Shop Around


So, I knew it was going to be a long day ending most likely with the drinking of several alcoholic beverages when early in the day I had the following conversation:

Me:  Good morning, Ms. Smith.  What brings you to Central Hospital today?

Patient:  I’ve had an abscess drained, and I think I have another one.

Me:  When were you here last so I can look at the dictation and see what they did?

Patient:  Oh, I was at Eastside Hospital.  They set up a visiting nurse and everything.  She said the wound looked redder than usual so I should be seen right away.

Me:  Ok, so, um, why didn’t you go back to Eastside Hospital?

Patient:  Well the nurses there weren’t very nice.  No one offered me ice chips or a pillow or anything.  Plus this hospital is right down the street from where I live.

Me:  I see.  Well this wound looks pretty good, and the red stuff on the wound is healing tissue which is normal especially when you’re doing wet to dry dressing changes.

Patient:  I thought so, but the doctor at Northside Hospital told me to watch for increased redness because it could mean infection.

Me:  Northside?

Patient:  Yeah, I went there when my abscess first started.  But, I didn’t like the way the greeter looked at me when I left, so I didn’t go back there.

Me:  Well I think this is going to be ok.  Who’s your primary doctor?

Patient: [Blank stare]

Me:  Do you have a doctor you see in clinic on a regular basis?

Patient:  I did, but he quit and I am supposed to get a new one when my state funds kick back in.

Me:  So, who is going to follow up with your care?

Patient: [blank stare]

Me:  Ok.. so, um, what else can I do for you today?

Patient:  The opioid-analgesic pain pills I got at Southside Hospital two weeks ago don’t really work for my type of pain.  My friend gave me some of her oxy-somethings which really helped.  Can you write me a script for some of those?

Me: [blank stare]

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