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Doctor Slams Hospital's "Please" Policy 572

Administrators at England's Worthing Hospital are insisting that doctors say the magic word when writing orders for blood tests on weekends. If a doctor refuses to write "please" on the order, the test will be refused. From the article: "However, a doctor at the hospital said on condition of anonymity that he sees the policy as a money-saving measure that could prove dangerous for patients. 'I was shocked to come in on Sunday and find none of my bloods had been done from the night before because I'd not written "please,"' the doctor said. 'I had no results to guide treatment of patients. Myself and a senior nurse had to take the bloods ourselves, which added hours to our 12-hour shifts. This system puts patients' lives at risk. Doctors are wasting time doing the job of the technicians.'"


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Doctor Slams Hospital's "Please" Policy

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  • Just wanna say (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Barrinmw ( 1791848 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:12AM (#32440924)
    Forced gratitude has zero meaning.
  • by logjon ( 1411219 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:13AM (#32440932)
    But in the US all it would take is one catastrophic delay and there would be millions of dollars in lawsuits.
  • Oh Please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:18AM (#32440974) Journal
    while I'm all for manners, refusing vital blood tests when doctors forget to put the word "please" on weekend requests just seems damn right stupid and dangerous. How can any manager sit there and support this measure?

    This sounds like something out of a Dilbert cartoon or from Office Space, I could just see him saying "Yeah... you didn't put please on your TPS reports... so I'm going to need you to come in Saturday, m'kay?"
  • Re:Fire them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:20AM (#32440986)
    It should be a cut-and-dry case for management though. Workers won't do the job they signed up to do, fire them. It doesn't matter if you were hired to flip burgers, do blood tests, be a code monkey or sort mail. If you don't do the job you were hired to do, you get fired.
  • Liability Issues? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ricree ( 969643 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:21AM (#32440994)
    I have to imagine that this would open the hospital up to some liability issues. The first time someone dies because a test wasn't run in time, I have a hard time seeing a jury accepting "the doctor didn't ask me nice enough" as an excuse for not running the test the doctor ordered.
  • Re:Fire them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icegreentea ( 974342 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:22AM (#32441002)
    It doesn't seem like its the technicians who are forcing this through. TFA says it was the management who decided it was a good idea to "ease pressure". Which probably meant that the techies were feeling overworked (they probably are overworked) and complained (not really expecting something like THIS to happen). And instead of doing anything constructive (or maybe they're just all out of money), the management went for some crazy ass stupid idea that somehow past muster.

    Pointy Head Boss eh? IT isn't the only place where they exist.
  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:27AM (#32441040)

    Having done alot of chemo and hospital over the years and having a number of doctors in my immediate family (1 heart, 1 gastro, 1 family practice, 1 abdominal) and a doctor turned administrator, I bet the doctors have been jackasses and the hospital administrators pushed this down the throats of the doctors because they'd treated the lab folks like cattle.

    I bet there were a ton of meetings about how to balance out increased workload with less staffing and the administrator's solution was "please".

  • They're called written _orders_ for a reason... that is, they have all the justification that is required to simply be followed. While it's all very well and good to want people to be polite, it is no more required that a doctor remember to say please than it is required that air traffic controllers say "please" when directing airplanes.
  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:32AM (#32441066)
    this kind of petty crap is exactly why health services around the world suck ass. it starts with doctors who are trained in med school that they are better then everyone else, and treat staff like crap who in turn retaliate with stupid rules of their own. management are usually too busy covering their own arse to take charge and fix the situation.

    I worked in a path lab for 3 years, and i saw everything you could imagine right down to someone threatening staff because they weren't allowed to keep a biopsied body part.

    the medical field is shitty, never get involved in it.

  • by horatio ( 127595 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:37AM (#32441098)
    Would it kill you to do your fucking job without having to be coddled, you whiny little bitch?

    No? Clean out your desk, because I'll find someone else who will. It doesn't mean the doctors treat the staff like shit, but a minimum of doing the tasks you were hired to do is absolutely expected, demanded in exchange for your paycheck. What next? Should the doctor have slip a $5 note with the request? Bullshit. Do. your. fucking. job.
  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:39AM (#32441114)

    INTERCAL [] is an esoteric programming language meant as a parody of stuffy, arcane programming language requirements. One of its more interesting requirements involves the "PLEASE" statement. As an undocumented feature of the language, the compiler will fail if programs are either too polite, or insufficiently polite - which involves placing the PLEASE keyword in front of statements the correct number of times.

