Monday, March 2, 2009

Nepotism, douche-bagery and the million dollar workup for the undeserving

What happens when a woman with a sore throat, weakness in her legs and an ex-resident douche-bag boyfriend signs in at triage? She gets waited on hand and foot by the staff doctor, gets a stat MRI and supposedly a free pass for idiotic requests such as, “Go get us some herbal tea”*, “I’m getting a little bored – can you bring me a magazine or a book?” and “I just want to talk about how nervous I’m feeling”.
By the time I was finished my shift, I was furious with not only her and her boyfriend, but the staff doc as well. This woman is perfectly healthy previously but develops a sore throat and feels weak. The most remarkable note in her history is using multivitamins! Before the triage nurse knew that she was the ex-resident’s girlfriend, she got placed in the fast track area. However, when the boyfriend showed up, he got her to a bed in my area and then my shift went to shit. The woman’s boyfriend was a resident in the ER before I started working there so he weaseled his way into getting her a stat MRI! The sheer injustice of the entire situation was infuriating considering one of my other patients was waiting 6 weeks for an MRI and came in with excruciating pain while waiting for a diagnosis. Rather than being profoundly thankful for getting the best freaking care possible, she and her boyfriend kept pestering me and the charge nurse for retarded requests such as the aforementioned herbal tea and generally acting like jerks. What kills me is that even though I understand the staff doc’s rationale for getting her an MRI, he would have never bothered going into such a detailed history with her had her boyfriend not been a friend of his. He also could have gotten my other patient an MRI but didn’t. It’s a good thing that the other patient was far too zonked out with pain meds to realize that he too could have gotten a stat MRI had he known the right people. Of course the woman’s MRI showed nothing and she got sent home with some antibiotics. Medical nepotism at its finest.


*The ex-resident boyfriend rudely demanded that I get him and his girlfriend tea when I was in the middle of preparing a mountain of medications for my very sick admission. Rather than silently seethe with rage, I decided to let it all out and said something along the lines of “Go to the pantry and make it yourself. You only worked here for 5 months so you should know I’m not your fucking waitress”. The only downside of this exchange was that the cardiologist that I have a huge crush on heard the entire exchange and in his gorgeous Clive Owen-ish voice said, “I suppose I won’t be leaving orders for 1-2 cups of herbal tea q2h prn anytime soon”. I blushed a deep crimson, dropped my meds, stumbled picking them up and scurried out of the room. Envy my smooth man-eater skillz.


Jo said...

Next time Dr. Cute says something like that, just remind him that he'll need an indication if you're to dispense that herbal tea prn.

Mad man-eating skillz indeed! You are truly my soul sister.

Mar's Bar said...

Seriously, what the hell. Next time I come into the ER, since my sister is a fabulous nurse, I demand a mani and a pedi stat! Also, bring me my herbal de-caf tea rightly steamed with two leaflets of sugar in to the tea to make me feel better while I prepare to be be subjected to a battery of tests that I know some old man has been waiting for for years. God, I hate people.

Michele in Michigan said...

Maybe Dr. Cardiologist was secretly turned on by your forthrightness with Ex-resident Douche. Ya never know! :)