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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 10-18-2019   #221
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Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 3

Fast Food, Jerk | Right | February 26, 2013


(I arrive at work an hour and a half early because I forgot what time I start. I decide to sit in the lobby and have lunch before my shift. I notice that the trash can is in dire need of being emptied and that the front counter is busier than usual. I start to tie the bag up, when a customer screeches at me.)

Customer: “What do you think you’re doing?”

Me: “Just changing the garbage, ma’am. It was full to overflowing and it was too busy for someone to leave their post and do it.”

Customer: “You don’t have to do that, young man! You’re not one of these dropouts that lives in their parent’s basements who can’t do anything better with their lives! What are you taking?”

Me: “I’m planning on becoming an licensed practical nurse. But, ma’am, I don’t just go to school. I work to pay my bills. As a matter of fact, I live in a condo my mother owns. She does not live with me, and I pay rent to her. I pay for my electricity, my Internet, and my heating. How do I earn the money for this, you ask?”

(At this point I remove my hat from my bag, put it on and remove my coat, revealing that I am dressed in my work uniform.)

Me: “I work here, taking whatever hours I can get. A student without anything on their resume will take any job they can. ”

(I point to one of my coworkers who is mopping the floors at the back of the store.)

Me: “She’s a neuroscience student. Just like me she has bills to pay. In the future, please remember that people who work in fast food are not always drop outs, but more often than not students trying to fund their education. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take out this trash, unless you would like me to help extract your foot from your mouth first.”

(Flustered and obviously embarrassed, the customer leaves the store in a hurry. My manager, who is also a classmate of mine, speaks with me once I return from the dumpsters.)

Manager: “Technically, you could be fired for badmouthing a customer while on the job like that.”

Me: “Technically, I’m not working right now! I haven’t clocked in, and my shift’s not for another half hour.”

Manager: “Well then, brave citizen, how does free apple pie sound?”

(I accepted, of course. You just don’t say no to free pie!)
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Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 2

Restaurant | Right | February 8, 2013


(I am out to breakfast with some friends from work.)

Me: “Excuse me, do you know if the cook uses milk to make the omelets or just eggs?”

Waitress: “Just eggs. Are you allergic to milk?”

Me: “No, but I am lactose intolerant and I forgot to bring my meds.”

(We all order our food. However, after the waitress leaves, I overhear someone from the table next to us asking for a manager.)

Other Customer: *loudly* “I want to complain about that waitress. I heard her interrogating that poor woman about her personal medical issues! I’m a doctor and I know you can’t just ask people about things like that! It’s against the law! She could sue you!”

Me: *to the other customer* “Excuse me, before things get out of hand here, I’m the person she’s talking about. First of all, our waitress asked if I had an allergy to milk. It was a good question considering I made a point of asking if some of your foods have milk in it. If I was really allergic, the kitchen would have to take extra precautions to avoid anaphylaxis. Secondly, there’s no such law that I know of unless you’re talking about the laws in place to protect your private health information from being accessed by other people without your permission. I don’t see how those would apply in this case.”

Other Customer: “What the h*** are you talking about? What are you, some kind of lawyer, smarta**?”

My Friend: “No, ‘doctor,’ she’s some kind of nurse.”

(We all pulled out our hospital IDs. The “doctor” shut up after that. The manager thanked us for clearing things up and left, and our waitress gave us a free round of cheesecake with a free lactose-free muffin for me!)
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Why Nurses Should Rule The World

Adorable Children, Medical Office, Nurse | Right | October 29, 2012


(My five-year-old son has received a serious injury to his eye. After a pediatrician recommends us to an eye doctor, we are referred to a specialist that works out of a university two hours away from home.)

Nurse: “These are all the contact numbers you should need. I also went online for some directions, and called ahead to let them know it should only be a few hours.”

Son: “I don’t want to.”

Nurse: “What’s the matter?”

Son: *visibly getting upset* “I’m scared.”

Nurse: “But you’ve been so brave this whole time! How about this: if you go see the new doctor, I’ll give you my phone number and you can call me if you get too upset, okay?”

(The nurse writes down her work extension and cell phone number on a piece of paper and adds it to my paperwork, insisting that I feel free to call if I have any problems or questions. My son stays calm all the way to the university and through the appointment with the specialist until we’re told he’s going to need surgery. Crying and upset, he begs me to call the nurse from the clinic.)

