Asshole "nurse" at the doc-in-a-box (lame)

Dear Mr. Nurse Man:

So I’ve been gardening too much. I felt strong, did too much and hurt myself. Now I’m having muscle spasms in my back. It’s not that big a deal. I just needed some muscle relaxers for a few days, I’ll lay off the gardening for a couple weeks and all will be well.

I don’t have good local-network insurance because my employer is in another state. So, rather than go to a normal doctor, with normal doctor business hours, I’m forced to come to the local emergency clinic. We have 'em all over the place in Florida. It must be a really lousy place to work on the nurse/doctor Heirarchy of Impressive Jobs. I bet you see a lot of patients with no insurance and a lot of students. So I’m sorry for you that your job sucks and you feel it necessary to treat your patients with disdain.

Last night, when I finally gave in to the pain and stopped in for some good drugs, you did your job well. Took all my vitals, looked at my chart and said, “Still smoking?”

Pleased as punch at my accomplishment, I swelled with pride and replied, “Nope. I quit!”

You are being pitted because you rolled your eyes and said, “Oh yeah? When? Last week?”

“No,” I said, smile fading from my face. I got very serious to let you know I was not bullshitting you. “I quit on March 12.” After that we were all business because I was thinking of putting my foot to your throat and suddenly didn’t feel much like jocular, good-natured, friendly small talk any more.

Fuck you and the lungs you said that with. I smoked for fifteen years and struggled several times to quit. This last time I actually managed to, with the help of Wellbutrin and a health care professional who believes me and is actually supportive. And I’m damn proud of that. I do not make shit up just because I think some fucking nurse wants to hear it. I expected a pat on the back or a simple, “good for you.” Instead, I earned your disdain, your rolling eyes and your disbelief. I’m sure people lie all the time about smoking to you. I’m sorry you’re so cynical and jaded that you cannot even distinguish between the lying sacks of shit and those of us who proudly tell you the truth.

Fuck off. I hope you go to a hell full of smokers and you are the only nonsmoker.

The thing with those doc-in-a-box places is that they tend to attract the “doctors” and “nurses” that can’t get work in any “real” places. I only hope that after they had you pee in the little plastic clown cup that they let you take the cup home.

You want fries with that?

Yet another sign of this establishment’s legitimacy: they didn’t make me pee in a cup.

The best part was this. (Note: I’ve been on Depo Provera for 10 years. One of the major side effects, for many people, is that it can stop menstruation completely. I consider this to be a “perk” moreso than a “side effect.” It’s completely normal and I’ve never had a health practitioner question it.)

Mr. Nurse Man: So, when was your last period?

Dogzilla: Ummm… (Thinks for a minute) 1994?

The look on his face was priceless! (Of course, he did roll his eyes again and shook his head while he wrote this down. I’m not sure why, nor do I care. My girly bits/health are being monitored carefully by a perfectly qualified, high-quality doctor and a wonderful nurse practitioner.)

Look, it’s just a place to go get 'scripts after I’ve self-diagnosed. I don’t expect much else besides just a little basic respect for other human beings. If something were seriously wrong, I’d go find a real doctor’s office. I did not think I was going in there to be treated like a liar.

Sorry the nurse was rude to you.

I did want to mention that often times the person doing the “rooming” or “intake” in a clinic is not a nurse. Even in a hospital setting, there are many assitant personnel who look and act like nurses (because they wear nametags and scrubs and perform simple medical activities such as taking blood pressures), but are not real live Registered or Licensed Nurses. They may have titles such as “PCA” or “Patient Care Assistant”, or a “NA” for “Nursing Assistant”, or “NT” for “Nursing Technologist”, etc, etc, etc.

There is not alot of standardization in the medical assistant field with some attending courses and receiving certificates, and some simply receiving on-the-job training. Heck, even the scrub-wearing lady at my dog’s veternarian’s (sp?) office identified herself to me as a nurse! She may be an animal nurse of some kind, but I’m fairly certain she is not a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Vocational Nurse in my state.

As you can imagine, nurses have some issues with this identification problem.

Nurses should be trained to not respond in the way that person responded to your statment. They should be trained to ask either specific or open ended questions, and to make non-judgemental responses. Like any field there are good and bad employees, and of course we are human and do make mistakes, too. I just posted in another thread about something stupid that fell out of my mouth during a conversation with a patient.

Anyway, congratulations on quitting smoking. I understand it is very difficult and you deserve a pat-on-the-lungs and head for doing so. Don’t let that person’s comment take anything away from your well deserved pride in your success.

Of course you are right and I appreciate your response. My mother is an RN so I think that’s why I took such exception to this “nurse’s” behavior. Although he was wearing scrubs, I really have no way of knowing if he’s actually a nurse or orderly or tech or what, so that’s why I put nurse in quotation marks. Having observed my mother’s bedside manner for some 30ish years, I think, is what really pissed me off about the exchange. I KNOW there’s a better way to interact with patients than that.

