What’s in a name?

Yesterday, Nurse Angry saw name patterns everywhere. At one point her own doctor-nurse team had 3 patients, Åke, Åke and Åke. Another team had Elsa and Elsy. A third had Gun, Gunvor and Gunnar. Spooky! Well, to be honest this situation is less spooky and more confusing. People with the same first name in Sweden tend to be from the same generation, so it’s easy to mix them up. First, the wrong Åke got transported to  x-ray. This did not impress the Åke who should have been picked up. Then the doctor wrote an x-ray referral for the wrong patient but discovered it in time. Nurse Angry is pretty sure that this would have meant that Annoyed Åke-who-should-have-gone-to-x-ray would have gone twice. She is also pretty sure that this would not have reduced his annoyance. Our team did not feel particularly professional at this time, but things did get better as we added a Peter (or was it a Patrik?) to our roster.

This was anyway better than a recent pattern- team 4 started the 9-16 shift with a swollen extremity. Then we got another. Number three we took for kind of for a laugh, but it was also that patient’s turn. By number four the other teams were feeling sorry for us. At three o’clock team 4 had some other types of patients, but was feeling verrrrrry sorry for itself, because swollen extremity=ultrasound to see if there’s a blockage. This is done in another department, so it can take a long time until they can be examined. Which means it can take a long time until we get the results. Since this type of patient is hardly going to drop dead, we let them go and do what they wanted. So they were pretty happy. But the chances of us actually being able to leave work on time were  bad…

Nurse Angry is reminded of another time when she worked on a geriatric ward and had a room with three patients with the same last name. Something like Gunnel Johansson, Gunvor Johansson and Gunhild Johansson. As she recalls, not one of these charming old ladies was completely clear in the head either, so she always had to check their ID-bracelets before doing ANYTHING. Nurse Angry had a scary week and was very thankful for the Swedish system of ID-numbers.

Just remember, readers: giving insulin to the wrong patient is not only dangerous, it’s just plain bad manners.

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