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(Regrettably, our local university is the main reason that county STD rates are the second-highest in the state (the highest-ranking county is home to a naval base). Outbreaks are common and rather a grim joke with local healthcare providers. The county has purchased a new emergency radio system and one of their officers has arrived to train our staff on how to use the equipment.)

Instructor: “The great thing about this system is that it is linked to over two hundred towers, state-wide. This means that if you need to, you can communicate not only throughout the county, but with other jurisdictions as well. For example; let’s say you have to set up some kind of emergency clinic at the University for… I don’t know, what’s an epidemic that the students might experience there?”

Me: *without thinking* “Probably chlamydia.”

(My boss shushed me, but our director of nursing almost fell off her chair from laughing so hard.)


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Old 10-14-2019   #121
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The ‘Feeling’ Is Mutual

California, Phone, USA | Healthy | November 21, 2017


(I’ve had some pain for several weeks, but recently had a medical test that found nothing wrong. After telling me this result, the doctor left and sent me on my way without any recommendations about how to feel better. I was frustrated so I asked her assistant to have the doctor call me back as soon as possible. I don’t get the call for a few days, and when the doctor finally does call, she sounds annoyed and uninterested.)

Doctor: *on the phone* “So there’s really nothing I can do for you. This sort of thing happens to everyone as they get older…” *stops listening to me and launches into a long standard spiel about aging and health*

Me: *struggling to get a word in edgewise, I finally have an idea* “So, how are you feeling?”

Doctor: “Wha… what?”

Me: *trying not to laugh at how I finally stopped her in her tracks* “I said, how are you feeling?”

Doctor: “You… you’re not supposed to ask me that! I’m supposed to tell you what to do!”

Me: “Well, you must feel one way or another. You are human, right?”

Doctor: *speechless*

(When she finally got her brain back on track, she humbly recommended a doctor at a different hospital who might actually be able to help me!)
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Flu Right Past The Diagnosis

Hospital, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA | Healthy | November 20, 2017


(I am in so much pain that I have a friend drive me to the ER. Note: I commonly have stomach problems and this pain is certainly NOT in my stomach. I get seen fairly quickly and given pain medicine but am still in some pain in spite of it.)

Doctor: “Did you recently have the flu?”

Me: “Yes, but this isn’t the flu.”

Doctor: “Yes, it is; it is causing you more pain because you’ve gotten it two times in a row. The pain is in your colon.”

Me: “I’ve had issues like that before. This is not it. Digestive pain does not happen on one side. Check your tests again.”

(The doctor leaves. I continue to experience pain and walk around to try to relieve it as sitting down seems to make it worse. Finally a nurse comes and tells me they are taking me to get an ultrasound.)

Me: “So what happened? Did he finally believe me?”

Nurse: “Yes, your pee sample came back and you had blood in it. You probably have a kidney stone.”

(Guess what was confirmed by the ultrasound? Never have I wanted to punch a doctor so badly. The flu indeed!)
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Bleeding Puns

Hospital, Iowa, Punny, USA | Healthy | November 20, 2017


(I’m in the ER with some potential heart issues. At one point, I get a very nice lady in to draw some blood, and she’s joined by a coworker who’s about to go off shift. My elbow veins aren’t cooperating, so I have to get blood drawn from the back of my hand as well. It goes faster after that, and soon, the lady who’s leaving heads out, then pokes her head back in the door.)

Phlebotomist: “Thanks for letting me stick around!”

(My mom and I couldn’t stop laughing. Definitely made the whole visit bearable!)
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Old 10-14-2019   #124
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MRI = Milk Restrictive Invention

Australia, Hospital, New South Wales, Sydney | Healthy | November 20, 2017


(It took my husband and me several years to conceive. I wasn’t overly impressed with my induced labour of 48 hours that resulted in emergency C-section, and I struggle with breastfeeding that can’t be resolved by any method. I am feeling pretty down about not being able to do anything unassisted and am not 100% happy about having to top up every meal with formula but I am determined to keep going with breastfeeding. I’ll admit this is probably out of stubbornness, but it means a lot to me. Meanwhile, I have to have an MRI that I had to reschedule while pregnant and when I make the appointment, I ask if it is safe while breastfeeding. I am assured it is and though I am dubious, I will admit that I don’t look into it further, assuming they know better than I do. The appointment comes up and I leave my six-week-old baby for the first time with my husband and drive myself (also for the first time since the operation) to the radiologist.)

