I had a patient today who personified misunderstanding. I tell this not to embarrass my patient, but to give a glimpse into the life we lead in the ED, and the confusing cues that can occur:
After a history and physical examination, I began my new spiel, explaining what we would do, and the expected time:
Me: “We’re going to draw some blood, test your urine, and get a cat scan…”
Pt: “I don’t have a cat”.
Me: “…..Umm…., it’s an x-ray test”
Pt: “Oh, okay”.
Same patient, later:
Pt: “I’ve been pushing the TV button on my call button, but no TV has shown up yet”.
Me: “Your room doesn’t have a TV. It’s a generic nurse call button, and if your room had a TV that button would turn it on and off. Your room doesn’t have a TV.”
I’m not completely sure I wasn’t on some Candid Camera thing, but nobody asked me to sign a release, so maybe I don’t understand.