Thursday, June 4, 2009

the good stuff

Disclaimer: I would like to clarify that the last entry was classified as "amusing" not because of the unfortunate patient receiving incorrect bad news... that part isn't amusing at all. It's amusing because it illustrates the absurdity of situations that can go on in medical education.

And on that note! More gallows humor!

Working on the floors in city hospitals, you do tend to see quite a few more examples of drug problems than you might otherwise. Now, I am definitely not downplaying the struggles these individuals have, and no, I don't think drug addiction is funny. But it can lead to some somewhat humorous and ridiculous situations... at least if you have a warped sense of humor like everyone in the hospital seems to have.

Some real life* examples:

1. Nurse: "The overnight nurse wanted me to let you know she found a syringe stashed in that guy's sock. His sock! And you know what he said to her? 'You're not going to tell on me, are you?'"

2. Doctor: "Oh, the arm abscess patient. Did you hear how he got it? He ground up some narcotic tablets, mixed them with water, and tried to inject them! Yeah, good thing he missed the vein, or he'd have lung fibrosis on top of the abscess... the talc in those pills is not meant to be injected."

3. Nurse: "The patient in that room is not the most pleasant person. She keeps yelling at us whenever we pass by, 'GIVE ME SOME F-ING DILAUDID!!!'"

4. Med student: "Patient denies alcohol use or smoking.... but then again, she denied cocaine use too, until they found it in her tox screen...."

5. Doctor: "Yeah, that guy admitted to using marijuana, but his eyes bugged out to here when we told him we found traces of barbiturates in his system. I bet when he gets out of here he's going to have some choice words with his dealer..."

*Real life, yes. But I'll always either change a few details or leave things vague enough to still protect patient privacy. You hear me, HIPAA police?

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