Me: *on the phone* “I’m so sorry to bother you, I know you’re still working, but he’s really upset and asked to talk to you.”

(I put the phone on speakerphone so my son, crying on the exam table, can hear.)

Nurse: “Hey, buddy! What’s wrong?”

Son: *crying* “The doctor here wants to give me surgery!”

Nurse: “There’s nothing wrong with that. It’ll make your eye all better. You’ll be able to see again, like we talked about.”

Son: “But I’m scared! It’s going to hurt!”

Nurse: “Of course it’s not going to hurt. That nice doctor wouldn’t hurt you!”

Son: “Have you been given surgeries?”

Nurse: “Yeah, kiddo, a few.”

Son: “And you came back to life?”

Nurse: “Every single time.”

Son: “Promise?”

Nurse: “Swear.”

(My son has calmed down considerably throughout the conversation, and there’s not a dry eye in the room.)

Son: “Okay…”

Nurse: “See? I knew you were brave.”

Son: “Thank you! Love you!”

Nurse: *laughing* “Love you, too.”

(I thanked the nurse a thousand times, and she insisted I call her ASAP to let her know how the surgery went. Later that day, she texted us a picture of herself and her family with a ‘GET WELL SOON’ sign they made for my son!)
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Making Some Piercing Assumptions

Health & Body, Medical Office, Parents/Guardians, USA | Healthy | October 23, 2017


(My mother and I are out for lunch on my twentieth birthday. I’ve been wanting to get my navel pierced for a while, so when we pass a tattoo and piercing parlor I go in to check it out. It’s very clean and on the up and up, so Mom offers to pay for the piercing right then and there, and we get it done. Around this same time, I have to go in for an MRI on my right knee to see why it’s hurting so much lately. Mom and I are currently attending the same college, so I’m living at home to save money. Mom drives me to the appointment. She brings her homework and spreads it out all over the table and the surrounding seats, as there are a lot of seats and almost no people.)

Doctor: “[My Last Name]?”

Me: *jumping up* “Right here!”

(Mom begins to pack up her schoolwork.)

Me: *quickly* “Oh, no, that’s fine; you don’t need to come back! Just keep working on your project.”

Mom: *laughs* “I keep forgetting you’re an adult now.”

(I go back with the doctor and, all of a sudden, remember that I’m now pierced.)

Me: “Oh. Oh, jeeze.”

Doctor: “What?”

Me: “Well… see, I know the rules about MRIs and metal, but I just realized that I have a fresh piercing that I can’t take out yet… uh… this is going to be a problem, isn’t it?”

Doctor: “Not if we only scan your knee. May I see it?”

(I lift up my shirt to show him my piercing.)

Doctor: “Are you cleaning it?”

Me: “Twice a day with soap, water, and hydrogen peroxide.”

Doctor: *starts going through his desk* “We get a lot of kids with piercings that they don’t take care of and it can get real ugly, you know.”

Me: “Oh, I know. I got my ears done when I was six. And eight.”

(The doctor gives me a handful of individually wrapped sanitary wipes.)

Doctor: “Here, you can use these to keep the area clean.” *pause* “So, does your mother know about the piercing?”

Me: “What? Oh! Yes; yes, she does. She’s the one who got it for me. I only told her to stay because I didn’t want her to have to pack everything up, that’s all.”

(The doctor looks suspicious.)

Me: “Honest!”

(I change into the hospital gown and the procedure goes well. I get a little more lecturing about how to clean a piercing, and to always make sure to go to a reputable place that uses sterile equipment, before the doctor leads me out. When we’re both in the waiting room, I turn to Mom.)

Me: “Hey, Mom, tell the doctor who bought my navel piercing.”

Mom: “Um… I did?”

(The doctor laughed. Then believed me, and sent me home to await the results.)
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Allergic To Your Attitude

England, Medical Office, Teenagers, UK | Healthy | October 23, 2017


(I have an itchy, raised lump on my leg, surrounded by a rash that is not getting better, so I go to see my doctor. I am 22.)

Doctor: “It looks to me like an allergy. I’ll give you these [Allergy Tablets] and if it is not better in a few days, come back.”

Me: “Don’t those tablets contain cetirizine dihydrochloride? I’m allergic to it.”

