General Question

emmajine's avatar

Should I change surgeons if I have a problem with his nurse?

Asked by emmajine (68 points ) October 29th, 2010

My surgeon’s nurse called and left a professional sounding message about a prescription change and blood work, then when she thought she had hung up the phone she kept talking about me and making fun of me. I have a voicemail with her and the receptionist basically mocking me, saying my eyes were creepy because I blink weird (I have an eye disease btw) , making fun of the way I stood, (gee maybe because I need surgery?) calling me WEIRD. The voicemail goes on and on and it is very cruel. I hear voices laughing. I have no idea if other patients in rooms or the waiting area might have heard this. They use my full first and last name in the conversation over and over. It is very very hurtful. A family member says I’m being oversensitive and to just not care what other people say or think. However these are the gatekeepers to my surgeon. If I pop a staple or get an infection these are the people I have to communicate through to get help from the surgeon.

I am about to cancel a surgery over this. If they have no respect for me then can I trust getting reliable care? Is this kind of joking common place in medical offices? Am I being over sensitive? I feel like Quasimodo all the sudden. I am so very hurt and embarrassed. I cried really hard and couldn’t even eat yesterday. Well I’m sick anyway. It will be hard to get naked in front of this nurse or talk about personal things to her. I really don’t think I can go through with the surgery. I am in a rural area where pickings are slim. There is another surgeon a few hours away but it will delay things to change doctors and hospitals. Not to mention I forked out several hundred dollars in co-pay, “processing fees” and other charges just for the one surgery consultation I had with the surgeon! What should I do? What would you do? Should I suck it up? Am I over reacting?

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53 Answers

MissA's avatar

I don’t believe you to be over-reacting. Talk with your surgeon. You need to be as relaxed and comfortable going in as you can. This is outrageous. Please, please don’t go under the knife feeling this way. There is nothing wrong with your thinking. PM me if you’d like. I have recent experience with surgery.

MissA's avatar

I would never be in the same room with these people, even if they apologize…they’d be doing so in order to keep their jobs. I’ll bet that a lot of folks would have already been to a lawyer. I’m not suggesting that…but, it certainly would be in line.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I think you need to bring that grossly unprofessional behavior to the attention of the surgeon, he may have no idea that this goes on. That said, I changed my OB when I was pregnant, because her snipy, unprofessional remarks about my weight gain (which was noticeable, but not excessive) indicated to me a lack of professionalism that might extend into actual patient care.

partyparty's avatar

No I don’t think you are overreacting at all. Why not report this nurse to your surgeon.
She is being very disrespectful and unprofessional in speaking about you in this way.
Good luck with your surgery :))

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Will the nurse and other staff be involved in the surgery? If so, what are the chances that they could be switched out for others?

GracieT's avatar

If for no other reason than the HIPPA laws you need to report this. In addition to being extremly hurtful, verbalizing in the presence of others is against the law. The surgeon needs to be told. The nurse could, (and should!) lose her job, the ENTIRE facility could face loss of license, a huge fine, and posible jail time.

emmajine's avatar

Well to paint a picture of very rural small town America, this is one little brick building right next to a small hospital. There is one surgeon, one receptionist, and two nurses. When you are hospitalized and IN the hospital the hospital’s nurses tend to you. However I will have to go to his office for follow ups, complications, wound care…. etc after I am discharged from the hospital. If I even CALL the surgeon (it isn’t like I have his home number) I get this receptionist with the attitude. If I say I have a medical question she puts me through to the nurse. He is often “with a patient”, “doing rounds” or “in surgery” meaning he doesn’t sit around answering the phone.

Wow Gracie I didn’t know it was that serious. I knew it hurt, and I was worried about trusting people who seem to lack empathy or kindness.

Would it be insane to ask for my money back? Seeing another surgeon for a consult will cost more money.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I hope you saved the recording, if you decide to change your doctor and hospital, it will be necessary proof in order to get your money back. I think in this case seriously considering moving is a good idea, as this is surgery not a meatloaf purchase in a diner. Getting the best available care is the most important thing here.

emmajine's avatar

@JilltheTooth I do have the recording.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

At least 90 percent of your interactions with the staff will be through the nurses, if you’ve ever had much exposure to a hospital environment. If you’re not comfortable with them, your care is most likely going to suffer. Your call.

perg's avatar

Call and ask for the surgeon to call you back at his earliest convenience. You don’t need to tell the nurse or receptionist why you’re calling – if they press, say that you need to speak to him about something that is worrying you about your upcoming surgery (which is true) and it is not a matter you want to take up with the nurse.

