Tales From the Corridor

Where does client confidentiality end and loose lips begin?

Of the last 4 births I have been to, I have been privy to a number of, in my opinion, very bad business and confidentiality breeches.

At one such birth, while walking the halls with a momma, we both overheard two nurses standing in the hall, right outside a room, and bad talk the family inside that room. They were mentioning how "they couldn't believe that the mother was doing such and such and the father was so weird - wanting to blah blah blah... and that poor baby, it's no wonder it was so ugly"... yes, you heard right.

Another birth, I stepped out of the room for a moment to leave dad and mom alone to reconnect during labor and 'overheard' an OB about 15 feet away speaking loudly into his cell phone. He gave the full name (first and last) of the patient, talked about her low-income status, how she was of a darker race, how she didn't have a husband or man of any kind, of course she ended up a cesarean because 'those people don't expect anything else anyways and it was easier - but we can't put that in her chart, now can we' - as he laughs. I made sure to walk by him and take down his name. He is now on my crap list.

Another woman, whom I was with, asked me for some crackers. I was walking past the nurses station when I noticed 'my mommas' file wide open on the TOP of the counter, right next to a woman filling out her pre-admission paperwork at a front desk. I shut the folder and handed it to the nurse behind the desk who was playing solitaire, remarking that it might be wise to take better care of people's medical files.

Ei ei ei. How can this be ok? It freaks me out. Do people realize how not private their health records are?


Lisa Barrett said...

I think that Dr should be reported to the medical board. That is disgusting. Or publish his name.

kris said...

that is just scary.

Sarah said...

I have worked in the medical field in a variety of positions, and my observations of pt's privacy has been pretty lame. Once, when I was working as a phlebotomist, I overheard 2 OB nurses talking about a post-partum patient. The patient also happened to be an acquaintance of mine who just had twins. The nurses were chastising this new momma's lack of confidence, etc. It really disgusted me to know that nurses (and docs) do such things. I wondered what medical personnel would say about me if I was a patient??

Then, I worked as a nurse tech at a large hospital and it was most certainly common place to find staff regularly gossiping about patients and patients' family members. Scary stuff, that's for sure!

Your reference to the doc being on your "crap list" totally cracked me up, Nicole!


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