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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Fri Jun 23, 2017, 05:29 PM

11. A very heavy accent can be quite difficult to understand, and can...

...interfere with understanding what a health care provider is saying, but that is no excuse for acting the way this woman did. She could put it on herself, and say something like, "I'm really sorry, but I have a very hard time understanding people with heavy accents."

I quite agree with the woman who spoke up and told the mom that her child's biggest problem was who he had for a mother.

In the early 80s, I spent 6 long, miserable months as the temporary head nurse on a pediatric unit in a small rural hospital in the upper peninsula of Michigan. The only "pediatrician" there was from Pakistan. I put "pediatrician" in quotes, because he was not board certified. Rumor had it that he had taken the boards twice, and failed twice. No one was sure if this was due to a language deficit or a knowledge deficit - maybe both.

He had an extremely heavy accent, and was very difficult to understand. His idea of my role as head nurse was to follow him when he made his daily rounds, and hand him the instrument case with the otoscope, etc. I could not debase myself sufficiently to assume that handmaiden role. I would go into the rooms with him, put the case on the patient's bed, and then step away and put my hands behind my back. I justified my accompanying him at all by the obvious need for someone to explain to the obviously puzzled parents what this man had said. The population served by this hospital was generally not well educated, and no one would ever think to question a doctor about anything. The parents would just sit there and nod uncomprehendingly.

He admitted lots of kids with ear infections for oral antibiotics. His usual justification for admission would be that a child had vomited once so was "not tolerating oral medication- must give IV." I found this really puzzling, so I started using the unit otoscope myself to see if these were unusually severe cases. Nope. One time, as I was looking in a kid's ears, the mom came in and wanted to know how things were looking. The ear drums were picture perfect and could have been put in a textbook as an example of healthy ear drums. I knew I could not say that, as I was not the doctor. I thought fast and said, "It looks like they are responding well to treatment." Seemed a safe enough thing to say.

About an hour later, along comes the doc to do his rounds. Mom still there, asks the same question. Imagine my shock when he said, "Oh, looks much worse today." How can you look worse than perfect? I was horrified. I couldn't tell if he really didn't know that the eardrums looked fine, or if he was lying to the mom to justify keeping the kid in the hospital so he could charge for hospital visits.

I would not have trusted that guy to untie my shoes.

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
IronLionZion Jun 2017 OP
Leghorn21 Jun 2017 #1
IronLionZion Jun 2017 #4
Aristus Jun 2017 #2
whathehell Jun 2017 #3
trixie2 Jun 2017 #5
IronLionZion Jun 2017 #6
trixie2 Jun 2017 #7
IronLionZion Jun 2017 #8
CozyMystery Jun 2017 #9
SharonClark Jun 2017 #10
LineNew Reply A very heavy accent can be quite difficult to understand, and can...
3catwoman3 Jun 2017 #11
IronLionZion Jun 2017 #15
Skittles Jun 2017 #12
IronLionZion Jun 2017 #13
Skittles Jun 2017 #17
shanti Jun 2017 #14
IronLionZion Jun 2017 #16
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