Doctor: “Don’t be ridiculous! Cetirizine dihydrochloride STOPS allergies. It’s impossible to be allergic to it!”

Me: “I was diagnosed by the allergy clinic at [Hospital]. It should be on my file? I know it sounds counter intuitive but I was tested for every ingredient in the tablets and that is the only one that came back positive. I can’t take it.”

Doctor: “You CANNOT be allergic to it. That isn’t physically possible.”

Me: “I took a hay fever tablet with cetirizine dihydrochloride in it and had a rash on my face and my neck. I was referred to the allergy clinic and they said that’s what caused it.”

Doctor: “I know you’re just trying to be special, but fine, I’ll look.”

(The doctor looks at my file and finds the letter saying I’m allergic to cetirizine dihydrochloride. He then prints and signs the prescription and gives it to me.)

Doctor: *leans right in to my face* “Just take the tablets and stop making such a fuss! You little girls, you stupid BABIES, and your little made up illnesses. Teenagers! Can’t do anything, the idiots. Get a grip and take the tablets. It is impossible to be allergic to the medication that stops allergies. Grow up and stop wasting my time!”

(I took the prescription as proof and reported what happened to the receptionist, who was very angry at the doctor. The doctor was reported to the GMC (General Medical Council). Another doctor treated my itchy leg without giving me cetirizine dihydrochloride. I was eventually diagnosed with a bee-sting allergy.)
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The Puppy Is Cat-ching On

home, Illinois, Inspirational, Pets & Animals, USA | Healthy Related | September 18, 2017


One of my friends works for the local vet’s office. It’s a small town with no animal shelter, so if strays are found, the vet will usually take them for a few days until they can find the owner, or place them in a home. My friend knew we’d lost our dog a few months before, and called me up one day to say that they’d just been brought a litter of stray puppies that they needed to find homes for, and if my family wanted one, she’d bring one over that night.

My family talked it over, and even though we weren’t really ready to move on from our other dog’s death, we knew the vet’s office would have trouble finding homes for a full litter of puppies and didn’t have the room to take care of them, and decided it was better for us to take one. So, that night, my friend brought over a tiny golden retriever puppy.

She’d warned us that the puppies they’d found were too young to be away from the mother, which is part of why they were so worried about being able to find good homes for them, but we hadn’t realized just how young they were until she showed up. We fed and cleaned the puppy and made a bed for her where she’d be warm, but the poor thing was clearly stressed out, and started crying as soon as we walked away. We were worried that we’d have to stay up with her all night, when our rather elderly male cats, who’d been very curious about the new arrival, decided to step in.

After sniffing her and touching noses, both of our cats decided that this tiny little thing was probably some kind of strange kitten, and it was their job to take care of her. They curled up on either side of her and started grooming her, and the puppy immediately stopped crying, and snuggled in. My dad had set an alarm to remind him to get up and feed her, but shortly before the alarm went off, one of the cats came and woke him up. For the week or so after that, the cats continued to let us know when the puppy needed to be fed or taken outside, until she was old enough to eat solid food and let us know herself.

As the puppy grew up, the cats continued to take care of her. They taught her how to go up and down stairs, how to find the best spots to nap in the sun, that she should stay away from the road, to come when the humans called her, how to groom herself, and where the treats were kept. The puppy never did get the hang of climbing trees, but she’s surprisingly adept at stalking mice and chipmunks!

The cats were a bonded pair, and they died within a few months of each other when the puppy was three. A few years later, she found our kitten, and happily carried on what her foster parents had started, cuddling and comforting the new arrival and teaching her all the important things. So, our dog thinks she’s a cat. Our cat thinks she’s a dog. Our animals may be a little confused, but they all get along beautifully, and no one seems to mind when the new kitten plays fetch!
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That Is ‘Pretty’ Awesome

Adorable Children, Australia, Awesome Workers, Health & Body, Inspirational, Melbourne, Photography Studio, Victoria | Healthy Related Right | August 15, 2017


(I am a photographer running a studio in the inner city. We are well known for our children’s portraits, and we range from high-end portraits for modelling jobs to fun sibling photos and birth announcements. We do a bit of everything; as such, we are extremely busy, and it states on our website that we do not accept walk-ins. We are usually booked up six months in advance. One day, ten minutes before closing, a mum walks in with a young girl around six or seven behind her. I internally groan.)

