WhiteCoat

Quick Visit

Lips

A mother brought her son to the emergency department with a rather non-emergent complaint … chapped lips.

The registration clerk started taking the registration information.

“Can I get the patient’s name and date of birth please?”
“Yes, it’s Johnny …”
The clerk got distracted by the patient who first licked his lips, then smacked his lips, then rubbed his finger back and forth over his lips.
“You know, you shouldn’t do that. That’s probably why your lips are so irritated.”
Back to the mother.
“His name is Johnny Smith. His date of birth …”
The kid licked his lips, made a smacking sound, and rubbed his finger over his lips again.
“Maybe you could get some Chap Stick from your mom. You really shouldn’t rub your lips like that.”
Back to the mother.
“Sorry. What was his date of birth again?”
“December 17, 2008.”
The registration clerk started typing and all of a sudden, the registration clerk slams her hand on the desk and yells “STOP THAT!”

The kid looked at her in horror.
She started to apologize.
“I’m so sorry …”
This time the mother interrupted.
“That’s EXACTLY what he needed! He don’t listen to me. You gonna listen to HER now? Huh? You gonna listen to HER when she tells you not to do that?”
The kid kept his eyes fixed on the registration clerk and slowly nodded his head.
Then the mom thanked the registration clerk, gathered her belongings, and left.

And the biggest discussion afterward was what to call the diagnosis.

Surrogate discipline training?
Rule out tardive dyskinesia?
Left without being licked?

———————–

This and all posts about patients may be fictional, may be my experiences, may be submitted by readers for publication here, or may be any combination of the above. Factual statements may or may not be accurate. If you would like to have a patient story published on WhiteCoat’s Call Room, please e-mail me.

6 Responses to “Quick Visit”

  1. Txpharmguy says:

    Lickity split

  2. hashmd says:

    Probably a side effect from his psych meds. Just waiting for the gynecomastia next

  3. Larry Sheldon says:

    Interesting. Trying to picture MY mother in that scenario. Failing–keep getting a picture of the privet hedge…..

    Just read an article that reminded me of the theme “NOT an “ER”, it is the “ED”.

    Like me trying to get the world to spell my first name correctly.

    http://www.ijreview.com/2014/07/154547-wait-times-california-emergency-rooms-skyrocket-thanks-obamacare/

  4. Ben Rush MD says:

    Last Licks

  5. DrAC says:

    Missed the red eyes, supraclavicular lymphnode and dequamating fingertips…

  6. SeaSpray says:

    I can see that being annoying but I think it was professionally inappropriate for the patient access rep to have reacted so forcefully. He was only SIX years old. But would still be inappropriate even if he was older.

    She was lucky the parent wasn’t the type to complain.

    Receptionist Ratched?

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