Thursday, January 15, 2015

I know, the suspense is killing you

Hospitals at best are steaming cauldrons filled with sickness, disease, viruses, misery, and corporate greed.  At worst, they're everything I just said they were with a shit ton of nonchalant uncaring employees thrown in.  And the Johnson City Medical Center falls in that second group.

I arrived early for my cardiac stress test yesterday and they got me in right away.  Some local yokel who has his folksy patter down took me back and stuck the IV in my hand.  I took the wind out of his sails by telling him I'm a veteran of these types of test, so please, save that patter for someone who wants to hear it.

After my first does of radioactive dye was injected and flowing through my veins, they took the first series of x-rays.  This went pretty quickly and the only annoyance was the x-ray technician who had no idea what the words 'personal space bubble' mean.  I asked him to move away from me when I was getting off the plank they make you lie on for the x-rays and he said, "Sure."  When I saw he wasn't going to move as I put my shirt back on I said, "You said 'Sure' and yet you haven't moved out of my personal space."  He looked at me like I was speaking Chinese or something.

Next up was the crowning achievement in patient annoyance, the self important tardy nurse who was in charge of the treadmill part of my test.  The helper monkey nurse got a bit confused while hooking me up to the electrodes.  She said she was going to put the belt, that held all the wires that hook up to the pads they stick on you, around my waist, and then she proceeded to hook it up around my substantial belly.  I didn't mind, it's just I was concerned for the poor dear, I wasn't sure if she knew the difference between a waist and a stomach.  After I got hooked up and wired up, everyone left. 

And I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally the helper monkey nurse came in and said Amber the nurse practitioner was going to be in in a few minutes.  So I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Twenty minutes later the helper monkey nurse came back in and said that Amber was on her way, surely.  She noticed that I was a bit peeved.  She rolled her eyes and told me to hang on that honestly, Amber was coming.

I asked if she meant she was coming sometime this century.  So being a good helper monkey, the helper monkey nurse said she's give Amber a call on her cell phone.  As she hung up we had success!  Amber is on her way down from the 7th floor said helper monkey.  So I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

About fifteen minutes later a woman, who was clearly in love with the idea of her own importance in the hospital universe traipsed in.  Helper monkey nurse chirped, "Oh goody!  Amber is here!"  

Yes, Amber was indeed finally there.  She was there and she offered no apology for keeping me waiting for so long, nor did she offer one to her fellow employees.  She obviously had a medical emergency that she'd been attending to because she kept braying about some poor fellow she had just administered her super human care to.  After going on and on about the great job she thought she did on her last patient, she took some compliments on her shoes, then she plopped down in a chair and began making calls on her cell phone.  When we actually found the time to do the treadmill portion of my stress test, she spoke to me as if I was a hard of hearing four year old.  Her words to me always dripped and oozed condescension, as if to say, "You tiny peon of a patient, how lucky you are that I'm taking my precious time to be with you."  

As if you couldn't have guessed by now she was a disrespectful unprofessional attention whore who seemed like I was there purely to annoy her and to keep her from her soon to be Nobel prize winning nursing.  She added 45 minutes to my visit and offered nary an apology.

Once that horror show portion of the test was done I got shot up with another round of radioactive dye and about an hour after that worked into my system they took the last set of x-rays. Thankfully this time the x-ray technician didn't try to get all up in my business like he did on the first go round.  

Seriously, you JCMC nurses, especially cardiac stress test nurses, need some people skills training.  People like me, we've got heart disease, we're not fucking deaf, so use your indoor voice with us.  Also, try treating us with some respect and not like you're pissed off we're there interrupting your quest to bang the new hot Jewish doctor.  And finally, turn your cell phones off.  There is nothing so important that it can't wait until you're done with the patient.  After all, you are there to serve patients, we're not there to serve you, chit chat with you, tell you what a great medical provider you are, or to entertain you with jokes and witty japes.  Of course no one at the Johnson City Medical center will ever read this or make any kind of adjustments to their way of treating patients because they work for their bosses in the insurance business. 

Oh, one more thing, fuck you Amber.


Nan said...

I'd love to tell you that the Johnson City Medical Center is an aberration, that there are alternatives, but from what I've seen in our moves around the country in the past few years it's the norm. I think most of us are surviving as long as we do through sheer dumb luck.

Short summary of my own recent experience: my PCP referred me to a cardiologist for possible SVT; cardiologist's office won't schedule an appointment until they see a formal diagnosis from a cardiologist. You got it -- the people who do the scheduling for the cardiologist who's supposed to examine and diagnose me won't schedule the appointment until they see proof that some other cardiologist has done what this guy is supposed to do. If I had that documentation and/or was currently seeing a cardiologist, why would I need a referral to this new guy? My PCP's office staff and the cardiologist's staff have been negotiating in circles since early December. Is there some sort of reverse intelligence test they use to screen applicants for jobs at clinics?

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gmb said...

I hate hospitals. Had to be in one once as an adult. I would have crawled out of there if that was the only way to escape. Glad your ordeal is over.