    Kind of like here - if the Doctor just peppers all of his written requests with too many PLEASE statements, that's condescending right there - too polite. But insufficient politeness is equally worthy of wrath - all completely nonsensical requirements, dehumanizing the interaction even as they demand for a confusingly artificial subset of human interaction.

    Ryan Fenton

  • Re:Fire them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tsm_sf ( 545316 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:42AM (#32441130) Journal
    From reading TFA (I know, I know...) it seems like more of a "if you can't be bothered to remember one thing your test couldn't have been that important" idea. No clue if it's an appropriate move, but it does seem like an awful lot of whining for what is essentially a minor procedural change.
  • by Cryacin ( 657549 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:51AM (#32441180)
    No manager of skill would ever say that. But every manager of skill would certainly think it.
  • Re:Oh Please! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by starfishsystems ( 834319 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:52AM (#32441190) Homepage
    They probably also don't do tests when the patient has not been clearly identified on the requisition.

    In other words, this is just another among many procedural details that professionals understand have to be followed. They may or not personally agree with the value of some of those details, but they comply anyway. It goes with the job.

    Writing "please" is considerably less of a hardship than filling out a justification of why a given procedure has to be done on the weekend, when administrators know that it creates an increased risk of displacing some other procedure that might be more vital.

    It's marginally more of a hardship than ticking a checkbox that says "high priority". But I think I could handle it. And it stands to reason that not everything can be a high priority.
  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:55AM (#32441208)

    This makes me wonder how big of an asshole the doctors had been to force this kind of a policy on them.

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @02:09AM (#32441292) Journal
    The Sun has no veracity. I seriously doubt there's any requirement to say "please". Am I accusing a major national newspaper of outright lying?


    However, what I do believe is that the overworked lab didn't agree with the doctor that these tests had to be done immediately. All doctors always insist that their tests are urgent (and I don't fault them for this) but the lab has to consider priorities.
  • Re:Fire them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mandolin ( 7248 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @02:15AM (#32441328)

    One of the good things about living in Texas is that it is always acceptable to hold the door open for anybody, and more generally than that, it's never impolite to be polite.

  • by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @02:22AM (#32441372) Homepage
    The Sun has no veracity.[...] a major national newspaper

    One part of this is untrue.
  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @02:50AM (#32441516)

    FTA is sounds like this isn't about politeness as about costs/ordering tests on the weekend. My (heavily extrapolated) understanding of the situation is that doctors work any day of the week, but technicians are more 9-5 Mon-Fri. The administration apparently felt that the doctors weren't considering that technicians generally didn't work weekends (maybe they get overtime then too), thus some tests that could be ignored or left till a weekday were still being ordered on the weekend. The administration tried to stop this by forcing the doctors to write "please", presumably reminding the doctor that it was an inconvenience for the technicians and to consider if it was a test that could wait.

    If my interpretation is accurate than the administrators main mistake was in how they reacted to doctors forgetting to write "please". The writing of "please" was just supposed to nag the doctors, so rather than refuse the test if there is no "please" just have the administrator nag the doctor come Monday.

  • by md65536 ( 670240 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @03:30AM (#32441718)

    expecting the staff to scrape and bow and tug their forelock as they mumble "Yes M'Lord. Right away M'Lord. May it please M'Lord."

    If the doctors were expecting the technicians to go out of their way (scrape and bow and tug their forelock, whatever that means... BTW it's the 20th century in the UK too you know; they're not stuck in the dark ages), or if they were asking the technicians to do a personal favor, then perhaps you would have a point.

    In fact, by requiring the doctors to say "please", the administration is effectively telling the doctors that the support services they need to be able to do their jobs, are there only as a personal favor that they have to earn, and can be denied on whim. It's about power, and it's disgusting. They ruin the meaning of the word "please" by making it a mandatory formality. Shall the doctors then demand the same of others? Perhaps the patients? To what madness will this lead????

    EMS paramedic: Pardon me, doctor, please, sorry, thank you, the patient was involved in a head-on collision and is unconscious and losing a lot of blood, thank you, sorry, thank you.