Receptionist: “Yes?”

Me: “Hello, I have an appointment for an MRI. My name is [My Name].”

Receptionist: “Here.”

(She thrusts paperwork at me. I fill it out, listing my allergies and so on, and note that there’s a question asking if I might be pregnant or breastfeeding. I put a tick next to it and finish the form. Handing it back to the receptionist, I ask about the question. She says it’s fine and tells me to sit down. Since I am the last patient of the day, I am taken in before I have a chance to ask her more and I figure it’s better to ask the tech anyway. The radiologist technician glances briefly at my form and sprints off down the corridor with me struggling to keep up. He obviously wants to get out for the day because he’s saying all his introductory explanation spiel to me similar to the squirrel from Hoodwinked. When he comes up for air, I manage to talk.)

Me: “The form asked me if I am breastfeeding.”

Tech: *casually* “Yes, you can’t breastfeed.”

Me: *thinking over his poor choice of words*

Tech: “…are you breastfeeding?”

Me: “Yes, I am breastfeeding. I did ask about this when I booked the appointment. They said it’s fine.”

Tech: “We have to put the dye in you and it’s toxic so you can’t breastfeed for three days after the MRI.”

Me: “That doesn’t explain why they didn’t tell me this when I booked.”

Tech: *looks confused*

Me: “I asked reception today, too. She said it’s fine.”

Tech: “What would they know?”

Me: “Actually, I’d imagine they’d know who can and cannot come for an MRI since it’s their job to book and take appointments.”

Tech: “Oh, yeah, probably then. Well, I can’t answer for them but the dye is toxic. You can’t breastfeed for three days. So just don’t breastfeed and you’ll be all right.”

Me: “That’s okay. I will just reschedule.”

Tech: “Can’t you just stop for a few days?”

Me: *feeling pretty crappy* “I am sorry but I can’t just casually stop breastfeeding.”

Tech: “Just breastfeed more and store up milk for three days.”

Me: “…”

Tech: *cheerfully* “You know you can freeze it, right?”

Me: “It would take me at least a month to build up three days worth.”

Tech: “Okay, we’ll reschedule for a month. That will give you time.”

Me: “…”

Tech: *getting irritated* “Or, just go buy formula. It’s really not that bad.”

Me: “Of course formula isn’t bad, but that’s not the point. If I stop I might not be able to keep going at all.”

Tech: *getting angry* “Then go buy a pump and just throw it away for three days. But make sure you wash it properly because it’s toxic.”

(I am thinking this is not his business and I don’t want to talk about it, but also as I am now teetering on a cliff between furious and devastated, I go on.)

Me: “I need to physically feed her and I can’t just stop. Yes, I pump, but I need to do both. It’s not your business but I have been through too much to throw it away casually like you want me to. Forget the MRI. I am leaving.”

Tech: *cheerful as his work day has ended sooner than he expected* “No worries. We can book you in when you’re ready.”

Me: “Thanks, but I will go somewhere else, with properly trained staff who know what services they can and cannot provide and give proper information in an understanding way, when I am no longer breastfeeding.”

(I was temporarily impressed with my own ability to string more that three words together because I never stick up for myself and I was shaking like a leaf, and I made my way back down the maze like corridors without getting lost. I also managed to get my referral back from the receptionist who talked to the tech in front of me about how I couldn’t get the MRI because I am breastfeeding, to which the receptionist asked “so when do you want to rebook?” and I responded “like h*** I will be,” before leaving and getting in my car. I cried in the car and they never knew it. For that, I was thankful.)
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Old 10-14-2019   #125
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Oh The Eye-rony

Canada, Marriage & Partners, Ontario, Optometrist/Optician, Toronto | Healthy | November 19, 2017


(I walk into my optometrist’s office and find a new secretary. I’m curious about what happened to “Jane,” the last one, especially since “Jane” and the doctor were married! I’m the only one in the office right now so I decide to be nosey

Me: *after the preliminary sign in conversation* “So, Jane is no longer here?”

New Secretary: “No, she’s gone.”

