Nurse! Decode this Prescription!
Doctors must obviously be intelligent people (well most of them anyway), but what’s with their handwriting? I was told once that because they do a lot of writing over the years, it makes it difficult to keep neat handwriting. I am not expecting beautifully constructed letters that would make my first grade teacher glow with pride, but can’t they manage having ugly handwriting while keeping it legible anyway? Of course if a nurse gave the wrong medication because she decoded the doctor's handwriting incorrectly, she’d be the one to take the fall. There are obviously some serious issues with illegible handwriting. Doctors usually refuse to help the situation, so the pharmacists at my hospital waste no time sending prescriptions back to the doctors with a note written boldly in red ink instructing the doctor to rewrite the prescription neatly.
Dr. Mathal is famous for having the worst handwriting and he would get extremely offended and defensive whenever the pharmacy would send him such notes. He’d kick a fuss and refuse to rewrite the script. He once even just walked right out of the consulting room and left the hospital. I wonder if he thinks he was making a point or something because in the end, it’s the patient that gets shoved about. First the patient gets sent back to the doctor with the illegible prescription to be rewritten and if the doc who wrote the script is no longer around, another doctor has to review the case from scratch (since he can't read the notes), then the patient goes back to the pharmacy again. It's a waste of time and it's frustrating for the ill and elderly.
But as karma would have it, one day Dr. Mathal had to write up a repeat prescription for a patient on chronic meds. He pulled out the previous script hoping he could copy it off from there so that he could finish up with the patient quickly and catch a ride home with one of his colleagues. The old script was illegible, and after studying it for a while, he couldn't decode the handwriting. The funniest part of it all was that it was his own handwriting! He look flustered and annoyed and had to interview and examine the patient all over again, which took him an extra half hour and he missed his ride home! I smiled inside.
If you can read this, you're a nurse!