Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reel it In

As reams of mandated, useless, and repetitive paperwork take more and more time away from patient care it becomes increasingly difficult to sit with patients and discuss their discharge plans. One of the best things about working in a smaller facility is that we generally have plenty of time to spend with patients doing the kind of teaching that is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We do our best to provide detailed instructions and an opportunity to ask as many questions as needed.

Sometimes, though, it just doesn't matter because the public just lacks manners and common sense.

Me: (entering patient's room): I have your discharge instructions and I would like to go over them with you.

Patient: (speaking on cell phone) I have to go, the nurse is here with my discharge. What? No. How did that happen? (to me): Just a sec. (to cell phone): What are you talking about? No, I don't have any prescriptions yet......

Me: (Leaves the room and closes the door).

Patient: (10 minutes later, opens the door). I thought you were going to give my my papers, I've been waiting for 10 minutes.

Me: I was waiting for you to finish your phone call so that I could have your undivided attention (restrains an expletive as co-worker kicks me under the desk).