Me: “I’m surprised considering her relationship with the Doctor.”

New Secretary: “It was all very awkward, Jane needed to start wearing glasses but she refused to. The doctor had to fire her because she was giving out the wrong prescriptions to people and messing up things like that.”

Me: “Ooh, that’s not good. Wait, she was married to an optometrist and worked in an optometrist’s office and refused to wear glasses?”

New Secretary: “Yup. I shouldn’t say this but I believe it was a case of vanity gone wrong. They’re getting divorced now, too.”

Me: “Gee, I wonder why?”
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Let’s Hope It Was A Clean Break

Australia, home, Ignoring & Inattentive, Queensland | Healthy | November 18, 2017


(Our two storey house has a lot of windows, many of them quite high up, so we use a window cleaning service. We’ve used the same guy every time. One day, he brings a coworker with him. He introduces me to the coworker, who responds to my greeting by saying curtly

Coworker: “Yeah, hi. Where are your taps? We need to get started.”

(I’m working in my home office, which is upstairs. I see the ladder resting against the side of the house and our window cleaner ascending it. He gives me a friendly smile and wave and right then, the ladder wobbles and he falls. I race outside and he’s lying on the grass unconscious. I rush into the house for the phone and as I do, I pass the coworker.)

Me: “[Window Cleaner] has just fallen from his ladder; he’s out cold! I’m calling an ambulance!”

Coworker: “You do that.”

(He doesn’t make a move to check on his colleague; he just carries on cleaning. I call the ambulance and rush back outside.)

Me: “Didn’t you hear what I said? [Window Cleaner] has had a bad fall. Why aren’t you checking on him?”

Coworker: “You just said you’d called the ambulance. What do you want me to do about it? Do you want your windows cleaned or not?!”

(I’m not about to stand there arguing with him and I rush round the house to open the gate for the paramedics and to stay with my window cleaner until they arrive. As they are assessing him he starts to come round, but is later revealed to have a broken ankle, a broken collarbone, and a concussion. After the paramedics have taken him away, I go back to the coworker.)

Me: “I think he’ll be okay. They’ve taken him to [Hospital]. Shouldn’t you follow the ambulance or let his wife know or SOMETHING?”

Coworker: *after a long pause in which he just stares at me* “That’ll be $160.00.”
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Using His Outdoor Voice Inside

Australia, Medical Office | Healthy | November 17, 2017


(I am opening the clinic, getting to work at 8:30 am when we open at 9:00 am. I am an avid believer of keeping the shutters closed and main lights off until I am completely ready to accept people. I leave the back-door unlocked for the remainder of staff to come in, as not everyone has a key. The back door has a ‘Staff Only’ sign. Walking around the department in the dark, paper-like bed sheets in my arms, I hear a strange yelling sound. Outside it is incredibly windy and the back door is unlocked so I assume it has something to do with that. While replacing toilet paper in the bathrooms, there is another yell. This time I poke my head out the back door and see nothing. I am finally behind the desk logging into the systems when a loud slamming sound makes me jump and in full view of the back room across the hall I see an unhappy older man march in. The lights are still off. The shutters out front are closed. There are no escape doors for me. The setting made it seem terrifying, but I really only stood there in shock. It is 8:40 am.)

Patient: *yelling as he walks up* “Your doors are closed! I have an appointment at nine!”

Me: “Y-Yes. We don’t open for another twenty minutes, sir.”

Patient: “I have an appointment! Do you expect me to wait outside in the cold? I’m not waiting outside!”

(I am still genuinely scared and consider calling the police because he is being very aggressive and I fear for my safety. Then I think, why is he not waiting in his car? Did he expect everyone to open twenty minutes early just because he was there?)

Me: “I’m not prepared to take anyone yet. That’s why everything is still closed. My computer hasn’t finished signing in.”

Patient: “FINE! I’ll wait here! I’m not waiting outside!”

(Still scared, but somewhat mad now, I left the desk and made myself busy. Then I went to the tea room and waited until 8:50. Meanwhile, the techs had come in with strange looks, wanting to know what the man’s situation was. After that, I returned, turned on the lights, and opened the shutters. His car was parked outside. Point of the story: patients genuinely scare staff when they get like this. When it comes to people’s health, they are capable of anything. I thought he was going to hit me!)
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Old 10-14-2019   #128
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It’s Our Morning Period

Arizona, Medical Office, Phoenix, USA | Healthy | November 17, 2017


(Our office is only open a half-day on Friday. This takes place at about 11:00 am.)

