Dear Hispanic patients,
I am glad that you were so enthusiastic about the prospects of working in the United States that you illegally crossed the border to take the first available less-than-minimum wage job. However, would it have killed you to learn English? If I ever decide to move to another country, I would least want to study up on the local language and customs. Instead, when you’re sick, I can’t treat you without going through a translator. And when I tell you, “I don’t speak Spanish,” stop asking me questions in Spanish. And when I repeat myself by saying, “No hablo espanol,” don’t assume that I’m kidding just because I can at least pronounce the phrase properly. Yelling at me about your pain in another language is not going to get you treatment any faster.
Do you really need to put every patient on vancomycin, Zosyn, and fluconazole prophylactically? Only 4 of our patients have infections. The rest are clear of any disease. If your goal is to create a race of superbugs, you’re certainly on your way. Maybe if you washed your hands and used sterile gloves before inspecting a wound, we wouldn’t have to worry about infections to begin with.
The sign says CONTACT PRECAUTIONS. What that means is that you can’t touch the patient directly. In other words, contact precautions = hands off. Strangely, you felt the need to ignore the signs, the gowns conveniently left outside of the patient’s room, and the nurse standing in the corner with her death scare. You pulled up the patient’s gown, put your bare hands on the wound spot, and then asked me to remove his staples. Why didn’t you find it strange that I gowned up before going to work on his staples? I know we’re scratching our heads over why our lady with the whipple has a festering wound, but I think it might have something to do with your sticking your non-sterile, non-washed, gloved hand into her abdomen twice a day.
Anticoagulants and arterial lines are a bad combination. When I found my patient in the ICU bleeding out, I had to stick my finger in his radial artery to plug up the hole. Certainly you can understand my annoyance of sitting at the bedside with my finger in his artery for half an hour—especially since you had gone on break and knew that he had been bleeding earlier in the morning. Don’t tell me that I can cover it up with gauze and he’ll be just fine. How do you think he got in this situation to begin with?