I walked into radiology for the sixth time this afternoon. Which was an unexpected nuisance - the new guys don't call us much anymore so we are used to maybe one a day from them. But I'd had a bunch of thyroids and Ken was on, he always still uses us and it's to his credit - he gets good material and we get good radiographic correlation for working up the case the next morning. I signed out over 50 cases today - a record I hadn't reached in years. That's what made it such a distraction. It was a Monday on a Tuesday.
There were only three rad assistants - none of whom I recognized other than earlier today. Tony, my cytotech, was staining the slides. I looked at the specimen name. Left groind node. I knew it was a typo, but I was having a day - already bitched about some changes I didn't agree with that were made in cytology when I was off last week. Back when I started, when the rad room wasn't a rotating bumbling cast of characters, I would have had my secretaries fix it the next day. But I was in the mood to ruffle feathers.
Um, what is this specimen source? I asked the blond with braids. I'm pretty sure the groind is something I never learned about in medical school. Is that a new anatomy term? She giggled. The male assistant apologized, appeared embarrassed, and said he would fix it right away in the computer and get me a new rec and sticker for the patient. I sat down to read the dif quik. It was cellular, and looked like metastatic malignancy.
So what's the history, I asked. The male assistant said, oh, I'm not sure, let me look in Epic (they used to always have the history pulled up back in the day - I sound ancient and crotchety lol) and said the thyroid was removed at one point? Maybe he had thyroid carcinoma? Tony and I, who are in a separate sort of antechamber looked at each other and rolled our eyes. I'm pretty sure no thyroid cancer ever has leaped to a groin node, I muttered under my breath, and he laughed. The brunette, who had also pulled up Epic, said there are liver masses! Over twenty they say. Too many to count, but then they say over twenty. Oh, and something about a lung mass? I muttered, "How many rad assistants does it take to get a patient history right?" Tony laughed again and I said louder, so they could hear me, "Who did this needle anyway?" Apparently Ken was out of the room working on another case.
I don't fault the staff here - it's frustrating as hell but it's like this everywhere. No more consistency - and the blame should start at the top not the bottom. This constant staff shuffle has got to be one of those cost saving measures that makes the system infinitely less efficient and more prone to error. To her credit, the brunette asked me as I was leaving what was the purpose of Cytorich Red and did it have something to do with cell counts in the lab. Bless her heart she was trying to learn and wrap her head around the media and what our role was - she has a long way to go - but today was not the day for me to find the patience to explain it to her so I pointed to Tony to answer her questions and walked back to my office.
Watching Lisey's story and jeez it's a little much at times but good so far. I started a book by an Arkansas author - Michael Ray Taylor - called Southern Caves on the way back from Vail. Unfortunately managed to lose it somehow halfway through so ordered a new one on Amazon today it is fascinating. The chapter on the evolution of a new way of thinking about cave development with the assistance of heretofore undiscovered bacteria, some of the likes of which mimic the ones they are seeing on other planets, just about blew me away. It's not just chemicals, which was heresy to say 20 years ago, but now that myth is being debunked. Caves would not exist without the assistance of biolife.
Michael wore teflon suits to go into caves with scientists to study the bacteria that hides in invisible spiderweb form on the ground but if it touches skin the acid it (emits? Can't remember) will burn badly. And this guy, I researched him last night, is a freaking communications/theater professor at Henderson. Go figure. Genius springs forth from unlikely places.
Hoping that my surprise call week post vacay slows down (but with Rex retired and us being short staffed in summer months not keeping my fingers crossed on that one). I actually have triple surgical load on Friday. Yikes a first if I remember correctly. Oh well I'm taking it in stride I scheduled a chiropracter appointment tomorrow to address the mound of concrete that my upper back and neck have reverted to in the past 24 hours and luckily going to orthopod to address the right arm issues on Thursday afternoon. In good news on that front, my ambidextrous origins have come in handy over the past two weeks, especially with my ADL's. Aging is such a joy. Happy Tuesday. Much love, Elizabeth