Yellow Poop Miscommunication


Dealing with elderly patients can be as challenging as it is rewarding, even more so when you don’t speak the same language. Luckily, this elderly male patient had a son who visited often. I took advantage of his visit by explaining to him that we were going to need a urine sample from his father. The son seemed to understand what I was saying and said okay. He asked me if it was okay for him to go into the bathroom with his dad to help him, as he was fairly confused these days and also incredibly unsteady on his feet. Obviously, I said this was fine in fact, it was preferred- especially when the patient was so frail and confused.

It had been 20 minutes or so and they were still in the bathroom. I decided to knock on the door to make sure everything was okay, and they quickly appeared saying that it was done and off they went back to the room.

Unfortunately, I could not find this urine sample anywhere. I looked through the lab window, nothing. I looked all over the bathroom… still nothing. After what seemed like forever, I finally found it, hidden behind the bathroom’s trash can. I pulled it from its hiding place and lo and behold… there was one massive turd in it. I guess my communication skills aren’t as effective as I thought. At least I got a great story to share with friends and co-workers.