Mother: “Hello. I know you’re closing soon, but I have a special favour to ask.”

(At this point the little girl peeks around her mother’s legs and I’m lost for words. Under her thick winter coat and hat, she is skeletally thin with huge dark circles under her eyes. From what I can tell, she has no hair, and a tube taped to her cheek that feeds into her nose. It is immediately clear this kid is very, very sick.)

Mother: *near tears* “My daughter saw one of your photos taped to the wall at the hospital. She REALLY loves unicorns and the photo had a girl photo-shopped onto a horse. I know you’re booked up, and it’s months before the next appointment, but…”

(At this point she actually starts crying. I realise that our next available appointment is probably way too far away for this particular kid. The little girl squeezes her mother’s hand. I am a very big dude, covered in tattoos and a beard, but I’m not ashamed to say I needed a minute before I spoke.)

Me: “Aww, that’s just for regular customers! I’ve been waiting all day to take a photo of someone as beautiful as you! What’s your name, sweetheart?”

(I lock the front door and spend the next three hours taking photos of this kid in every princess costume I have in my closet. She is the sweetest, most well-behaved kid I have ever worked with. Once we’re done she curls up on the couch in my office and falls asleep while I load up the photos for her mum to see and choose the ones she likes best, and ask her what kind of retouching she’d like done. She’s adamant that I leave her daughter as is — apparently the little girl has been worried for the past month that she is no longer “pretty.”)

Me: “All right, so we’ve settled on these. I can have them edited and all finished in two days. If you give me your email I can send you the link to the website and the password to download them when they’re ready.”

(The mother thanks me over and over and comes up front, carrying her sleeping daughter, and holds out her credit card.)

Me: “Nope. No way.”

Mother: “Please, I insist. You stayed open so late and your shoots are listed for [amount] online. Please at least charge me that.

Me: “Absolutely not. I am not taking money for this. No way in h***.”

(A few days later I send the link through and hear nothing. I see she’s downloaded the photos and I think nothing of it, hoping my sweet little friend loved her photos. Almost six months later I’m once again closing up when a very familiar face pops up at my window, grinning and waving frantically.)

Me: *throwing open the door* “Hey, you!”

Little Girl: “Hi! I’m better! Look, I’m better!”

(Sure enough, she’d put on some weight, was flushed and pink, and had a fine fuzz of hair over her head. Her mother was a few steps behind her, grinning. She once again tried to force an envelope full of money into my hand, and again I refused. She got frustrated and eventually in her exasperation said, “at least let us take you to dinner!” which I happily accepted. Seven years later that photo of a sick little girl astride a giant pink unicorn is in a frame in my lounge room. My now-step-daughter groans every time I point it out to the friends she brings home!)
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Old 10-19-2019   #228
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That Is ‘Pretty’ Awesome

Adorable Children, Australia, Awesome Workers, Health & Body, Inspirational, Melbourne, Photography Studio, Victoria | Healthy Related Right | August 15, 2017


(I am a photographer running a studio in the inner city. We are well known for our children’s portraits, and we range from high-end portraits for modelling jobs to fun sibling photos and birth announcements. We do a bit of everything; as such, we are extremely busy, and it states on our website that we do not accept walk-ins. We are usually booked up six months in advance. One day, ten minutes before closing, a mum walks in with a young girl around six or seven behind her. I internally groan.)

Mother: “Hello. I know you’re closing soon, but I have a special favour to ask.”

(At this point the little girl peeks around her mother’s legs and I’m lost for words. Under her thick winter coat and hat, she is skeletally thin with huge dark circles under her eyes. From what I can tell, she has no hair, and a tube taped to her cheek that feeds into her nose. It is immediately clear this kid is very, very sick.)

Mother: *near tears* “My daughter saw one of your photos taped to the wall at the hospital. She REALLY loves unicorns and the photo had a girl photo-shopped onto a horse. I know you’re booked up, and it’s months before the next appointment, but…”

(At this point she actually starts crying. I realise that our next available appointment is probably way too far away for this particular kid. The little girl squeezes her mother’s hand. I am a very big dude, covered in tattoos and a beard, but I’m not ashamed to say I needed a minute before I spoke.)

