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(Regrettably, our local university is the main reason that county STD rates are the second-highest in the state (the highest-ranking county is home to a naval base). Outbreaks are common and rather a grim joke with local healthcare providers. The county has purchased a new emergency radio system and one of their officers has arrived to train our staff on how to use the equipment.)

Instructor: “The great thing about this system is that it is linked to over two hundred towers, state-wide. This means that if you need to, you can communicate not only throughout the county, but with other jurisdictions as well. For example; let’s say you have to set up some kind of emergency clinic at the University for… I don’t know, what’s an epidemic that the students might experience there?”

Me: *without thinking* “Probably chlamydia.”

(My boss shushed me, but our director of nursing almost fell off her chair from laughing so hard.)

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    Who Prescribed Some Madness?

    England, Pharmacy, Reading, UK | Healthy | January 4, 2018


    (We have a new member of staff at the pharmacy and we’ve got a number of regulars who come in to get their weekly medications, often quite a few items. This employee somehow gets it into her head that anyone with a weekly prescription is a drug abuser. One of our regulars is on a lot of different pain medications.)

    Regular: “Good morning! I’m here to pick up my prescriptions. My name is [Regular].”

    (The new staff member goes out to the back of the store and comes back out a few minutes later.)

    New Staff: “No, there isn’t anything.”

    Regular: “I pick this up every week, and I know I have at least three months’ worth of repeats for all these from the doctor.”

    New Staff: “No. No, we have nothing.”

    Regular: *spotting our pharmacist who knows her very well* “Hi, [Pharmacist]! Got my weekly meds?”

    Pharmacist: “Oh, yeah. I did them yesterday—”

    New Staff: “No! No, you didn’t. We have nothing!” *to Regular* “You need to leave; we have nothing for you!”

    Pharmacist: “Don’t be daft. I’ll go fetch them.” *heads to the back and comes out with a large bag* “Can I just check your address and date of birth?”

    Regular: *gives details*

    Pharmacist: “Yup, here you go. See you next week!”

    New Staff: “I told her we had nothing! Why did you make me look like a liar?!”

    Pharmacist: “Because you were lying? [Regular] comes in every week and I always have her meds done.”

    New Staff: “I saw what she’s on. She’s a f****** druggie. You shouldn’t enable these people.”

    Regular: “I beg your pardon?”

    Pharmacist: “Okay, we do not treat customers like that. Whatever personal views you have on certain medications, you leave those views at home.”

    New Staff: “She’s a druggie. Why would anyone else need [strong pain medication]?”

    Regular: “Because half my lower spine was smashed in an accident and I live in constant, agonising pain?”

    New Staff: “Shut up, druggie.”

    Pharmacist: “Right. That’s it. Go home.”

    (She was fired that day, and officially cautioned by the police when for two weeks afterward she kept hanging around the pharmacy entrance waiting for our regular customer so she could yell at them some more. We know this because she told EVERY other customer entering our store. Luckily, our regular has a good sense of humour and just laughed off the whole episode
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    This Diagnosis Is Heading For A Fall

    Colorado, Medical Office, USA | Healthy | January 3, 2018


    (I am a below-the-knee amputee and have to visit my doctors quite frequently, so it gets a little funny when they ask their questions.)

    Nurse: “Do you have a fear of falling?”

    Me: *looks at her, looks at missing leg* “Um, yes.”

    Nurse: “Do you have trouble walking?”

    Me: “Um… That would also be a yes.”

    (Somehow it never occurs to them that I am missing my leg, yet the information is right in front of them.)
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    Should Give Them Paws For Thought

    Massachusetts, USA, Vet | Healthy | January 3, 2018


    (I work at the front desk of a veterinary hospital. The Saturday right before Thanksgiving, a man approaches me.)

    Me: “How can I help you today, sir?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I need new food for my cat.” *he hands me an old prescription diet card that looks to have expired months ago*

    Me: “Okay. Are you a client of ours or do you have an outside vet?”

    Customer: “Outside vet.”

    Me: “Did you bring a note from your vet to renew the prescription?”

    Customer: “No, I didn’t.”

    Me: *after a second, I look up his pet in our system* “Well, we have their phone number on file. Let me just give them a ring and confirm.”

    (After a minute or so, I get a message saying that the other hospital is closed for the day.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but I can’t renew this prescription without authorization from your vet.”

    Customer: *visibly annoyed* “You seriously can’t help me with this?”

    Me: “I’m sorry.”

    Customer: “I guess my cat will just have to starve then.”

    Me: “I guess. Or you could feed it regular food.”
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    At A Hair-Loss For Words

    Finland, Health & Body, Pharmacy | Healthy | January 3, 2018


    (The men in my family tend to start suffering from hair loss in their mid-20s, and mine seems to have started, so I go to a nearby pharmacy to buy certain shampoo recommended by my stepfather. Note that I have grown my hair for a few years and it’s currently some 18 to 20 inches long.)