Tell him you’re considering changing surgeons over this. See how he responds. If he seems genuinely concerned and willing to do something to fix his staffing problems, you may not need to change. If he’s unresponsive, not only would I change surgeons but I would take it up with your state’s medical licensing board. This is the board in my state – note they have a link on the right for filing complaints. I just googled my state and “medical licensing” to find that link.

JLeslie's avatar

I would tell the surgeon, and base my decision on how he reacts to your complaint. One time, many years ago, I mentioned to a doctor of mine that his nurse had failed to follow through on something, I won’t bother you with the details, and his reaction was, “thank you for telling me, my staff represents me, and I care very much that they are giving good service.” I was impressed, and shocked to be honest. I felt confident he would handle it in a way that would not make things odd for me with future dealings with the nurse. I was not angry, I just felt my expectations had not been met, and appreciated attention to the matter.

About three years ago a receptionist hung up on me at a doctors office, because I told her the nurse had not returned my call from 2 days ago, and I needed my test results, because I was leaving to go out of town. I asked the receptionist if she could be sure the nurse received my message. The receptionist replied in an angry voice, “I gave her your message, it’s not my fault she hasn’t called you.” and then she hung up the phone. Huh? I called back to the office manager to say I had been hung up on and my dilemma. They did call me back with my results. When I saw the doctor a few weeks later, I told her what transpired, and the doctor said to me, “oh, I was not aware of all of these details, you have quite a reputation in this office.” Fuck her. What? She just went along with her staff portraying me as a crazy bitch to justify hanging up on me? I don’t see that doctor anymore.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with everyone else that you aren’t overreacting and you should notify the surgeon about what happened.

I’ve heard nurses talk about patients before and it always bothers me. I don’t think it’s appropriate or professional and I have reported other nurses for doing so. It’s one things for nurses to discuss a case on a medical basis (talking about the illness or something like that), but it’s another to mock their patients.

Cruiser's avatar

If you don’t mind a lot of attention over this, I would put it up on youtube and bet it goes viral.

JLeslie's avatar

I wanted to add that I would have been upset about it also, it is horribly mean behavior. Beyond unprofessional, it is schoolgirl meangirl. It is times like this that I hope karma is true. Honesly if it were me, I would want to face those nurses and tell them what they did, put them on the spot, but I only recommend that if you decide not to go forward with that doctor, you will burn your bridge if you confront them most likely.

skfinkel's avatar

You need to bring this to the attention of your surgeon. If he doesn’t react quickly to either change the office policy or even more, you should consider changing doctors. However, if you have chosen your surgeon because he is the best for your particular surgery (which is always a good idea, if possible), then I hope for your sake he will make an effort to make sure such unprofessional behavior is eliminated from his office. It does reflect poorly on him, and it is terrible for his patients. Sorry you had to be subjected to this experience. It’s hard enough being sick without this kind of disrepect and cruel behavior.

marinelife's avatar

First, take the tape and get it copied onto a medium where you can play it for others. Then set up an appointment with the surgeon himself. Play the tape for him.

Then, ask for what you want:

1. Either the participating members of his office staff get sensitivity training or you want them all fired.

2. You cannot possibly be comfortable having them care for you after this. You want all of your fees refunded and a referral to another surgeon. You will also expect financial compensation to accommodate the extra travel time that you are going to have to incur, because you were forced to see another surgeon.

3. If your requests are not accommodated, your next step will be to contact a lawyer about a lawsuit. Remind him that there were other patients in the waiting room who were overhearing what was said and that your name was used over and over again.

If you are not up to doing this on your own, take the tape to a personal injury lawyer and play it for him. Have him handle what you want with the addition of his fees paid by the surgeon.

I am so very sorry that this happened to you. It is not typical of medical staff, and it is actionable.

chyna's avatar

That is the most unprofessional actions I have ever heard of. You are not over reacting. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, and I hope it is to tell the doctor.

wildpotato's avatar

Hi Emma, and welcome to Fluther! I have worked in doctors’ offices for many years, my folks are docs, and I am currently a medical coder and biller.

