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Antique Typewriter - HC update 14

Healthcare Update — 03-07-2016

“VA suicide hotline. Your call is very important to us. Please leave a message after the beep.”  Data provided to USA Today shows that up to 1 in 5 calls to a VA suicide crisis hotline was dropped or sent to voice mail. One veteran from Illinois allegedly killed himself by laying on train tracks after being unable to reach someone on the hotline. Want to get the munchies? Pull an all-nighter. Study shows that those with “restricted sleep” (4.5 ...

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Dear Diary 2

Dear Diary #21

So, diary, it’s been almost a month since my last post. I keep writing things down to post about, then when I make time to actually sit down and write the posts, something comes up – almost without fail. I’ve had five days off of work and today – the night before a string of shifts – I finally have a little time while the family is out doing errands. This whole 2016 year has been quite trying. I already ...

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Angry Man

That Hesitation When …

… a patient’s family member comes up to you and asks “Hey. You’re Dr. WhiteCoat, aren’t you? Didn’t you work at University Medical Center like 6 or 7 years ago?” You casually look to see if there are any weapons in his hand and, seeing none, you cautiously say “Yeah.” Then the family member says “I thought that was you. Yeah. You’re a good doctor. You saved my father’s life. He talked about you up until he died a couple ...

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Patient Encounters

Choose "C"

In case anyone was wondering, I am a rude racist doctor who discriminates against poor people and who has no idea how to provide medical care for children. This message was transmitted to the emergency department nurse, the nursing supervisor, the Director of Patient Affairs, and the secretary to the hospital CEO. Want to know why? I didn’t write a prescription for over-the-counter antifungal cream to treat a 3 week old case of ringworm on a 13 year old patient. ...

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Sign of The Times

The comment thread just died down on the post about filming the birth of babies. Then a real-life example occurs in our emergency department. Tell me that the following scenario would have even taken place five years ago: A patient’s mother completely freaked out on one of our nurses because her child wasn’t getting Demerol for her chronic back pain. So she holds her iPhone up to the nurse’s face and says … “Smile, bitch, you’re going on YouTube!” I ...

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Glad I Could Help

A mother brings her 9 year old son into emergency department. The chief complaint on the chart was “red lips.” The young man sitting on the bed did indeed have red lips. Nothing else appeared wrong. The mother stated “He has chapped lips.” Yes. Yes he does. Petroleum jelly works great. Just ask Suzy Chapstik. “You need to tell him to stop licking his lips.” “Excuse me?” “I want you to tell him to stop licking his lips. He’s making ...

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The Diesel Fitter

I took care of a patient who was a pipefitter and which reminded me of another patient I had long long ago. I looked back through the blog and never mentioned this story before, so here it is. The patient was rather intoxicated and he said that he had hurt his leg at work. So naturally I asked him what kind of work he does. “I’m a diesel fitter.” “You mean a pipe fitter?” “No, a diesel fitter.” “Well what ...

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