    Employee: “Hello, can I help you with anything?”

    Me: “Yes, I was looking for certain shampoo but don’t remember the name of the product.”

    Employee: “What kind of shampoo? For dry hair, or–”

    Me: “For hair loss.”

    Employee: *goes silent and stares at my long hair, then grabs a bottle off a shelf* “Well, we have this one.”

    Me: “That’s the product; thank you!”

    (I only realized what had happened after I got back home.)
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    Students Learning A Hard Lesson In Patients

    Canada, Hospital, New Brunswick | Healthy | January 2, 2018


    (I am a student nurse doing a placement in a teaching hospital. As it is a teaching hospital, patients are told that they may have a student and an RN caring for them at some point in their stay, and usually they are okay with that as they get more attention. I go in to introduce myself at the start of my shift.)

    Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name] and I am a student nurse with [University]. I am working with [RN] today, so you’ll see us both in and out of your room tonight. Is there anything I can get you?”

    Patient: “You’re a student? That means you don’t know what you’re doing! You’re going to mess something up and I’m going to die!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you that I do know what I am doing; this is my fifth week on this unit and I have completed four other placements in different areas of the hospital already. I also have my instructor and [RN] to assist me if I am unsure of something.”

    Patient: “Get me [RN]! I don’t want a student! Get out of my room before you kill me!”

    (I went to find my instructor and explained the situation, and after speaking with the RN I was assigned a new patient. I later heard from another nurse on the floor that the first patient told the nurse that she was taking too long to get her a glass of water, and said they really needed to get the students to help out more!)
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    Dancing Around The Subject

    Clinic, USA | Healthy | January 2, 2018


    (Our county health department is holding a special flu vaccination clinic at a local senior center. There are a number of other activities going on in different parts of the building, so I’m staffing the desk, checking in clients and giving directions. A very small, fragile-looking but smartly dressed gentleman walks in, leaning on a cane. He appears to be ninety if he’s a day.)

    Me: “Good afternoon, sir; are you here for the flu clinic?”

    Gentleman: “No, I’m here for the square dancing class
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    Making You Pregnant With Sarcasm

    Hospital, Sarcasm, USA | Healthy | January 2, 2018


    (For a quite number of days now, I’ve had terrible stomach pains with a fluctuating appetite. I go to the doctor. I’m a virgin.)

    Doctor: *after hearing me talk about my stomach problems* “So, it says here on your sheet that you’re not pregnant.”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Doctor: “Are you sure?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Doctor: “Is there a possibility you could be pregnant?”

    Me: “No.”

    (He makes a face at this. I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m an idiot who can’t accept the fact I could be pregnant. Later on after he runs some tests.)

    Doctor: “Well, you’re not pregnant.”

    Me: *thinking* “No s***, Sherlock.”
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    You’re In Deep Heat Now

    Medical Office, Time, UK | Healthy | January 1, 2018


    (A woman waddles into the building.)

    Woman: “I need to see a doctor.”

    Me: “Do you have an appointment?”

    Woman: “No, I need to see one now.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, emergency appointments ended at 11. I can make you an appointment, however, for next week?”

    Woman: “NO! IT HAS TO BE NOW!”

    Me: “If it’s an emergency you need to go to A&E. Should i call an ambulance?”

    Woman: *jumping on the desk* “I RUBBED ‘DEEP HEAT’ ON MY GARDEN PATCH. IT F****** KILLS!”

    Me: “Oh, umm. Like I said, if it’s an emergency, you need to go to A&E.”

    (She huffed and waddled out, screaming about how incompetent we all were. I haven’t seen her personally since, but a letter came through from the local hospital for her, with a prescription for something which treats chemical burns. I’m fairly certain Deep Heat wasn’t involved in whatever she was doing.)
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    Might Need Brain Surgery, Too

    Medical Office, USA | Healthy | January 1, 2018


    (My mid-60s father was recently goofing off and pulled a stunt where he rode a luggage cart down a hill and wiped out hard. The injuries are mostly scrapes and bruises but he also has a small break in his wrist. There is lots of back-and-forth over whether he needs to do a re-aligning surgery. He is in the doctor’s office consulting with the surgeon, who he said was barely 30.)

    Doctor: “So how did this happen?”

    Dad: “You want the real story or a version that makes me look better?”

    Doctor: “…how about the real version?”

    Dad: *recounts story*

    Doctor: “I see. Well, to be honest with you, we don’t like to do these kinds of surgeries on patients over the age of 60 because [reasons].”

    Dad: “Well, yes, I’m over that age, but if you’ll recall the story, I was clearly thinking like a 16-year-old.”

    Doctor: “That’s a good point. We’ll schedule the surgery for tomorrow morning.”
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