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Monday, August 29, 2005

Training my patients (II)

Another trying encounter with the SSP.

It's 3:30am. I've sewn up a forehead and an elbow, given a wheezy baby some steroids and bound up a broken leg. Mrs C walks in. This is a clue - anyone who can walk into the A&E department really isn't terribly sick.

TSCD: So, what brings you here today?
Mrs C: My throat has been really sore for 2 days. I have a fever.
TSCD: (Is this an emergency?) Did you try any painkillers for that?
Mrs C: No.
TSCD: I see. Why not?
Mrs C: I was saving them.
TSCD: Saving them?
Mrs C: Yes. I was saving the painkillers for when I really need them.
TSCD: And you didn't feel you needed them now?
Mrs C: No.
TSCD: But you decided to come into hospital because of the pain.
Mrs C: Yes.

(long pause for effect, as TSCD realises she is dealing with the SSP.)

TSCD: I see. Now, I need to look at your throat, so open your mouth and say 'Ah'.
SSP: (parts lips) Oooo.
TSCD: Say 'Ah' please. AHHHH...
SSP: (teeth clenched) Ooooo.
TSCD: I can't see down your throat unless you open your mouth. Open your mouth please. Open it, please. (taps tongue depressor on SSP's teeth) OPEN!!! That's right, now say AH. AHHH.
SSP: (Opens teeth slightly) Ooooeerrrr.

(TSCD realises that drastic measures are required and shoves tongue depressor right into the mouth so that patient sticks tongue out and gags.)

SSP:AAARGHH!! (flails arms wildly)
TSCD: (ignoring protests) Good good, well done. No pus down there, tonsils not swollen, just a little inflamed. Take some soluble paracetamol, gargle it and swallow. It'll help with the pain and bring down your temperature.
SSP: No.
SSP: I don't know how to gargle.
TSCD: Okay. You can just drink it - sip it and swallow.
SSP: Can't I rinse my mouth with it and spit it out?
TSCD: No. It's not your mouth that is sore, it's your throat. You need to drink it to make it work.
SSP: But I can't gargle. I don't know how.
TSCD: That's okay, just sip it slowly and swallow. (realises maybe SSP doesn't know how to sip, either) know sipping, right?
SSP: Yeah, drink it slowly. Why can't I spit it out?
TSCD: Well, it would be better for you if you swallowed it.
SSP: Why?
TSCD: Because it would take away the pain and you wouldn't have a sore throat.

(a long pause whilst the SSP processes the information)

SSP: This is a waste of time. I could have done this at home.
TSCD: (smiles at SSP) Yes. You are absolutely right.


Blogger fortycalibernap said...

nicely done. . . i wish it were so easy to turn them back on their own idiocy in all walks of life.

3:19 am  
Blogger tytty said...

haha, absolutely hilarious!

6:53 am  
Blogger Piggy said...


This is funny! I've been reading your post for a while, just wanna let you know that I enjoy reading your blog. :-)

1:28 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

fortycalibernap: I don't really think I got through to her. If it happens to her again, she'll probably come into A&E anyway - that's the problem with SSPs.

tian: yeah, it is in retrospect, but at the time I was well annoyed.

piggy: thank you! I'm very flattered.

11:47 am  

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