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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 11-06-2019   #611
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Your Plan Doesn’t Have A Leg To Stand On

Florida, Hospital, USA | Healthy | November 1, 2017


(My aunt is pregnant with my cousin after years of miscarriages and a stillbirth. She’s at one of her ultrasounds when the doctor notices something weird.)

Doctor: “I think your baby is malformed.”

Aunt: “What are you talking about?”

Doctor: “I mean she isn’t developing properly. She might be born disfigured.”

Aunt: “How bad are we talking? She’s not going to die, is she?”

Doctor: “I can’t tell for certain, but it looks like she’s missing a leg.”

Aunt: “What?! What do you mean my baby is missing a leg?!”

Doctor: “I mean unless it’s hidden somewhere, it’s gone.”

(Over the next few weeks the doctor subtly implied over and over again that she should terminate the pregnancy due to the malformation. She ended up switching doctors when he got fed up and straight up told her to terminate because apparently allowing a child to exist with a deformity was akin to abuse. When she gave birth, my cousin indeed only had one leg. She learned how to walk with a prosthetic at a very young age and is now 23, athletic, and happy, and you wouldn’t know she only had one leg if she didn’t show you her prosthetic. We’re all still horrified that the doctor thought terminating her in the name of “protecting” her was the only course of action, especially after my aunt and uncle had suffered so many previous losses.)
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Old 11-06-2019   #612
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When Collecting Becomes A Disease

Canada, Hospital, Ontario | Healthy | November 1, 2017


(I’m the weird one here. I’m speaking to my doctor about getting caught up on my vaccines.)

Doctor: “So, what brings you in today?”

Me: *off the top of my head* “I have measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and meningitis. Should I get hepatitis or HPV next?”

Doctor: *giving me a strange look* “I’m sorry, what do you mean?”

Me: *realizing how I just worded that* “VACCINES! I want to get all my immunizations.”
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Old 11-06-2019   #613
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Hard To Swallow That He Doesn’t Realize

Medical Office, New York, Rude & Risque, USA | Healthy | November 1, 2017


(I am getting X-rays done because I’m going to have a procedure done soon. Beforehand they make you drink this thick gooey liquid that supposedly makes it easier to take the X-rays. Before the doctor comes in, the nurse is asking me some preliminary questions.)

Nurse: “Do you have any difficulty swallowing?”

(Being as immature as I am, I have to try really hard to contain my laughter in order to answer no. Then the doctor comes in

Doctor: “Do you have any difficulty swallowing?”

(I try really hard not to laugh and say no.)

Doctor: “Are you sure? I’m gonna give you this thick liquid to swallow; it’s gonna feel a little slimy as it goes down your throat.”

(I can’t help it and crack up.)

Doctor: “Oooookay, I guess I’m going to have to describe this a different way. You’re the fifth person today that laughs when I explain this process, and that’s not even including the new nurse in training.”
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Old 11-06-2019   #614
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The Workforce Is Strong With This One

Drug Store, Pharmacy | Healthy | October 31, 2017


(We have a giant inflatable ghost on display for Halloween. It doesn’t quite sit right and tends to lean to the side, so we frequently adjust it.)

Coworker: “[My name]! The ghost is falling again.”

Me: “Okay…”

(We spend about five minutes fiddling with it, until we get it to sit up right.)

Coworker: “Oh, no. His ascot got flipped backwards.”

(We proceed to grab boxes and stick-like things, trying to flip the ascot back around to no avail.)

Me: “OH! I’ve got it!”

(I run away with no explanation and return with a toy extendable lightsaber. I make the “vwing” noise and I flick it and extend the lightsaber. I succeed in straightening the ghost’s tie on the first attempt.)

Coworker: “…You just fixed the ascot of an inflatable ghost with a lightsaber.”

Me: “I love this job.”
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Old 11-06-2019   #615
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He’ll Be In The Afterlife After The Birth

Hospital | Healthy | October 31, 2017


(It is Halloween. The hospital staff have put up decorations, but they’re minimal. I’m trying to wheel a patient who is in labor, to the room she was assigned, along with her husband.)

