When Laughter isn’t appropriate

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No, I won’t claim that the day shift is more difficult than the night shift. Yet, from time to time, you do receive patients who make things especially more frustrating. Don’t get me wrong, I love my patients! I wouldn’t be in this medical practice if I didn’t. I enjoy the children, the middled aged, the drunken, the sober, the elderly and yes, even those nightshift coworkers that complain about how awful their shift was until it’s their very next shift exactly. That being said, some patients are…how do I put this lightly? Clueless. Particularly the elderly ones.

Of course, the absent mindedness of our senior patients does not anger me. In fact, it could be extremely funny. For instance, when working in the diabetic nurse section, as I do specialize in that, I was testing the vision of an elderly women. I displayed the chart, and asked her if she could read it for me, while covering her left eye. She told me she couldn’t, so I then proceeded to ask her to cover the opposite eye, and attempt reading it again. Again, she told me she couldn’t read it. Puzzled, I asked her why not. I had the full chart displayed, and unless she was totally blind or suffering from some impossibly invisible cataract, she should at least be able to read some letters off the board. Her reply, however, completely washed away all frustration as I burst out into laughter.

 

“I don’t know how to read.”

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