Thursday, 8 March 2007

Grandma? Moi?

I have a question for any guys who might be reading this. Medical guys, in particular, or any who wear ID badges to work really.

Is it really neccessary to wear it in the middle of your belt?

Because it means that if I am trying to work out who you are, I have to look almost directly at your crotch. If you have a particularly difficult name, I have to look at it for rather a long time. It's not very enjoyable, and it makes me feel like a perv, when in fact I just want to know your name, and, where appropriate, your status.

A particularly nasty example of this happened to me not 'alf an hour ago (as they might say in the dead parrot sketch) - there's a guy working on my ward at the moment and I have no idea who he is. Apparently he's a med student, but instead of wearing the easily-identifyable med student badge (about the shape of a bourbon biscuit and pin-on) he is wearing a badge which looks awfully like that of a doctor (credit card shaped and on a clip). He must be a student because nobody seems to know who he is, and he doesn't seem to know anyone (or anything for that matter), but I find it pretty annoying that he has a doctor-like badge because he probably thinks it makes him look more like a doctor, because it's very confusing.

Imagine what it would be like for the nurses, who don't know any of us and sometimes need a doctor rather urgently - might they grab this rather gormless looking student, assuming he's a doctor? What chaos could ensue.

Rant number two - along a similar theme: when I was a kid (read: junior medical student), it was a very well-known but unwritten rule that only senior medical students (and by this I mean 5th years and, depending on the block, 4th years) were allowed to wear their stethoscopes round their necks. It was partly a status thing for the student - it's rubbish to be nearly a doctor and have passed your finals and still be in the same general category as the kids who are still going 'what's a femur?' (as I overheard on a bus recently) - and partly for ease of recognition by other members of staff. This seems to have fallen by the wayside, and I often see second year students (not usually first year because they are still totally in love with their white coats and have not yet realised how inconvenient they are) with steths round necks.

Every time this happens I have to resist the almost overpowering urge to grab the offending steth, thrust it into the offending second-year's hand and say 'not for you, sunshine'. Of course I never do, I just rant about it on blogs like this instead.

There is nothing happening on my ward this afternoon, which is nice, but as I am not paid to be there hanging around and as my lovely F2 has dismissed me, I am going to bury myself in the library for a bit.


Elaine said...

You just made me laugh... a lot! Although I must admit I wear my crappy med school badge on my belt because I refuse to make holes in all my clothes. Sorry, but no-one ever tries to find out my name so it doesn't matter anyway. Why don't you just go and ask him who he is?

I hate wearing my stethoscope round my neck, it feels somewhat like a chain which I can't escape from... does that sound a bit like medicine in general?!!?

Anonymous said...

Stethoscopes are over-rated. I frequently have flashes of self-aware embarrassment when wearing mine around my neck. The only useful tools as a JHO are pens, as you will spend many boring hours filling out forms/discharge scripts, and decent shoes, as you will spend many equally boring hours trundling around behind some 'senior' person making notes, or arguing with radiologists to placate said seniors; but hey you get paid so it's almost worth it. And I've only got 5 more minutes of work before a week of holiday so I can't be too cynical.

Stuart said...

ever tried getting a stethoscope in your pocket???