I work as an Office Assistant ( Yes. OA ) in the Cardiac Surgery Dept. at URMC. My job involves minimal amount of filing of patient charts. Since it is the first time for me, being in an office environment and experiencing active exposure to a new culture, it has been really amazing to witness the kind of banter that goes on. Took me quite sometime in realizing which of it are for fun and which are insults. Though the setup is not quite Scrubs/Grey’s Anatomy/-esque, still one gets to witness all that drama.

Since we deal with a whole lot of patients, we do get some really cranky ones. Here are two such instances.

Case 1 :

About a month ago, there was this call. It was a female, speaking with a heavy Italian accent. She was rambling in a manner none of us could really understand what she intended to say. She was speaking for a male patient, who had previously consulted the surgeon based on his cardiologist’s advice. She spoke for close to half an hour. At the fag end of the conversation, all that we understood, is that she was not his wife, but they were living together for the past 2 months. He was too proud to take help from his brothers and hence is staying alone. Thats it. Half an hour. That is all the information we got from her. Not because of the accent, because we had someone who undid the accent part. And then finally came the real reason. That male, had had a stroke then and she was calling for help and this was after 30 minutes of family non sense. I thought everyone knew about 911. What became of the case later on, I do not know, but at that moment I was appalled at the sheer stupidity of that female. A life is at stake and this is what you do?

Case 2 :

For the past week or so , most of the department were conversing about an in-patient who was being referred to as The Crazy Guy. I did not know why and I felt that they were being insensitive in calling him that. Today, coming to know of the entire story, I feel they are totally justified in doing so. Here was a guy, with blown up arteries & dilated valves, who was consistently refusing surgery. After finally agreeing to the same, he was put on schedule for surgery today. But in the wee hours, he threw a fit again, made the surgeon come down to the hospital and got the surgery canceled. 3 hours past his schedule surgery time, he had a stroke.

His reason for getting the surgery canceled : I like to go to the beach a lot. If I get this surgery done, then I don’t think girls would find me attractive with the scar on me.

Some specimens these are.