Monday, September 15, 2014

Neurosurgeons LOVE Me. Obvs.

Once upon a time I worked in a Neurology department at a hospital. The timing of this story was soon after I had transferred from OB/GYN (which had it's own share of painful stories), and I was in the throes of trying to make a good impression.

Some important stereotypes, that are relevant to this story*:

1. Neurosurgeons believe that they are gods. They want what they want when they want it. STAT.

2. Results are important to them, not good intentions. If you've been a reader for any amount of time then you know that I am chalk full of good intentions. Results.... not as much.

3. Communication from them can be incredibly minimal, which can lead to a significant amount of room for interpretation.

In this particular department there were administrative/front desk people (me!) and medical assistants (not me!) that sat in the common areas. We had admin people sitting at the front desk (the check-in area) and one admin person sitting at the back desk (for check-out) in the midst of the clinical staff. The back desk was smack in the middle of the clinic and was the area that doctors would pop over to if they needed anything. STAT.

On my second (ish) day I was sitting at the back desk, perky and helpful, ready to conquer any problems to come my way. And boy howdy was a problem coming my way.

The surgeon standing before me was not young and not smiling. He had a startling resemblance to Grumpy Cat and the Emperor. 

He gave zero flips about my peppiness.

It was like facing a dementor. I immediately had all happiness sucked out of me. I'm pretty sure the room darkened and silenced, except for slightly ominous music. It's possible a tumbleweed blew by.

"H-h-h-h-how can I h-h-h-help you? S-s-s-s-sir?" Oh man. Oh man. There's no way I am going to be able to help him and then he is going to use the force to murder me.

"Staple remover." STAT (unsaid, implied).

Blink. Blink. Oh. OH! I CAN DO THAT! 

Everyone knows what a staple remover is!!

Death stare. 

Frantic digging in the drawers around me, flinging of any objects that were in my way, realistic impression of a confused golden retriever. 

"Here you go! Anything else you need, I'm your girl!" No need to be afraid, he just needs a staple remover! I bet it's  because his fingernails are insured or something. 

Holding up staple remover, beaming triumphantly, clicking it like you do tongs when you are testing them after you pick them up. Best moment of my hospital career. Click click click click. 

Death stare. Click click click. 

Smile starts fading. What's happening? Is it the wrong color? Am I suppose to remove the staples for him? Do I need to find a pillow to present it on? Should I bow? Click click click click. STOP CLICKING. 

"I need a staple remover for human skin." STAT. Click click click. 

Still holding up staple remover, now with a pained, frozen smile. I. I. Don't understand. Is that a threat? IS HE GOING TO SKIN ME?!?! Click.

At that moment one of the MAs reached around me and handed him a staple remover. For human flesh. That's a thing. 

I need to get out more. VIA

Still holding up my staple remover. Click click click. I start hysterically laughing. Painful, loud, abrasive laughter accompanied by obsessive clicking.

Death stare.

Snort snort, hiccup. Click click click.

Death stare.

He turns and leaves. Turns around for one more death stare. CLICK CLICK CLICK. I fling myself on the ground and don't move for five minutes while everyone, including patients, laughs around me.

*Yes, I know some great brain surgeons who not only are fantastic practitioners but wonderful, personable people. Miracles do happen. 


Kristine said...

It was all fun and games until I saw the picture of the flesh scissors! That is why I can't be in healthcare. Oh, and the fact that I don't like people.
click click click...

jane smith said...

oh, HOW could he have meant anything else? LOL

Anna Kristine said...

Right?! I'm so glad that surgeons exist to save lives, but I'm equally glad I no longer have to work with them and spend all my time deciphering what they actually need.

Anna Kristine said...

Haha! I thought about putting a picture of just the staple remover but then decided that I wanted my readers to experience my horror with me. :) sorry!