Saturday, August 30, 2014

Repetition

Kayla, the ward visitor, is not without merit.

One day, a Nurse Helen came into the charting area and launched into a diatribe that she was going to lunch and that I was to call a particular social worker about a patient, and on and on.  She was not making sense.  Plus, her speech was full of hems and haws and she lost her train of thought often.

I tried using the communication technique of repeating back what I thought I had been told.  Because Helen lacks oral comprehension skills, this technique backfired.

I think I ended up with the meaning, "Call the social worker and tell her that the patient wants $10 from her account to buy special shampoo."  I added, "That can't be correct.  It would have taken you less time to call the social worker yourself and say that than it just did for you to repeatedly try to explain that to me."

With that observation, I heard loud laughter break out in the neighboring break room.  Helen can't [pretends to not] hear, and she stumbled through some more unconnected phrases before finally leaving.

I sighed, counted to ten, and then picked up the phone and called the social worker, who said, "I know.  The other nurse just called me."  Now I was pissed.

"Why did you waste both of our time explaining that to me, only to call yourself, without telling me, 'Never mind'," I screamed after Helen as she was fleeing.

The laughing grew louder.

I peaked into the breakroom and found Kayla by herself.  She was laughing about this exchange.  "I can't believe you have to work with such an idiot!" she gasped in between laughs.

This made me feel better, that someone else gets it.


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