Friday, December 12, 2014

Trying My Patience

My new office-like position requires firm boundaries, something I am not good at.  It seems that whenever I reinforce a boundary, I am in trouble for not helping out.

Most patients refuse to comply with tests and procedures.  One patient had refused a procedure multiple times.  The doctor insisted that it be done.  The facility to perform the procedure was getting angrier with each missed appointment.  For the last two appointments, I called the ward to see if the patient would confirm her attendance the day before.  Both times, the nurse manager said, "I have nothing to do with anything done outside the ward.  You set up this test, so you go ask her if she wants to go."

I need to reiterate that I make the appointment and tell the ward the time and date.  That's it.  I don't cruise around the hospital, looking for patients to undergo tests.  It's really a clerk-like position, but because the hospital's clerks are rude and incompetent, the job is mine.

I found the patient both times with the help of other patients.  When asked if she was going, the patient answered, "No."  So the procedure was rescheduled for this week.

The nurse manager called and said that the patient was discharged, to cancel the procedure, which I did.

On the day that would have been the procedure, the nurse manager called and said that the patient wasn't discharged and would undergo the procedure.  I told her no, it was cancelled, and the place is booked until next month.  More nurses and then the doctor called, telling me that the procedure needed to be done today because so much time has passed.  I told them I would let them know the new date.

The nurse manager's remark pushed me over the edge.  "Why can't you call them and explain that we need this done today?  You could at least try to help the patient."

"I could help the patient?" I yelled at her.  "For the last two appointments I was on the ward, talking to her, trying to get her to go.  When I asked you how to find the patient, you told me that it didn't concern you and I should ask an orderly.  You are the one who said the patient was discharged, which caused the cancellation this time."

"No," the idiot declared, "None of this is my job and most certainly not my fault.  You are supposed to be handling all of this, which you did not."

"You are the patient's nurse," I countered.  "Why is it that when I was a nurse on your ward, all of this was my job, and now that I am off the ward, it's still all my job?"

She couldn't follow the logic.  "It is all your job.  I am going to call people and find out for sure."

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