Thursday, June 9, 2016

My doctor, the waitress

Me: "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

Patient: "Yes. Can you get me a ginger ale?"

Me: "Um. Okay."

Patient: "With ice."

Me: "Okay."

Patient: "But not TOO much ice."

I do spend a lot of time fetching drinks for patients. They ask for drinks and what am I supposed to say? No? Am I supposed to track down the nurse who is impossible to find and, in all honestly, busier than I am? It's easier to just fetch them their drink. I'm not some sort of diva who is above helping out with some menial tasks. It's just one of many jobs I do for patients that really don't require a medical degree or even a high school diploma.

To be honest, I sometimes feel guilty that I don't do more of the menial tasks. Sometimes I feel like we should all pitch in, and who am I to say I'm above it all?

12 comments:

  1. TO an extent I understand and do the same. However, the nurse is paid for every second she is there. I am paid for only those things I can bill for. Everytime I am doing something I cannot bill for, I am working for free. This includes CPOE, arguing about inpatient/outpatient, and yes, getting water for a patient. So you cannot just do everything that is asked just because it is easy and only takes a minute. Because minutes add up and all the sudden it is 7pm and you did 2 hours of unbillable stuff. That sounds crass/mean/greedy/etc but quite simply I like to see my family and as more and more and more crap is demanded of my time without any additional compensation my ability/willingness to do other stuff decreases.

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    1. Thanks for saying this. I often have my nursing staff or front desk staff do things that I could easily do for that exact same reason. I am there longer than the rest of them anyway, and I am not paid for the extra hours, while they are.

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  2. I agree with anonymous. I am glad you have free time in your schedule to make the patient feel a little better, its great to do if there is free time, but we work 60+ hours per week and the nurses work 3 12s. I would tell my patients I would let their nurse know if I saw her on my way out. Better, yet best to show the patient where their call bell button is....

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  3. Who should turn the socks right side out? Most folks would agree that it makes sense to wash them right side out. It just is logical. But there it is, another pair in a ball in the wash. I could call my kids and rail at them, "it only takes 2-3 seconds" or I could gift those seconds to them. The day will come when they need to do it for themselves and they see how that time adds up.

    That doesn't mean you should have hours of unbillable time. But both the patient and the nurse appreciate that minute. (and it gives you a break-away point with chatty Cathy) There will be days you need to say no but if you can give that gift please know that its value can't be measured in dollars.

    Have a great day (and thanks again for that pitcher of water without the ice in it.)

    MBee

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  4. anonymous and el jefe: Are you serious? Sorry you are so damn important that you can't get a glass of water. My time is not "billable time". Get a life.

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    1. I am on salary, so I don't worry about billable hours. But I do worry about seeing my family, and maybe having time to cook dinner or read a little bit before bed. I do many, many non-billable things, but none-the-less, I do get tired of leaving 2-3 hours after the rest of the staff, and if I can delegate to other people, I will do so.

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  5. This is the original anonymous.
    I will not feel guilty for wanting to get home to see my wife and kids before 7:30pm when I work 5 days a week and some weekends. By the way, my kids go to bed at 7.
    Or in other words, I will 'get a life' by doing exactly what you are decrying.

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  6. As an aside to fizz's twitter comment about wondering what would happen if someone walked into an NRA meeting and shot up 50 people, it would never happen. They might get off a half dozen shots before they were shot 50 times themselves.
    Of note, I am not a member of the NRA and have never shot a gun in my life other than a BB gun and that's been 20+ years.

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    1. I don't know if that's true. I think they would eventually definitely be killed, but maybe if two people did it together, not only were they get off a lot of good shots, but the chaos of the whole thing would probably cause all the people with guns to shoot up the place and kill a lot of innocent people in their confusion.

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    2. Fizzy, I think you are 100% right.

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  7. Fizzy I love your blog, but your statement is pure conjecture. If a person were to find themselves in the unfortunate situation where someone is intent on committing as many murders as possible, then that person has two choices hug the floor and hope for the best, or return fire and try and stop the murderer. I will always prefer to have the second option available to me.

    Your comment is basically the same argument that was used used against the issuing of Concealed Carry Permits and why it would turn every state into the wild west and it would be chaos with gunfire everywhere. People would shoot each other over being cut off in traffic. All of that turned out to be false.

    There's a video on YouTube showing a young gentleman who mistakenly tried to rob a gun store that he apparently thought was the jewelry store on the same block. All 3 employees in the gun store were armed. It did not end well for the young man who pulled a gun to rob the store. It was over in less than 5 Seconds and there was no Panic no Hysteria and no confusion. There was also no missed shots.

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