MAY 30, 2012

Hazards in a doctor’s office

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dr dave

Hospitals and doctor’s offices are great places to go and pick up:
a. neat drugs
b. diseases
c. injuries
c. nurses
d. all of the above

A doctor’s office can be as dangerous as a bikini boutique in Baghdad. So please be aware of hazardous:

1. Tongue depressors. Though we, as kind and entertaining doctors, love to draw little faces on our used Popsicle sticks and give them to Junior I won’t soon forget the little guy who went out of the office and fell on the tongue depressor he had between his teeth. Suddenly more than his tongue was depressed.

2. Liquid nitrogen. Colder than a naked Neanderthal nun in a Nunavut November, LN2 is meant to remove assorted skin bleebies from your hide and to perform cool eerie smoke-spittin’ Halloween tricks. Remember hi skool physics class when Mr. Krywzczkrwzyrschky allowed you to dip a wire, a cord or one of Jimmy Wagstaff’s appendages in it and then shatter it on the desk. Can still happen.

3. Latex gloves. In addition to wearing these to perform office orifice exams etc we often get asked by wee Wesley, “Can you make a balloon face for me doctor.” Sure and if you’re allergic to that latex glove Wesley, I can make you into a balloon face. Again, no longer given out as treats.

4. Sharps box. Used needles, broken vials, Madonna’s boustierres are usually out of reach of exploring fingers of those less than the sharpest kids and addicts.

5. Pap drawers. Toddler Tim likes to open this drawer and grab assorted exciting toys like the duck bill speculums and hockey stick swabs, followed by promptly shutting the drawer on his fingers. Doesn’t typically say “ouch mother” but rather screams bloody murder causing mass hysteria out in the wailing room.

6. Stirrups. We have no palaminos. Need I say more.

7. Previous patients. Who knows what exotic highly infectious disease the individual sitting in your chair in the wailing room or on the exam table had. “Doc I notice you’re wearing a quarantine suit and a gas mask. Does that have anything to do with the guy who just left with one ear and a festering frothy fibula.

8. But perhaps the most dangerous source in a doctor’s office is the doctor himself. Infections are spread person to person and that includes the doctor who comes into your room and places a stethoscope on your torso having minutes earlier pressed it up against an abscess of a patient dying of a highly infectious Eastern Moldavian tictyphepherpdenghivcholeraebolanitis type A.

Doctors wear apparel with crevices that harbor all kinds of potential pathogens. This includes stethoscopes, Sponge Bob cufflinks and neckties. A Florida company has recently actually developed an anti- microbial tie for doctors! A bearded colleague of mine used to actually scrub his beard in the kitchen sink after every second patient. Don’t forget those pristine white coats with pockets typically teeming with bacteria, fungi, swabs, parking tickets, Regis Philbin photos, lunch leftovers and biopsy specimens, a virtual cesspool which has been fermenting for weeks.

In fact, the less doctors wear, the better. The British Medical Association has now asked doctors to remove “functionless clothing items” beginning with ties. I thought of trying out this concept by showing up in my thong “Moose” but after a close call with the Liquid nitrogen I decided otherwise. True, doctors tend to wear the same white coat day after day without washing it and yes some never remove their tie except to restrain six year olds or snap it at a colleague’s crotch in the surgeon’s dressing room.  But I can’t tell you how many times my white coat has acted as a shield against blood, spit, sneezes, sputum, vomit, some of it from patients. To say nothing of Alphagetti and Sloppy Joes and as a walking storage cabinet of assorted secret paraphernalia. So I have agreed to lose the ties (I hate to have my ascot up around my neck anyway), Sponge Bob and I will shave daily and clean my stethoscope with alcohol even though an intoxicated stethoscope is of little use to anyone except Foster Brooks. But Moose… still comes out on Wednesdays.

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