    Doctor: Thank you paramedic, sorry, please, your hair looks good today, thank you, sorry but I'm afraid I cannot operate on this patient, sorry, thank you. If the patient is able to say "please" neither vocally nor in written form, I must follow hospital policy and deny medical treatment. Sorry, please, and thank you.

    Also... troll detected. The doctors are the ones effectively being asked to bow, and the doctors are the ones explicitly being required to say please. How did you go from that to thinking the doctors are the ones expecting the technicians to say "may it please m'lord"?

  • Technicans Doctors (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Liambp ( 1565081 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @04:26AM (#32442030)

    Insisting people say please is a silly rule but that doctor's condescending attitude towards "technicians" sums up much of what is wrong with modern medicine. The sooner the "technicians" come up with decent expert systems so we can finally get rid of the self opinionated medical practitioner elite the better.

  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:4, Insightful)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @05:08AM (#32442194) Homepage Journal

    Agree. Yes, a lot of Doctors - especially surgeons apparently - have "God complexes" (source: a good friend who's been a Doctor for 2 or 3 years now). While it can be a negative thing, it's also good for these guys to actually have confidence in their abilities.

    You need good skills and confidence to perform a difficult operation. I'm not saying that they should be justified in treating everyone else like shit, but forcing them to write "please" on a form is just being puerile. It serves absolutely no purpose other than to waste time and endanger patients. If you don't like the type of person that tends to become a Doctor, or perhaps how being a Doctor affects a person's ego (I'm guessing it's a bit of both), then don't work in a hospital..

    I have to admit that in my IT support role I'm probably as guilty as the aforementioned Doctors sometimes with the way I think of people who know nothing about computers. I do often try to explain things to people though, and answer even "stupid" questions.

  • by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @05:39AM (#32442298)

    The story is from The Sun []. It would be worth checking if the story was true before getting worked up about it...

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by illumnatLA ( 820383 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @05:46AM (#32442328) Homepage
    You shouldn't have to say 'please' for someone to do the job they were hired to do... it's not a bloody favor you're asking them to do, it's what they're paid for.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2010 @05:58AM (#32442374)

    You are familiar with Van Halen's condition that a bowl of green M&M's be present back stage for them to perform?

    Do you really think it was Van Halen acting out their rockstar egos, or their assurance that someone actually read the specifications (weight limit of stage, total power, etc.) needed for them to perform safely?

    This is a simple case of doctors not following policy (even if I agree the policy is kind of idiotic) of numerous other polices I've seen MDs fail at, which include wash your hands between patents, write legibly, write legal orders, etc. I could point you to a study done on incorporating checklists for procedures, with _anyone_ able to stop the procedure immediately and correct the (typically, but not necessarily) MD if the correct steps were not being taken. MDs complained about that has well, but it did reduce errors by over 50%, and hopefully impressed upon others the importance of working as a team.

    You are not House. You require the services of numerous disciplines in order to care for the patient. If I can't trust you to follow a simple, one word policy, or better yet, not act like a complete jerk; you should be fired.

  • Canadian (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pipingguy ( 566974 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:03AM (#32442388)
    Why does this story not have a 'Canada' tag, assholes? Is it because we Canucks are perceived to be benign followers to you pieces of shit? Tabernac, fuck you (please pardon my French).
  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:04AM (#32442394)

    Yes, in the UK they don't confuse a patient (someone who needs medical attention) with a customer (someone who can pay for product or service). Before the 1940s, we used to have sick people worrying about how they could afford to see a doctor. But we moved beyond that.

    The US hasn't moved beyond it yet. They spend 2.5 times as much on healthcare per capita, yet still don't manage the universal coverage that the UK does.

    The amazing thing for those of us outside America is not how the US healthcare industry has so successfully lobbied government over the years so that they can continue to squeeze profits out of the sick. It's how they've managed to lobby so many of the population to believe it's best too.

  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jedi Alec ( 258881 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:06AM (#32442400)

    Nah, that is not how it works. Being able to tell the difference between someone just blurting out the usual or someone trying to make a genuine effort to be courteous is something almost all human beings are capable of, and I can say from personal experience that it both works and is very rewarding. Who cares if you don't know the girl ringing up your groceries? Make her smile, brighten her day for a few seconds and your own will be that much better for it.

