Thursday, March 19, 2009

The ups and downs of my work day

You know I like my work. It has it's downsides sometimes, mainly that doctors in general a raving morons and the more I work with them the more I believe we should all go back to the old school way of doing things. I can not believe what they do to people, put them on meds because the patient's blood work says something and of course that medicine has x amount of side affects. That require more meds. With more side affects and consequently more meds. The cycle continues until the patient is either dead or so dosed up that they are medically frail and half dead. These people are not doing well and I am really unsure if the doctors are doing them any favors. I work at the Diabetes and Glandular Disease Clinic (did I mention that before?) and most of our clients are either diabetic or have thyroid issues. There is also a pediatric clinic down stairs which serves children that, for the most part, are pretty ill.

Needless to say here in San Antonio we have serious job security. There is no lack of diabetes here and people are, for the most part, what we call 'non-compliant'. Diabetics are terrible about taking care of themselves. They must watch what they eat and exercise. They must pay attention to their bodies every minute of every day for the rest of their lives. I don't know what ya'lls cities are like but here in south central Texas we have fat slovenly people. Yes that's a generalization. Yes it is true. And those of you who find offense at that are going to have to jump serious hoops and come up with a helluva lot of facts to change my mind. There is a test called A1c that tells us the average sugar level of a patient for the past 3 months. These people come in having practically starved themselves the day of their appointment because they think that if they have a stupid low sugar reading that day the doctor won't chastise them for their piss poor diabetes control. Too many breakfast tacos and donuts for breakfast makes the sugar load too high. And we know it because their A1c says so. But that day that they binge starve is a bad day. Every week we have the ambulance there to take someone straight to the hospital. Non-compliant diabetics. Like I said, we have serious job security and they do it to themselves. They just find it too tedious to live a life full of healthy eating habits and getting off the couch. Lord forbid!

Now mind you I am not involved with the patients. I am part of the lab and this place does 99% of all the labs in house. I don't do any of those other labs, they are done by med techs, 4 yr degree (usually biology) and 2 yrs of some sort of med tech certification. I didn't do any of these things, I hated biology and med tech school? No thanks. My job there exists due to the founder's delusions of grandeur. He read an article on how mass spec was the gold standard for testing for vitamin D levels and he just had to have it in house. I do not know how he talked the other partners into it. I think they grossly underestimated a few things, #1 the cost, they had NO CLUE how insanely expensive this venture would be. I think they underestimated it by about, oh a least $50k, maybe more. And #2 how long it would take to get it on line. Average it takes one year to figure out a method. They were not happy once they figured this out but I had it online within 2 months of my lab being built. Yeah they didn't figure they'd have to build a new lab. Dumbasses.

Doctors like to tell people what they want and just have it given to them. They are like spoiled children that are used to being obeyed. I have no respect for that. Others in the clinic jump when they are told to jump. I just avoid them entirely because I know my boss (who I love) will get in trouble if I piss off a doctor. They so don't want to hear what I have to say so I just don't tell them. They believe they bought another black box like the other ones they have in the lab. You want to know why mass spec is the gold standard and no one else has one in their clinic? Because it's a raging pain in the ass that doesn't work like other instruments. You can't just put your sample in the front and have it spit out a number. They, to this day, still have no clue what mass spec is or how it works. None whatsoever. Does this make life harder for me? A little. Really though when they ask me for something all I do is give them the 'this is what it takes to get a vitamin D sample results' lecture. The doctor then looks at me like I'm crazy. As in 'It takes that much fucking effort for one little number?'. Yes, why yes it does.

If they had asked me way back when if I thought that mass spec would be a good idea for them I would have said hell no. Economically speaking of course, and no, I was not around before they bought the instrument. I don't tell them that now of course. Now I just try and keep them on track so they can make some money off of the damn thing because that is all they are interested in. Vitamin D levels are not life threatening levels. Of all the blood tests they run this one is by far the least important. Really I think it's a fad. Just like everyone else in the world doctors follow things like sheep. If so and so says this is something we need to check for than well by all means jump on that bandwagon!

And there you go, most of what I've learned by working with doctors is that they are almost all infantile sheep. My advice? Don't trust them any further than you could chuck them. They haven't a freaking clue how the real world works. Scary as shit.

1 comment:

Angie in Texas said...

1. FAT Antonio didn't get the nickname from good eating habits.

2. "Boston" is diabetic - I found out on accident yesterday.

3. Yes indeed, most MDs are total dumbasses - that's why they "practice" medicine.

4. Mass Spectors are sexy! *wiggles eyebrows*