tube up in a minute.

yay said...

Hmmm can I do my next rotation in your department? I haven't come across any good sarcasm for a while. No. Really!

PS. I don't take my violence-inciting stamps to work - only my farm animal stickers and my collection of slightly obscure distracting toys ("look at the H.Pylori!! Where did it go!?"). The violence stamp is part of my collection of odd things that I find in toy or stationery shops and cost less than a few dollars. For my projects about weird stuff.

Fiz said...

The whole UK needs a dose of this in its water supply!

ItsTheWooo said...

I dunno Dr G.
I am a RN; where I work docs are constantly bitching to our supervisors about dumb employees. Perhaps there is a channel for you to bitch, but you have yet to discover it. As a result of physician bitching we have been given meetings more than once about the proper way to communicate with physicians:
1) We are not allowed to call physicians in the evening unless it is critical
2) We are to have x y z information before even picking up the phone

Perhaps you can be a bitching pioneer to prevent this from happening again?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I've given up on changing the system. I'll be happy to get out of here in a straightjacket.

UnitSec said...

I'm a Unit Secretary, and I can only imagine that she was really asking if you wanted it NOW. But maybe not. I would wonder if I saw the order written in the afternoon (and I was just processing it at midnite) if you had wanted it earlier in the day or if you wanted to wait til morning.

But in either case, I would have asked the patient's nurse and had them make the decision, or clarify with you.

I do not call the docs. They'd have my head.

Aeris said...

Re: ad. "from the makers of Damitol"?? * hysterical laughter*

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