Me: “Aww, that’s just for regular customers! I’ve been waiting all day to take a photo of someone as beautiful as you! What’s your name, sweetheart?”

(I lock the front door and spend the next three hours taking photos of this kid in every princess costume I have in my closet. She is the sweetest, most well-behaved kid I have ever worked with. Once we’re done she curls up on the couch in my office and falls asleep while I load up the photos for her mum to see and choose the ones she likes best, and ask her what kind of retouching she’d like done. She’s adamant that I leave her daughter as is — apparently the little girl has been worried for the past month that she is no longer “pretty.”)

Me: “All right, so we’ve settled on these. I can have them edited and all finished in two days. If you give me your email I can send you the link to the website and the password to download them when they’re ready.”

(The mother thanks me over and over and comes up front, carrying her sleeping daughter, and holds out her credit card.)

Me: “Nope. No way.”

Mother: “Please, I insist. You stayed open so late and your shoots are listed for [amount] online. Please at least charge me that.

Me: “Absolutely not. I am not taking money for this. No way in h***.”

(A few days later I send the link through and hear nothing. I see she’s downloaded the photos and I think nothing of it, hoping my sweet little friend loved her photos. Almost six months later I’m once again closing up when a very familiar face pops up at my window, grinning and waving frantically.)

Me: *throwing open the door* “Hey, you!”

Little Girl: “Hi! I’m better! Look, I’m better!”

(Sure enough, she’d put on some weight, was flushed and pink, and had a fine fuzz of hair over her head. Her mother was a few steps behind her, grinning. She once again tried to force an envelope full of money into my hand, and again I refused. She got frustrated and eventually in her exasperation said, “at least let us take you to dinner!” which I happily accepted. Seven years later that photo of a sick little girl astride a giant pink unicorn is in a frame in my lounge room. My now-step-daughter groans every time I point it out to the friends she brings home!)
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Getting Hysterectical

Bad Behavior, Canada, Employees, Health & Body, Hospital | Healthy | June 25, 2017


(I got a hysterectomy because I hate my period and never want to have children. When I wake up from the anaesthetic, there’s a nurse standing over my bed.)

Nurse: “Don’t you ever want kids?”

(That was literally the first thing she said. I thought of so many responses later, but at the time I was too stunned and groggy to say anything. Also: period-free life is awesome. 10/10 highly recommend.)
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The Importance Of Life-Saving Sandwiches

Family & Kids, Health & Body, Inspirational | Healthy Working | April 27, 2017


I work at a large mine in an isolated area. As a member of our Technical Rescue Team, I have been called many times to assist the local sheriff’s Search and Rescue.

One day in late May, when wildfires less than 20 miles away are suffusing the air with smoke, we receive a page to proceed to a canyon near the state line. This canyon has a highway carved into a steep rock wall, with the debris pushed down into the chasm. In the past, our team had been called to the area to remove the remains of drivers who crashed through the guardrails, so we are ready for the worst.

When we arrive, the SO officers tell us a father and his three sons have “hiked” to the bottom of the canyon and are stranded. They actually scrambled down approximately 600 feet of broken rock, and then found that climbing back up was impossible. It is after 5:00 pm when we arrive.

By the time we manage to get rescuers to the bottom and formulate an extraction plan, darkness has set in. I am the first down, making contact and bringing water and flashlights. Other team members follow close behind, and we move the group (father with sons 6, 7, and 9 years old) to the raise point. One of the team members brought a backpack with sandwiches, granola bars, and water. The boys agree to wait for the sandwiches until we reach the top and gobble up the granola bars (I’ll admit, the one I had was the best ever).

The trip back up the fractured rock pile takes nearly two hours, most of the time at least partially suspended on the main-line rope. There are several small incidents (lost cell phones and tennis shoes, rolling rocks, etc.) on the way up, but topping out and disconnecting was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. The family is rushed to a waiting ambulance for evaluation, and my team leader and incident commander examine the other rescuers and me carefully before allowing us to stow our gear and get ready to leave.

I remembered that I had the sunglasses of one of the children in my pack, so I went to the back of the ambulance and opened the door to return them. That’s when the youngest asked, in one of the smallest, most plaintive voices I’ve ever heard, “But what about our sandwiches?”

When we drove away into the dawn, the father and three boys were standing in front of the ambulance eating sandwiches.
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