Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Doctor Will Be With You Shortly

SS: "Hi, sir. My name is Second Shift, I'm one of the techs. I'm going to get you changed into a gown, hooked up to the monitor, and run an EKG while we're waiting for the nurse and doctor to step in. We'll see if we can help you out with your [non-life threatening condition]."

Pt's wife: "We called ahead. Why isn't Dr. Bigwig waiting for us? You need to page Dr. Bigwig for a consult stat, and he needs this this and that done right away, and here's a list of labs he needs drawn immediately."

SS: "Okay, that's something you'll want to speak with the doctor about. In the meantime, sir, I'm going to help you change and get you all connected."

Pt's wife: "I'm sorry, you must not understand. I'm not some average family member... I'm on faculty at the med school."

SS: "Oh, that's nice. I'm still going to change him into a gown, put him on the monitor, and get an EKG."

Look, I don't care if you're the bloody Queen of England, I'm just a tech. Every patient arriving in the critical care area gets and EKG and thrown on an monitor. People who get paid my hourly rate don't order procedures or consult Dr. Bigwig. That's the job of the person in the white coat. She'll be with you as soon as she's done intubating the dying person in the next bed.

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