Yes, joking like this does indeed go on in every doctor’s office I’ve spent time at, although making fun of a patient’s appearance is not so common. We more make fun of patients for saying things like “You can’t treat me like some cow to be put in a room and forgotten about” (an actual quote from my office this week) or for acting crazy in some other way (I once had a patient threaten to commit suicide if I did not give him an appointment with the doctor that same day). Interestingly, such mocking does not necessarily reflect on the care a patient receives.

It is not so unbelieveable to care about the well being of others and to scorn them at the same time – I think that many people do this much of the time in their everyday interactions with others. In traffic, for example – I hate all others drivers because they’re all stupider than me, but I care enough about them to do everything I can not to hurt them (yes, that statement was somewhat facetious, but you get what I’m driving heh, heh at).

This is not to say that I don’t find the situation you describe appalling – they should have made absolutely sure that their conversation could not have been heard by you. Peoples’ private thoughts are their own, but to accidentally share them with you in such a way is unacceptable.

This is also not to say that you shouldn’t feel offended about how they spoke about you, in addition to the fact that they let you overhear it – I know that this is primarily what you are upset about.

You should notify the doctor, but also notify the office manager. That will probably be the person who censures the nurse, not the doc. I would absolutely demand the money back if you end up going to another surgeon.

Finally, copay, “processing fees” and other charges should certianly not add up to several hundred dollars. Are you sure that those charges aren’t towards your deductible or you out-of-pocket? I urge you to call your insurance to make sure the charges were legit – billing departments sometimes do somewhat creative things when it somes to things like labeling charges as coinsurance, self-pay fees, deductible payments, and so forth. If you are out of network with this doc, pay particular attention because being out of network allows for much more freedom in billing from our end of things.

@GracieT they are not likely to have said these things in the presence of other patients, and if the nurse said it to another provider involved in Emma’s care at the office it cannot be considered a violation of HIPAA. Which is not to say that Emma shouldn’t bring this up as another possible issue, but just to say – it is not by any means definite that it is a HIPAA violation.

@marinelife When did Emma say that she knew there were other patients in the waiting room when the message was left? I think I missed that bit.

JLeslie's avatar

@wildpotato I don’t know why you say copays and such should not add up to hundreds of dollars. I am already out of pocket around $600 this year for in network doctors ordering tests that are not fully covered.

marinelife's avatar

@wildpotato Could you please tell me what doctor’s office you work at so I never go there?

I find it completely reprehensible that you defend, IN ANY WAY, what was said to this person. You seem to imply that it would have been all right for the co-workers to laugh at the patient if only the patient did not hear it.

The examples that you use of your own staff making fun of patients are not much better. You laughed at a person threatening suicide????????? What kind of medical worker are you?

You laughed at a person who was left waiting in an office for so long that they snapped?????

I think your insensitivity is one of the reasons I hate dealing with Western medicine practitioners. Attitudes such as you describe come down from the top: the docs.

MissA's avatar

@marinelife

Wish I could give you multiple lurve.

JLeslie's avatar

@marinelife unfortunately I think it is common in medical offices as @wildpotato suggests. I wouldn’t take it out on him for stating the reality. Many things said “behind the backs” of patients I think patients would find offensive. Most medical workers I know are in the mindset of patients being annoying to have to deal with, and if we make any sort of complaint or demand we are seen as high maintenance, ask too many questions, hypochondriachs, and worse, and they not only think it they vent it to each other when we leave the room or hang up the phone. There is little customer service in the medical industry; buying a dress at Bloomingdale’s has a higher level generally than a doctors office, of course there are exceptions thank goodness.

JLeslie's avatar

I find it appauling also, don’t get me wrong. I have many times thought of starting a business in teaching customer service to doctors and staff. Different than bedside manner.

Blondesjon's avatar

Yes you should, immediately.

just ask randle mcmurphy what happens when you let a nurse get over on you.