    Doesn't cost anything and massively improves the mood of both yourself and all those around you.

  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stonewallred ( 1465497 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:40AM (#32442516)
    Agreed. Just a few seconds of your time and it costs nothing. And the next time you come in, your bread won't be placed in the bottom of the bag with a gallon of milk on top of it to hold it in place. Or the waitress will make sure you coffee cup stays full and your order is hot and right. Or the salesman will point you away from the expensive "x" and towards the equal quality "y" which is a lot cheaper. Funny what a kind word will get you.
  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AVryhof ( 142320 ) <avryhof AT gawab DOT com> on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:41AM (#32442518) Homepage

    I would imagine being an ER doctor is a lot like being an Emergency Repair technician. The best at getting the job done quick and moving on to the next, but not the best to explain what happened. I bet the reason most ER doctors don't want to talk to you is because they want to finish the job and get to the next patient. (I'm always hearing about the ERs around here being packed solid from people waiting 8-10 hours to get in)

    On the other hand, the nurses probably have a little more time to talk a bit and tell you what might help. If you want to talk to a doctor, schedule a regular visit with your family doctor. Chances are though, that they will tell you the same things a nurse will.

  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arielCo ( 995647 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:49AM (#32442566)

    Oh, where are my mod points now. RIght, they're waiting for the next high ratio of Apple and Idle stories.

    Yes, so often they are rude out of haste. They tend to be overworked and have a sense of "get the important done, delegate the rest" floating inside their skull the whole time.

  • by arethuza ( 737069 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @07:16AM (#32442668)
    In the UK you are perfectly able to go elsewhere to a private hospital - you just have to have private insurance or pay cash.
  • Re:Fire them (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @07:21AM (#32442686)

    The moral is ... you missed what was probably your only chance this decade to get laid because you were being what you thought was clever.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @07:36AM (#32442746)

    I like this rule.
    You probably have never worked with MDs before. But let me tell you they are the worst people to deal with. Because they have a Dr. for a prefix and a MD for a suffix to their name they act like they are the smartest person in the world. So when they encounter something new to them, and out of their main scope they get very offensive, rude and makes everyones lives a little bit more stressful.

    They will often treat non-MDs who work with them as underlings, who job is purely to aid the doctor from doing those little jobs that they don't like to do. They often hide the fact that they are jerks under the catch phrase "lives are at stake". Which is a medical term for "Think of the children" which also means "I want to do it the way I want to".

    Forcing them to be polite while seems like just a silly step is actually quite powerful. Saying please before hand means that the work being done is done for the doctors benefit at the expense of someone elses time. Vs. Just shooting out orders that says you are here for me and just me.

    At work we have a policy if a doctor is calling and is cursing and yelling at us without giving us any useful information we can tell them to call back after they have calmed down then we can help you. It isn't about restricting free speech is is about keeping things professional and trying to keep things running orderly.

    Yes there is a cost savings by making the Dr. think twice, as well it can help keep the load down for the labs for a while.

  • by openfrog ( 897716 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @07:44AM (#32442798)

    Excellent observation... If we checked sources more systematically, and early in a discussion, I guess we would leave perhaps one or two out of ten stories nearly comment-less. Perhaps this would get the message across to Slashdot editors?

  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @07:45AM (#32442804) Journal

    I was left with the impression that he considered talking to me to be a waste of time

    This is probably because there's another dozen patients literally dying to see him, and stuff like "what should I do about my disease" is best left to your primary care doctor who should ideally know all the drugs you're on and all your allergies and your complete medical history and have 15 minutes to discuss this stuff with you without being pre-empted by some guy getting hit by a car.

  • by dentar ( 6540 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @07:47AM (#32442820) Homepage Journal

    I had to go into the emergency room last year. I found that there is a very strict hierarchy there, and that apparently, doing such a thing as a blood test is completely beneath a doctor. No wonder they're displeased at having to use the word, "please." God forbid a doctor condescend to his underlings.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ritchie70 ( 860516 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @08:07AM (#32442980) Journal

    In general, I totally disagree.