Patient’s Husband: “We should put her in the room with the witch hanging over the door.”

Me: “I’m sorry. That room’s actually a different size. I’m supposed to take you to room 79.”

Patient’s Husband: “But that room has a ghost. She wants a witch.”

Me: “The only room we have with that decoration is half the size of this one, and doesn’t have all the same equipment in it. This is the room you paid for.”

Patient’s Husband: “It has to be a witch. She’s been real nasty all week.”

(As she hears her husband say this, the wife is looking less and less pleased. She is a week overdue, and has been in for false labor pains the past two weeks.)

Me: “That’s interesting, but there aren’t any decorations inside the room anyway. What is inside this room is a much wider space for the doctor and nurses to provide her with better care.”

Patient’s Husband: “She wants a witch, so put her in the room with the witch.”

(Finally, the patient has had enough and speaks up.)

Patient: “Shut up. I want to get this kid out in whatever room the people who know what they’re doing think is best, you dumb troll!”
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Old 11-06-2019   #616
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The Trouble With Trekkies

Clinic | Healthy | October 31, 2017


(During Halloween at my clinic, my boss allows us to dress up a little. Being a Star Trek fan, I wear a Starfleet medical uniform and download a Star Trek soundboard app on my phone.)

Patient: “Hello, sir, I am [name] and I’m here to see Dr. [name].”

Me: “Oh, yes, I have you here right on time. Just have a seat and we’ll call you soon.”

Patient: “Well, while you’re here, I don’t suppose you can scan me with your tricorder to see?”

Me: “Well, if you want me to!”

(I open my soundboard and start playing the tricorder sound as I start scanning him.)

Patient: “Hahaha! Oh, my god! I am laughing so hard, my chest is hurting!”

Coworker: “[My name], you’re such a nerd.”

Me: “I believe that goes with the uniform I’m wearing.”
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Old 11-06-2019   #617
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How To Expline This To You

Australia, Hospital, Language & Words | Healthy | October 30, 2017


(Making bookings for patients is very easy. All I need is name, phone, modality, body part, and doctor name. I’ve been on the phone for a few minutes, the patient telling me a rather detailed explanation why she needs a scan of her back, yet not telling me anything I need to know. I’m polite, don’t interrupt, but I am spending too much time on this call and my coworker needs help with patients lined up.)

Me: “Okay. That doesn’t sound good. Did your doctor want an x-ray, ultrasound, or CT?”

Patient: “Scan of my back. My back.”

Me: “On your form your doctor gave you, did they write X.R., C.T. or U.S. anywhere?”

anguMe: “The paper the doctor gave you. Can you read it to me?”

Patient: “I have a paper. It says nothing.”

Me: *still very polite* “It doesn’t have your name on it? Not the doctor’s name and signature?”

Patient: “Yes. My name is [Patient].”

Me: *I can’t take it down until I know what they need and what room to start in, so I make a mental note for later* “Okay. Now the paper has nothing on it?” *I know it’s repetitive, but I have to confirm for what I have to say next if it’s true*

Patient: “Nothing. There’s nothing!”

Me: “Okay. So that means it’s invalid. You’d need to go to the doctors and get him to write you a referral.”

Patient: “It’s here!” *she’s now livid* ‘No! No. No. It says here!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Patient: “It says X.R. spline—” *yes, s.p.l.i.n.e.* “—Lubosac; my back!”

(I gathered it was an x-ray lumbosacral spine, but don’t you just love how information materialises?)
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Radiating Pure Incompetence

Health & Body, Office, Text/Chat/Email, UK | Healthy | October 30, 2017


(I work for the safety department overseeing several sites that my company is working on. I mainly focus on radiation exposure. We receive daily reports of exposure for all men working in radioactive areas with personal dosimeters that record in real time. Each site has one person who collates the information before passing it on. One site has recently had to employ a new person. He has sent the information through and I notice a problem. I reply to his email.)