CaptainHarley's avatar

If this were me, I’d make a recording of the tape, then carry it to the Doctor’s office with me. I would make a bit of a commotion to attract everyone’s attention, then play it at max volume so everyone in the entire office could hear. Then I would say, “I don’t give a damn what you think or what you say. But I sure do intend to take my business to some place where they actually care about their patients!” Then leave. : )

chyna's avatar

@marinelife Well said, well said.

emmajine's avatar

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies. At least I know I’m not just being a drama queen about it. I feel validated in my offense. I think that I cannot have surgery there. I will go to another surgeon even though it will mean a delay in my treatment. I thought long and hard about it and then emailed the recording to the office’s email address they have on their website. Someone from the office called me (but it wasn’t the nurse who did it) and apologized and asked me to call her back. I did not call her back. I have called for a consultation with another surgeon but I need to go back to my family doc, get another referral, make a first appointment…. and start over. Obviously this is a bummer to do but I feel less like a victim and more empowered to take some sort of action. I am afraid if the nurse was repranded I will be seen as a troublemaker or treated even worse. I can’t think of a solution other than go elsewhere. Thank you for showing kindness during a time of physical and emotional pain. First they made me feel like a slab of meat on a conveyer belt, and then they made me feel like an ugly bug or something. If something doesn’t feel right, usually that’s instincts kicking in. I will start over and find better people to work with. Thank you so much for helping talk me through this.

chyna's avatar

@emmajine I’m glad this is the way you chose to go. I think it was a good decision and for the right reasons. No one deserves to be made fun of for any reason whether the office help thinks it’s ok if the phone is down or the window is closed. Every person in that office deserves to be reprimanded.
@wildpotato If this same thing is happening at your office, then really, be the person that stops that kind of thing and don’t go with the flow. If it happened to you, your parents, or someone you loved, it would hurt you, so why do you do it?

SamIAm's avatar

I would for sure tell your surgeon! You aren’t overreacting and these people should lose their jobs. Surgery (hell, doctors appointments) are/is hard enough as is, you don’t need this added stress and pressure on top of it! I know a lot of local news stations do segments like “so and so on your side” and they look into problems that people are having with services. It depends on the expose you would be comfortable with but I would FOR SURE a. hold onto the message (get a recording of it too just in case you lose it), b. tell your doctor (leave a message saying it’s important and you need to speak with him and to have him call you back, doctors will often make calls at the end of the day), and c. take it further if you have to. Maybe lawyer up. Certainly don’t accept this and do nothing. Keep us updated please!!!

CaptainHarley's avatar

@emmajine

Good luck, hon! : )

Seaofclouds's avatar

@emmajine Good luck getting the process started all over. That really sucks, but you definitely need to be with people you trust. Are you going to call the office back to see what they have to say?

marinelife's avatar

@emmajine As long as you feel satisfied with your actions, then you have done the right thing for you. I am only sorry that you didn’t let the doctor know. I doubt anyone on his staff will.

MissA's avatar

@emmajine My best with you, as you now feel empowered and not a victim. Please let us know how things work out. The folks at fluther.com who I have met, really do care about others. I hope that you’ll be a regular around here.

JLeslie's avatar

One other suggestion not mentioned above. If you feel you want to go further with it, you can write the Better Business Bureau and lodge a complaint. You can do it online, and the office will be forced to respond, and it will be a mark on their business. I did it once years ago, and if I remember correctly, there is a place where you get to write what you would like done about the matter. My issue was how I was treated by the billing department, and when I went onto the BBB website, there was one other complaint about the same thing for that doctors office, I was shocked. No matter what, I think wait a few days and see how you are feeling about the whole thing. I’m glad you made them aware of what they did, how they treated you. @marinelife is probably right, they won’t tell the doctor, but eventually he might wonder why your surgery is not scheduled, and might follow up with you?

BarnacleBill's avatar

That is so awful, and probably a HIPPA violation. I would make an appointment, and ask your surgeon to have the nurse come into the room. Play the recording. You won’t have to say a thing.

JLeslie's avatar

@BarnacleBill I don’t see how it is a HIPPA violation? It is not disclosing medical information to someone who does not have permission to see her information.

@emmajine Did you pay on a credit card? Can you stop the payment? I would.

BarnacleBill's avatar

If you are talking about a patient by name, and making fun of a medical condition that they have, then you are indeed breeching their privacy.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie All it takes is for one person walking by that is not involved in the patient’s care to overhear the conversation and it is a HIPPA violation. If that nurse shared her work area with another nurse and the other nurse (who is not involved with the patient’s care) hears it, it’s a HIPPA violation. If there were other patients in the patient rooms, they may have been able to hear the conversation as well. Technically speaking, I’m not sure exactly how much information the receptionist even needs to know for her involvement in patient care (at that office). They really only need a minimal amount of information for booking appointments (from my experience).