    If I'm dining out and a waitress brings me a drink, I say "Thank you." If they ask if I'd like something, I say "yes, please" or "no, thank you." Maybe my mother just beat it into me (not literally) but I can't help myself and I think it's appropriate.

    If I were a doctor, I'd probably ask the techs to "get Mrs. Jones's blood to the lab ASAP please" unless I was distracted with trying to keep Mrs. Jones alive, and even then I might well out of habit.

    If you read the article, the goal of the "Please" isn't actually civility, it's to make the doctors think if the test is necessary. I assume there's some higher cost to weekend testing than week-day testing as it's a weekend policy.

    To require it in a medical concept is nuts. If a doctor orders a test, he should expect it to happen without having to write some "magic word" on the order.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @08:08AM (#32442984) Homepage

    Yup. I refuse to call a doctor "doctor" I call them by their first name.

    There are an amazing number of these ego maniacs that get insulted that I don't call them "doctor".

    "My degree deserves respect!", no you need to EARN my respect.

    On the same note, Call your Dentist "doctor" or "doc" they really appreciate that as the MD's constantly tell dentists they are not doctors. Yet dentists do more to promote better general health than any MD.

  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2010 @08:09AM (#32442998)

    Amen. I was the patient right behind you who had both legs crushed in a terrible construction accident. While you were trying to chat up the ER doc about your condition, I was busy losing both my legs. WTF is wrong with you idiots. ER doctors are NOT there to chat. Make a freaking appointment with another Doctor or ask a nurse.

  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @08:12AM (#32443030) Homepage

    No I want to be the patient that get's the competent doctor that knows what he is doing instead of being lazy and taking a shotgun approach.

  • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @08:33AM (#32443200) Journal
    Funny enough the Sun is horribly liberally biased (like CNN, you know, the TV station everyone says is "unbiased" after the ENTIRE news crew came in wearing all-black and speaking as if at a funeral... the day Bush was re-elected), while Fox is seen as highly conservative-biased. (Note: To me, Fox's political leanings seem clear; they have one highly liberal-biased anchor they use explicitly for political debates, and they have to bring in others to do debates. They do, however, give them a voice for consideration. Most of the time I care to discuss Fox, I'll call them "Balanced" for this reason; I'm not ignorant of their political leanings).
  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:4, Insightful)

    by c6gunner ( 950153 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @08:36AM (#32443230)

    The amazing thing for those of us outside America is not how the US healthcare industry has so successfully lobbied government over the years so that they can continue to squeeze profits out of the sick. It's how they've managed to lobby so many of the population to believe it's best too.

    Well, as someone "outside of America", I can say that the amazing thing to me is how governments have successfully lobbied so much of the population into believing that 6 hour lineups and the emergency room and 8 month waits for a specialist are a GOOD thing.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Thursday June 03, 2010 @08:53AM (#32443370) Journal

    Because they have a Dr. for a prefix and a MD for a suffix to their name they act like they are the smartest person in the world.

    They've been through medical school, so yeah, I'd say they are some of the smartest people in the world. I'm not saying they have the right to be assholes, but it seems like elitism is justified here.

    They often hide the fact that they are jerks under the catch phrase "lives are at stake". Which is a medical term for "Think of the children" which also means "I want to do it the way I want to".

    Except that "lives are at stake" is likely to actually be true. Do you have a specific example of where "the way I want to" is actually arbitrary?

    Forcing them to be polite while seems like just a silly step is actually quite powerful.

    I don't think it's likely to accomplish what you're suggesting. At best, it'd get them to grudgingly start saying please and thank you -- and would you really rather have a sarcastic "please" than none at all?

    the work being done is done for the doctors benefit at the expense of someone elses time. Vs. Just shooting out orders that says you are here for me and just me.

    Versus, say, you're all there for me, the patient.

    At work we have a policy if a doctor is calling and is cursing and yelling at us without giving us any useful information we can tell them to call back after they have calmed down then we can help you.

    That part is key. Also, "cursing and yelling" is something you might actually complain about, compared to "not saying please."

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @08:55AM (#32443392) Journal

    Given the source of this story, I doubt it's true or complete, but assuming it is...

    I like this rule, except that the failure to write "please" should not prevent the actual test from being performed when the doctor orders it to be done.