Me: “[Person], is this information correct?”

Person: “Yes. It is correct.”

Me: “Okay. I thought I would check as many of your workers have far exceeded the legal limit in just one day. Has there been an incident?”

Person: “No. No incident. The information is correct. I have checked with dosimetry on site, and they confirm.”

(I don’t believe him, so I email the safety manager on site just to double check, but he doesn’t respond. I decide to pry further.)

Me: “[Person], can I assume that the workers have been sent home with pay? I will need to report this.”

Person: “No. They’re still working. I won’t be able to reach them until they finish.”

Me: “Well, you’re going to have to. They have far exceeded the legal limit for a year’s worth of exposure. As per policy, this will have to be reported and they will need to be monitored. Can you please check with [Safety Manager]?”

Person: “It’s just one Sievert! And no, [Safety Manager] is in a meeting.”

Me: “[Person], a Sievert is a large dose. We work in micro and millisieverts. Are you absolutely certain this information is correct?”

Person: “The information IS correct. That is the end of it!”

(I was even less convinced and spoke to my manager. He contacted the site manager and it was decided that the workers be sent home and everyone pulled off until the matter was resolved. It turned out no one there thought it necessary to train the new person, despite him having no experience with ionising radiation. The workers were only exposed to a few microseiverts and they were allowed to return to work. This incident reflected so badly on us it risked our contract with the site, and the manager, safety manager, and the new person were relocated. I got landed with the new person, and he’s made it his life goal to make my life miserable, as payment for his and his managers’ mistake.)
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A Disheartening Way To Treat The Issue

Australia, Car, Health & Body, New South Wales, Parents/Guardians | Healthy | October 30, 2017


(I have a day off so I wasn’t planning on doing much other than sleeping in. At about 9:30 am I get a call from my dad.)

Dad: “Hey, sweetie, are you doing anything at the moment?”

Me: *lying in bed* “No, not anything important. Whats up?”

Dad: “The coolant hose has come loose on the car again. Could I get you to come pick me up to get some more coolant?”

Me: “Yeah, sure, no problem.”

(I go and get him, chatting about inconsequential things, asking about each others’ weekends. We get the coolant and we are heading back to his car. This happens about half an hour after I pick him up.)

Dad: “Yeah, I wasn’t feeling that great this morning… About an hour ago I started getting chest pain and was thinking I should go to the hospital, but I’m feeling okay now so maybe I should just go home.”

Me: *being sceptical in my head* “Nah, if you were worried, Dad, I’d go up there. I will go with you if you’d like. I’ll stay with you. It can get kinda boring up there by yourself.”

Dad: “Oh, well, only if you’re not doing anything. It might be a good idea.”

Me: “Sure thing; it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Dad: “Only if you’re sure you’re not doing anything

Me: “I’m sure; I will meet you up there.”

(I follow him up only to find a parking space at the bottom of the hill, so we walk up to the top and get admitted into ED. Long story short, Dad had had a minor heart attack, three in fact, the last one as we were walking up the hill, and he just wanted to go home. I spent five hours with him, him asking me not to tell any family members because he didn’t want to stress them out. Mum nearly had a heart attack herself when she found out, mainly because he waited five hours to tell her! Please, please, people — get it checked out sooner rather than later!)
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Drugs Make You Quackers

Chicago, Illinois, Medical Office, USA | Healthy | October 29, 2017


(My mom is a nurse practitioner at a health clinic primarily for homeless people. Naturally she has some interesting exchanges with her patients. Her favorite one to tell is about a patient who had come in for the first time, and she was asking all the preliminary questions.)

Mom: “Do you have any allergies?”

Patient: “I’m allergic to penicillin.”

Mom: “What sort of reaction do you have when you take it?”

Patient: “It makes me talk like Donald Duck.”

(After trying to hold in laughter, my mom had to explain to him that while his “reaction” was more of a mild mutation, it was not considered a harmful allergy. It’s her favorite story to tell next to the woman who referred to the lice on her head as “movable dandruff.”)
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