Without knowing the set up of the office, it’s hard to say, but if they were talking that bluntly about it and repeating her name, there was probably someone else that overheard it.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds I agree with all of that. I would hope that phone calls that state a patients name and medical condition are not conducted where other patients can overhear. That would be a violation in general, even without the rude remarks. Hell, I am the one that only signs in first name last initial at the doctors office, because they leave that list out for everyone to see. To me that is a violation.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie I agree about the list at the front and I love that the office were I work doesn’t use them and neither does my personal doctor. Unfortunately, most offices are set up where the nurses work area isn’t far from patient rooms because the nurses have to be available to the doctor when the doctor needs them. For example, my work area is right next to the doctor’s personal office. We have a main front desk where people check in and then the back is set up so that we have pods. Each pod has 2 doctors (with their personal offices), two nurses (one for each doctor), one medical assistant, one receptionist, and 6 exam rooms (3 for each doctor). These pods are kind of small (maybe 30×30 for the general open area). The three patient exam rooms that the doctor’s have are the three rooms next to their office, so if I was speaking loudly, I’m sure they might be able to hear me. When I call patients, I never say both their first and last name (just one or the other) and I always keep my voice as low as possible so others can’t hear me. The receptionist sits about 7 or 8 feet behind me (our back to each other) and I always tell her to tell me if I get loud enough for her to hear. If she can’t hear me, then patient’s wouldn’t be able to either because they don’t get any closer than she is. My work space faces a wall, so my back is towards everyone that would be walking into our office area (this way our voices travel away from the people coming into our area).

Anyway, that’s how our office is set up. I know some offices that have one set of nurses helping doctors and another set making phone calls. The ones making phone calls are in a private area, but other staff members could still walk by and hear them. Part of being a nurse is knowing about HIPPA, understanding it, and knowing how to avoid a violation.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds I worked at a hospital, and I would not say their was any effort taken to keep patient information from a particular nurse or hospital worker. We were all committed to their privacy. All charts when kept at the unit had only the patients first name and last initial on the outside of the chart. It went as far as we were not allowed to acknowledge a patient if we saw them out in public, away from the hospital, unless they approached us first. I do believe someone would be in trouble if they were going into someones chart when they had no relationship to the patient, meaning no medical reason to know their history, but if a nurse heard information in passing, because they were in the same area during a phone call, I don’t think that is a violation. Is it? We were all coming and going on the units. And this sort of horrible gossip described by the OP is to be reprimanded for sure, and personally I feel it is a firable offense, I just didn’t think it was a violation of HIPAA. I need to reread the regs again.

I have to say, of all the shit I hear medical professionals say behind closed doors, I have never heard anything like this. Usually it is complaining that a patient is a annoying, or a hypochondriac, or never does what the doctor says, doesn’t want to accept their situatin, but this type of personal attack is truly despicable.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie I agree 100% with you on what this nurse did and agree that she should be fired and I think the state nursing board where she is licensed should be brought into it.

From my understanding of HIPPA, if any patient identifying information is given out in a way that others can hear, it is a violation. If I was discussing a diagnosis with someone else involved in my patients care and I said “Jane Jones has HIV” and anyone else not associated with her care heard it, I technically violated HIPPA. The key point to it is the patient identifying information. If I would have just said “She has HIV”, it wouldn’t have been a violation because the person overhearing it would not have known who I was talking about.

At the two hospitals I worked at, we didn’t put patient names on the outside of the charts where people could see them, just the room number. The names were on the front cover of the chart, but that was covered by the bins the charts were in (and they had to be in bins at all times when not in use). If a nurse left a chart at her desk and didn’t flip it upside down (so that the name was down and not visible) she was written up.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds that seems much stricter than the place I worked. If a nurse called a doctor to get a prescription lets say, and had to recount from the chart any illness that might affect dosages for instance, she would not have had a problem saying it in front of me, or any other hospital worker, who might happen to be around during the call. I mean everyone at the hospital is supposed to protect a patients privacy period. I have never repeated any patient information to anyone outside of the hospital ever, not even to my husband. But, as I think about it, I can see where you are coming from. I mean a patient needs to sign a release to send their records to another doctor, but within a facility, I don’t think there is an expectation that certain employees won’t have access. It seems like a fine line.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie I agree that it’s a fine line. The thing of it is that only people involved with the patient need to know the information. A housekeeper making rounds is going to hear things, but doesn’t need to know them. That’s why everyone in the hospital gets told about HIPPA so that they then don’t discuss what they overhear. With situations where other people in the hospital are overhearing things, it’s usually not brought up because it stops there, but if there was an investigation, and let’s say that housekeeper then told the patient’s brother (who she happened to know) what was wrong with the patient, the patient could complain. The housekeeper would get in trouble for repeating what she heard, but that nurse could also get in trouble for not protecting the patient’s privacy (depending on exactly how the housekeeper overheard the information).

