Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nurse Ratched Could Be In a Doctor's Office Near You!

As she stood on the other side of the office with her arms folded across her white lab coat, she reminded me of Nurse Ratched (played by Louise Fletcher in the movie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, starring Jack Nicholson).

I was in my pulmonary specialist's office having an attack of pneumonia (though I didn't know it at the time) and had to get an x-ray. I was told to call back later in the afternoon to get the results.

When I called back, Ratched told me that she wouldn't be able to give me the results because the doctor was gone.

"Can't you locate him? It's Friday," I explained, as if she didn't know.

She might as well have sneered, "yeah, so?" as I wondered, isn't nursing supposed to be a caring profession? "I need my results! How will I get the results if the doctor is gone?"

"You'll have to wait until next Tuesday (the doctor wasn't in on Monday)."

"But what if it turns out to be pneumonia? Can't you find somebody else to read the results?"

"You'll have to wait. There's nothing I can do about it."

I'm not usually a tattletale, but I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and I was afraid I might die if I had to wait until next Tuesday to find out what was causing my breathing difficulties. 

Nurse Ratched was apathetic to my situation, so after I ended up IN the hospital, because the following morning I drove myself to the emergency room where I was admitted, I made sure to tell my doctor about Nurse Ratched's behavior.

Doctors don't want their nursing staff to treat patients as horribly as Nurse Ratched treated me. He assured me he would attend to the matter.

We all come across people who hate us for no reason, but personal issues do not belong in a doctor's office. Maybe she was menopausal, maybe she didn't like me on sight (I never met her until that day), maybe she was just having a bad day, or maybe she was insane. Whatever HER problem was, she needed a slap of reality.

That was in June, and I'm glad I talked to my pulmonary specialist about my treatment, because I am again having lung problems, and I will be returning to his office tomorrow. If I see Nurse Ratched there, I will be tempted to give her a Cuckoo Clock.

By the way, the reason I haven't been online much lately is not only due to the fact that I have been sick for the past couple of weeks, but also because my youngest daughter gave birth to my newest granddaughter, and I've been away from the computer – a LOT!

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