::pats self on lungs… and head:: :wink:

Dogzilla, I am sorry your medical assistant was rude to you. You do deserve support for quitting a very hard habit to break. Belive me. This is coming from the woman that hasn’t had a cig. in three months. Grrr…

I do have to address the above, though. Not everybody at those places is there because they couldn’t hack it at a “real” job. Lots of those places offer educational assistance in the form of tuition and clinical experience to people that want to become nurses. The person taking your blood may not be an RN but he’s not just a glorified fry cook, either.

You’re right, of course, but I am speaking from personal experience here. One particular doc-in-a-box done me wrong on several occasions. It’s from that that I draw my conclusions.

Actually its generally more likely that RN’s are treated like some kind of glorified housekeeper than a CNA/PCA to be treated far above their station. A hefty percentage of acute care hospital patients that I dealt with were more deferential towards EMS personell than RN’s and the nurses have about a billion times more education and training. Most people have little clue what a nurse actually does and I have been pondering starting a GD thread on “changing the face of nursing” for a while but have never sat down to hammer out what is prolly gonna be a long OP. Maybe I need to get writing.

When you go in to a ‘doc-in-a-box’, and you know what the problem AND the solution is, the asides are not necessary.

I guess I can understand it- they are (hopefully) trained to know more about medicine than you do. BUT, you know your body more than they ever will.

A few years ago I was having problems with kidney infections (long story short- I have PKD and multiple stones). Went to the Urgent Care office. Explained my symptoms (lower back and flank pains on one side, etc). The aide immediately stated they would be doing a pelvic exam. Why? What you’re describing is not kidney related. Uhhh, yeah. It is. And when you’ve had half a dozen kidney infections, you know what the pain is. She started asking about sexual partners, etc. Uhhh, no. Gimmee a cup, please, and lets end this. Twenty minutes later I left with the appropriate scrip.

I know she was just doing her job, and I know she was annoyed with me. O well.

I’d suggest starting an “Ask the Nurse” thread, if there already hasn’t been one. Seems like I recall seeing one, but that might have been eons ago.

Now that I’ve picked up my scripts for the muscle relaxers AND the NSAIDs… I’m all smiles again. (Who wouldn’t be? I’m starting my vacation with a fistful of muscle relaxers! Not all at once of course.)

I’d like to see more stories where you told the truth as you knew it, and some professional thought you were yanking her or his chain. And, how did you finally convince them you were for real?

Nevermind about this one guy who was rude since we really don’t know what he was (nurse, nurse practitioner, tech, some guy in med school, who knows). The doctor (and surprise, the receptionist and billing people) were all excellent and really exceeded my expectations for a doc-in-a-box place. In fact, the doctor I dealt with last night I considered to be better than my Primary from the HMO I used to have. Go figure. But he wasn’t in nearly the rush she (the former PCP) usually was.

I only waited about 10 minutes last night. My PCP’s office? Count on an hour and a half. Once I was probably literally dying of an asthma attack and called the receptionist on my cell phone from the waiting room to find out if they had forgotten me, because boy did I ever need a session with the nebulizer. She hung up on me. But I saw the doc about ten minutes after that. I was about to call Customer Service at the HMO headquarters so they got my ass in right quick.

The last time I went to an urgent care center, I went because my arthritis in my hip was acting up, I was out of my pain meds, and I was in tears because I hurt so badly. Unfortunately, I have no insurance yet and my doctor is still in Virginia while I’m in Ohio, so my only choice was an urgent care center.

Aside from the amazingly LOOOOOONNNNG wait (I was there nearly four hours), the nurse was actually much better than the doctor I saw. She took my temperature and said “Did you know you have a fever of 101?”. I had no idea. Turns out I had a horrible sinus infection, too, so it was a good thing I went to the doctor.

The doctor, however, wouldn’t listen to me. He’d ask me a question, I’d start to answer, and he’d break in and plow right over me. He wasn’t going to tell me anything new about my arthritis that I haven’t already known in the past year, and if he’d have listened to me, he’d have known that I have already been through physical therapy, steroids, etc. I plan to see an orthopedist when my insurance kicks in in another 30 days, but until then, I just need to be able to walk and to be awake without pain. Then he kept asking me questions about the sinus infection that were quite overbearing - it was as if he was insinuating that I was an idiot for not knowing. I didn’t feel bad, how was I supposed to know I was running a high fever or had a bad infection? Perhaps I was busy concentrating on the pain in my leg, but my sinuses were the least of my worries.

I don’t go to urgent care centers unless it’s absolutely necessary. Prior to this last visit, I went to one with a kidney infection last fall, went home with antibiotics, and ended up in the hospital on an IV in two days, which could have been avoided had they treated me properly.