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds in that situation I find the housekeeper at fault, he/she signs a document acknowledging she understands the need to protect a patient’s privacy, nothing should leave the four walls of the hospital. I guess they could reprimand the nurse, but I feel that is very unfortunate for the nurse, I find it unfair.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie It is unfortunate. Sometimes I think HIPPA has gone way to far. I get that patient information needs to be protected, but it’s not a perfect situation when you are in the hospital (especially when you aren’t in private rooms). It is unfortunate for the nurse, but sadly that is the extent people have taken HIPPA to in my experience.

GracieT's avatar

@Seaofclouds, I agree with you that in many ways HIPPA has gone way to far. In the hospital, where I volunteered WAAAY back in the 1980’s before HIPPA the only patient files restricted were Psychiatric or where a patient had a disease with a stigma, such as herpes. (It was before AIDS) There weren’t that many reasons yet to keep this information out of reach. Now, however, there are more diseases that people would rather no one know that they have and health information is used for many things it shouldn’t be. We had to start having things more under control.

Patamomma's avatar

I would make sure that the nurse that was talking about you lost her job. If that is how she is she doesn’t need to be in nursing.

wildpotato's avatar

@marinelife My bad, Marina, I think I was not clear enough.

I was not trying to defend what the nurses said. I tend to think that any comment made about another person’s appearance is entirely reprehensible.

What I defend is the right to have negative opinions about others, and to share them in a behind-the-back manner. Yes, I do think that people have a right to laugh about someone as long as they do not hear it. It’s not a good thing to do, but I think it would be wrong to deny talking behind-the-back as an emotionally helpful outlet of expression (for the individuals talking behind another’s back, not for the talk-ee).

I’m not going to defend our office’s laughter at the cow woman or the defenestration guy. You’d have to have been there, I think, to understand why most anyone would mock – or at the very least, give a heavy eye-roll at – those two individuals.

And just to put it out there – my response to the suicide guy was, “OK, sir. Stay on the phone with me. I’m going to call 911 right now on my other line and send them to your apartment.” To which he replied, “No! Don’t do that! I was just making my point!”

There are interactions of opposing forces in any customer service field, and patients in doctor’s offices are usually quite on edge – from being in pain, from the stress of being at the doctor’s and taking the day off work, from the kids you have to haul along, whatever – it’s a high-stress environment. Even though we all nominally and actually have the same goal – to get people better – patients often treat us like we’re there to stand in the way of their getting better, and it gets real old, real fast. Just because we understand that people are in pain and not necessarily as polite as they normally would be, doesn’t mean that we don’t get frustrated with behavior like threatening suicide to get an appointment. Insensitivity goes both ways. We talk about it with each other because we would be much more upset about it if we didn’t. You can either laugh something like this off or you can become suspicious of all your poor patients. So that’s why I think it’s possible, and common, to both mock and care about people at the same time.

@JLeslie I am actually female – sorry to not make that plain before now :)

@emmajine I am not trying to imply that you were a high-maintenance patient, or that even if you were, that you should have experienced this in any event. I just wanted to answer your questions about whether you could still get reliable care there (probably, yes) and whether this is common in medical offices (absolutely, yes). The reasons I give for the joking are merely my own, and that is why I gave a few high-maintenance-patient examples. However, I can’t speak to why those nurses might have said what they did. Maybe they’re just jerks, like Bart’s elephant (Simpsons reference).

chyna's avatar

@wildpotato Yes, I do think that people have a right to laugh about someone as long as they do not hear it. I’m glad you are not a friend of mine if this is the way you think. If you get too comfortable making fun of patients, you run the risk of one of them hearing you. I hope your doctor nips this in the bud before this gets truly out of hand and something like what happened to @emmajine happens in your office.

wildpotato's avatar

Personal attacks in response to carefully reasoned opinion – ah, Fluther, how could I have forgotten? Thanks for reminding me why I rarely use this site anymore, chyna!

chyna's avatar

@wildpotato You’re welcome.

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