    Maybe fine the doctor $10 every time they fail to say "please" on a form, put the doctor's names up on a wall of shame, or make them buy the next round of flowers for the office.

    But anyone in the medical field should know that you do not withhold medical information that is possibly vital to a patient's health because the doc forgot to say "pweddy pweaze wiff sugar on top" on the form. Ever.

    I'm not saying courtesy is unimportant, or that doctors have the right to be rude, only that the patient shouldn't suffer because their doctor is a dickhead to the support staff.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2010 @08:57AM (#32443416)
    To say CNN is "horribly liberally biased" while Fox News is merely "seen as highly conservative-biased" is a little silly. CNN _and_ MSNBC have been far harder on Obama than Fox News was towards Bush.
  • honestly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Silly Man ( 15712 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @09:01AM (#32443456) Homepage Journal

    This sounds like a punishment for doctors being rude. It is pretty common that doctors abuse nurses and tech staff and it is understood that nurses and tech staff just suck it up.

  • Rubbish (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Thursday June 03, 2010 @09:06AM (#32443516)

    From TFA: The managers said the move is aimed at easing pressure on hospital workers charged with performing blood tests by making doctors consider whether the tests are essential.

          Let me clarify that I am a physician. Thank god I don't work in the UK, however.

          This is typical of the problems you get when a hospital is run by "business administrators". Please note: ALL TESTS ORDERED BY A DOCTOR ARE ESSENTIAL. What, you think we like to take time out of our lives to write down lab orders, and take more time interpreting them, just to push paper around? Because we have stock in ballpoint pen manufacturers?

          Honestly any person who alters a medical instruction - say nursing staff who fail to dispense correct, prescribed medication or lab staff who decide not to perform correct, prescribed tests are taking a MEDICAL decision. This implies two things: first, they are practicing medicine without being licensed to do so. Secondly, the must assume responsibility for the consequences of their decision. If something happens to a patient because the lab "deemed" that the test was "not necessary", guess whose fault it is?

          This is a thinly veiled attempt to reduce hospital costs by not hiring more lab workers to cover the weekends. Or some idiot in accounting thinks that if he limits the amount of testing, he will essentially limit costs (because of course running no tests is far cheaper than running tests). The hidden cost of course is the morbidity/mortality of the patients. But hey, what's an extra day in the hospital for the patient - the bed will be filled by SOMEONE anyway, right?

          Unfortunately I find that physicians are too good natured or too wrapped up in their work to get organized and tackle crap like this head on. Perhaps the hospital administrators should start saying "please" to the physicians for them to come to work every day. /rant

  • by tsalmark ( 1265778 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @09:20AM (#32443634) Homepage
    To the moderator: Given Fox News earned the moniker Faux News after going to court to defend it's right to literally lie in it's news casts, I fail to see how Troll is an appropriate moderation.
  • Re:Fire them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StuartHankins ( 1020819 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @09:25AM (#32443688)

    After hours the doors require you to swipe your student ID to get in. It's a pain, so decent folk don't let the door swing shut after getting the reader to take their ID.

    Wait... what?? You really don't understand why you have to swipe your card, do you? It's one thing if you know the person -- and yet totally different if you're holding the door open for strangers.

    The good news is you're still in school. Stay there until you learn something. If you're lucky you might learn 2 somethings like why this is stupid. Really, get a clue. This is irresponsible especially in today's society.

  • Re:Just wanna say (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2010 @09:40AM (#32443848)

    Yes, totally agree with this comment.

    Quite simply, if you save lives using your skill then you are more useful than someone that takes your money for the burger you've just purchased. It must be frustrating for such skilled people to be expected to do the after care.

    Nurses can deal with a lot now, then if they don't know they ask a doctor and if / when you need an operation you would consult a surgeon. I assume the surgeon would have told the other medical staff exactly how to treat you after the operation, as well as things to look out for. If not I can see a problem but I can't see that would be the case.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hduff ( 570443 ) <> on Thursday June 03, 2010 @09:41AM (#32443852) Homepage Journal

    And interfering with medical care is OK with you? Please get your panties in a bunch in another line of work.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @09:53AM (#32443964) Journal

    Just because someone hasn't been through medical school doesn't mean that they couldn't have gone to medical school. Am I automatically less intelligent because I chose a career that isn't in the field of medicine, or that doesn't require a few extra years of school? It's not like the day I got my bachelor's degree I stopped learning new things. I learn more every day while working.

