I talked to a patient on the phone who needs more pain medication. He's supposed to have surgery on his arm and shoulder but he can't afford to take the time off work. He's a maintenance worker. The surgeon told him he'll need to take 3 months off work after surgery. He told me he's been trying to save enough money to do this and thinks in a few months he might be able. In the meantime, he takes narcotics for his pain and keeps working with a bad arm and shoulder.
A nurse in my clinic told me that last year around this time right before I started working there she heard gunshots outside the clinic. She got down on her hands and knees and crawled away from the window. Police were there soon after. I said, "Oh great. No one told me this story when I interviewed." The truth is, I would have taken the job anyway.
I was overhead paged to come to the front right before we closed. This usually means someone is having chest pain. So I swung on my stethoscope, ready for the job. When I got there, a medical assistant was helping a man up after he'd fallen because he was so weak. His girlfriend brought him. He'd never been to the clinic before. He'd been sick for 5 days with vomiting and dehydration. He looked confused but was able to tell me his name and where he was. I told them he was much too sick for us and he needs to go to the ER. I wanted to call for an ambulance but his girlfriend wouldn't let me because he doesn't have insurance. I gave them the address to the county hospital and hoped his body systems didn't completely shut down before they got there.