3. What does “normal” really look like?
One day, our cornea clinic was hectic so I jumped in to help with the ever-growing mass of patients.
When you work at a hospital, you tend to keep your eyes open and remain aware of your surroundings.
The next patient I called had a familiar name, but I couldn’t place it.
She was in her mid-forties, dressed for success, and had a pleasant smile. I had high hopes this would be a smooth exam.
We went into an exam room and she said she was having headaches and thought maybe her eye glasses were getting weaker.
The conversation was lovely until I asked her how old she was. My technician heard a thud from the next room, entered my room, and hit me in the head with the oak door—I was lying in front of it!
“Maddy Hayes” had hit me with a right hook that I never saw coming.
As I was clearing the cobwebs, I angrily asked her what was going on. She calmly replied she found it rude of me to be so forward in asking her age when I hardly knew her.
Then it dawned on me: Maddy Hayes was the Cybill Shepherd role from the TV show “Moonlighting,” and this woman looked like a clone of Cybill Shepherd.
Moral: Keep your eyes on the patient—especially the ones that appear “normal.” They are the ones who take you by surprise.
When people ask me what I miss most about being a floor technician, my first response is: “Not the floor!”
I am happy to report in my current role as clinical operations manager, I have never been on the floor, I do not lead any exam or discussion with someone’s age and, all ficus plants have been removed from the clinics.
It has been smooth sailing ever since!