As healthcare workers, we’re conditioned to wash or sanitize our hands before and after coming into contact with patients, every time, without fail.
To make this as easy as possible to do, there are little hand sanitizer dispensers placed everywhere in our ER. You can’t walk 5 feet without coming across one. There are also sinks located in every room and at various locations throughout the ER.
I wash or sanitize my hands at least 30 to 40 times a day. It’s a pain in the ass, but you gotta do it. And with all the dispensers and sinks everywhere, it’s easy to do.
So it’s pretty hard to come up with an excuse for not keeping your hands clean. But there are some folks — yes, even people in my own department–that don’t take it as serious as the rest of us do.
It’s easy to spot them. They’ll come out of a patient’s room and go straight to a computer and begin charting in a patient’s chart. Or they’ll come out, walk right past a hand sanitizer dispenser and carry on about their business.
Now, I’m not one to judge. You want to have nasty hands? That’s your own business. Just don’t touch me with them and we’ll be fine.
But the other day I was forced to say something to one of the Docs, who we’ll call Dr. Wigglesworth.
I was sitting in our break room, eating my dinner, watching Sportscenter on TV.
Let me stop here for a brief explanation.
Whoever designed our break room is either a complete idiot, or lacks awareness of potentially awkward situations.
I say this because our employee bathroom is also in the break room, less then a foot away from the table we all eat at. So as you can imagine, if I’m sitting at the table eating, I am able to hear everything that goes on in the bathroom. And I mean everything.
So I’m eating….
In comes Dr. Wigglesworth.
“Hey, how’s it going, Sol.?”
“Good, Doc. Just eating.”
“Whatcha got there?”
“Chicken tenders and onion rings. Want some?”
“Yeah. Don’t mind if I do. Let me hit the John first.”
He goes into the bathroom, locks door and proceeds to take a very, very long pee. I hear him let out a deep grunt and then he flushes the toilet.
There’s a brief pause before the door flings open.
Now I wasn’t eavesdropping, but I couldn’t help but notice I hadn’t heard the water running, nor did I hear the automatic paper towel dispenser go off.
But before what all that meant could register, he reached over my shoulder and grabbed a chicken tender that he split in half. He then threw the other half back onto the pile of onion rings and tenders on my plate.
“What the hell are you doing?” I exclaimed.
“What?” he asked, his mouth full as he chomped on half a chicken tender. “You said I could have some.”
“Yeah, but you didn’t wash your hands. And now you contaminated my food by throwing that half you touched back on it.”
“I washed my hands,” he said defensively.
“No you didn’t. You took a piss, grunted like a goddamn caveman and came right out. What kind of a sicko does that shit?”
“So you’re eavesdropping on me taking a piss, now? Who’s the sicko?”
“You can’t help but to hear everything — you’re a fucking foot away from the table with nothing but a door and four thin walls to separate us.”
“Well, your hearing must be bad cause I washed my hands. I always wash my hands, I’m a physician for Christ’s sake.”
“No you did not. I can’t eat this shit now. You took your penis hands and touched my food and now I have penis-laced chicken tenders and onion rings.”
“Do whatever you goddamn want, you fool,” he said as he stormed out of the break room.
I took my plate and tossed it in the trash. I wasn’t going to eat penis chicken because he didn’t know how to wash his hands.
Editor’s Note: Sol.’s last post for The Third City was Sex Machine….
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