Patient: “So, today is your half-day, right?”

Me: “Right; we’re only open half the day on Fridays.”

Patient: “Are you open in the morning or the afternoon?”

Me: *looks around at the waiting room full of patients, including her* “Uh… Morning.”

Patient: “Oh, that would make sense.”
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Vets Need To Vet Their Pharmacists

New York, Pharmacy, USA, Vet | Healthy | November 17, 2017


(I take my sick dog to the vet and they don’t have the medicine he needs, so they send me to a store to pick it up from their pharmacy.)

Me: “Hi, I’m here to pick up medicine for my dog.”

Rep: “What’s the name?”

Me: “Well, my name is [My Name], but my dog is named Austin.”

Rep: “The medicine is for Austin? What’s Austin’s date of birth?”

Me: “I honestly don’t know what they would have for that; he is a rescue.”

Rep: “Do you have a phone number for Austin?”

Me: “My number is [number].”

Rep: “I don’t need your number. I need the patient’s number.”

Me: “He’s a golden retriever. He doesn’t have a number.”

Rep: “Look, I need information or I can’t give you anything. I can’t even find the prescription.”

Me: “It was called in by [Vet Hospital, with ‘Veterinary’ in the name].”

(The rep yells to the people behind him

Rep: “Did we get a call from a [Vet Hospital, but without the word ‘Veterinary’]?”

(I try to correct him, but he brushes me off and the other employees tell him no.)

Rep: “Look, try talking to someone at the drop off window. Right now, you can’t prove you even have a prescription.”

Me: “I don’t have a prescription, but my dog, Austin, does from his veterinarian.”

(The rep glares at me and points to the drop off window. I go over.)

Me: “Hi, I’m here to pick up medicine for my dog, Austin, that my veterinarian called in.”

Drop-Off Pharmacist: “I have that here. What’s your phone number so I can verify?” *I provide it* “Okay, our customer service rep at the main register will check you out.”

(I get back in the first line with the same rep.)

Rep: “What’s this? They found it? Well, I still need you to verify Austin’s information, or call him to get it.”

Me: “Again, Austin is a dog. See? The medicine is listed for veterinary; there’s even a picture of a dog on the package.”

Rep: “Okay, you need to talk to the pharmacist.”

(He puts the medicine on the back counter. I wait five minutes and the pharmacist comes out.)

Pharmacist: “What questions do you have?”

Me: “None, actually. The vet said just to give him a pill twice a day.”

Pharmacist: “Okay. [Rep], why did you call me up?”

Rep: “Is it even legal to give this to her? She doesn’t have the patient’s information.”

Pharmacist: “The patient is a dog. It’s fine.”

Rep: “A dog? Who needs medicine for a dog? Whatever, here.”

(He hands me the bag with the medication.)

Me: “I haven’t paid.”

Rep: “Yeah, you did; I rang you out.”

Me: “No.”

Pharmacist: “This wasn’t paid for. Let me personally ring you out over here. I’m going to write down my information and the name of the other employee who helped you. If you have any questions, comments, or complaints, please send them to this email address. Please send them. We need to have a certain number of complaints before we can let an employee go.”
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Screaming For A New Nurse

Hospital, Mississippi, USA | Healthy | November 16, 2017


(This occurs when I am 19 years old, and in the hospital giving birth. I am a fairly tiny person, my baby is pretty huge, and I’m in my 23rd hour of labor, so you can see how I might be stressed out. The first time I let out a pained scream…)

Nurse: *disgustedly* “You know the screaming doesn’t actually help, right?”

(My mom and boyfriend gawk at her.)

Boyfriend: “Are you kidding? Did you seriously just say that?”

Nurse: *defensively* “Look, I’m just saying that it’s 3:00 am; people are trying to sleep. She’s being really loud.”

Mom: “GET THE F*** OUT OF HERE!”

(She huffed and walked out of the room without a word, leaving another nurse to scramble in to help. I saw her a few more times during my stay, and thankfully she kept her mouth shut.)
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