Many people tell me that I missed my calling as a librarian. I think they may be right. I have loved reading since I was a small child. My parents say that I would walk up to them with books in tow, begging them to read to me. Although I had an intense love for words, my parents pushed me in the direction of medicine. They wanted me to graduate from college, get a good job (in an office, not a shipyard), and make good money. Instead, I went to college, got pregnant, dropped out, and got my first big-girl job as an Emergency Room admitting clerk. There is truly no place on earth like the ER. It isn’t for everyone and those who stick around may develop a twisted sense of humor. I no longer work in the ER, but I often find myself longing for the strong coffee and patients who suddenly develop chest pains as they are being arrested (sudden onset arrestitis as an officer once called it).
I know that I may never work as a clerk in the ER again. My better-paying, front desk/billing clinic job has me spoiled. Occupational Health has its share of cray-cray stories, but nothing can compare to the people and situations that come through the ‘mergency room. In honor of Patient Access Week, I am reading a book called Full Moon Follies by Kerry Hamm. This book is amazing. She works as an admitting clerk in a small town hospital and decided to write a book about the things she has witnessed over the years. In fact, Follies is her fifth book! Those of us who work in healthcare can relate to this book. It’s impossible to make this stuff up. To you poor souls who have never experienced working a shift in any type of healthcare setting: read the book. It may not make you want to run out and put in applications at hospitals, but at least you’ll know what not to do the next time you sign in.