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Thursday, April 24th 2008

A Bad Cross Cover Call

Can something be both annoying and touching at the same time? The story I came into the hospital to this morning certainly comes close.

I went in to pre-round this morning on my gyn patients. Getting report from the nurse and reading the notes on one particular patient revealed a rather strange call the OB/Gyn resident had taken last night.

It seems sometime in the early, early morning the patient had started complaining to her nurse that her “heart hurt.” The patient has a history of these vague complaints without elaborating. She’s been in the hospital a long time and craves attention.

In anycase, apparently without further assessment the nurse pages the on-call resident at about 2 am and relates “chest pain.”

The resident shows up at the patient’s bedside and the patient denies “chest pain” but tells the resident she wanted to see a doctor because her “heart is breaking,” because her children haven’t come and visited her in the hospital.

Sigh. I think everyone can agree having the doc (or anyone) woken up at 2 am so you can tell them something like this is inappropriate and inconsiderate. But boy is that a sad story.