    I'm sure there are plenty of doctors out there that are smarter than me. I'm also sure there are plenty of doctors out there that are dumber than me. I hope that all doctors out there know more about medicine than me, but I'm willing to bet that very few of them know more about my profession than I do.

    The fact that someone spent more time in school than someone else doesn't automatically means that they're smarter than them, it probably just means that their priorities were different. And it certainly doesn't give them the right to be an elitist asshole. Cure cancer, and then you've earned the right to be an elitist asshole. But even then, you're still an asshole, and you should expect people to respond accordingly.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by abigsmurf ( 919188 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @10:53AM (#32444720)
    Perhaps they find it insulting because it IS insulting?

    They wish to be called Doctor and they've earnt the right to be called doctor. If someone named Richard says "please call me Rich, not Dick", do you then go around calling him Dick? Do you address important business clients you're meeting for the first time just by their first name?

    You are deliberately choosing not to address them by their title against their wishes. That is a calculated insult.
  • Re:Easy solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @11:09AM (#32444924)
    I suspect that's not even it. I suspect it is because doctors tend to have an over inflated sense of importance, and enough of them had behaved badly enough that the techs started to throw a fit. Someone in the office politics sort of way decided that this was a way that they could 'force' the doctors to be nicer. This sort of thing rarely works, but people keep trying.
  • by Quirkz ( 1206400 ) <ross&quirkz,com> on Thursday June 03, 2010 @11:13AM (#32444988) Homepage
    Straight reporting? It must exist on Fox News, but I've never seen it. Every time I flip past, if I pause on Fox News for a moment to see what they're saying, it's ALWAYS commentary. Might have something to do with the timing (generally evenings or late nights), but I've never landed on that channel when they weren't in the middle of a rant about how liberals or Democrats are destroying the nation in one way or another.

    I really like a good political discussion, and enjoy listening to rational opposing viewpoints. But I've got no time for obviously biased (and often either factually incorrect or clearly stretching) ranting.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @11:18AM (#32445074)

    To some people the idea of titles is demeaning.

    To address one differently then another is to assume a different value to that person over others. Many people don't feel that education level, or other factors, intrinsically throw someone into a different value versus any other person.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2010 @11:20AM (#32445092)

    The biggest observation the past 2-3 years is that while people continue to whine about Faux, they don't realize that Fox has actually become more and more (dare I say) moderate and restrained than other outlets, such as MSNBC.

    My biggest objection to people like you is that you pick and choose what is bad based on your political leanings. Otherwise you'd have to include MSNBC to include on news theater and political leaning, as MSNBC has gotten complete off the wall. I thought Fox was bad until I saw MSNBC in the run up to the 2008 election.

    And since the election, MSNBC has gotten worse. There has been more crappy MSNBC bias than ever. It's actually hilarious Maddow had (as well as had to put out) an MSNBC branded ad saying that she didn't have a political side when giving an interview. Does she actually believe that? The same reporters that give political opinion with a smirk and with clear political spin and leanings in the evening commentary also do their daytime reporting--with only slightly less obvious bias, but it's still there wholesale. They unabashedly cannot turn it off (it's actually sort of funny how bad they are, and I think they know it).

    You don't care about bad news. You care about bad news _only if it works against your political leanings_. Hell, include the Huffington Post in there too.

    CNN has certainly gone more and more left; that is unquestionable, but at least they pretend to do a more fair job.

    Anyways, it all comes back to bite you in the ass anyways (although you may like that). People wise up to the game that's being played, and then it's status quo for stations to be run like Fox, and the next thing you know, you'll be pointing out how bad Fox is while swimming in a worse cesspool of tactics. People in the middle are also starting to push back hard to the extremes, which is a good thing.

  • by Chowderbags ( 847952 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:06PM (#32445814)
    My biggest problem with Fox News is that they lie and edit their footage (like the most recent example, editing out the applause at Obama's West Point speech). Considering that they've argued in court that just because their the news doesn't mean they can't lie, I don't know why anyone trusts them.
  • by ccady ( 569355 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:13PM (#32445930) Journal

    Do you read these things at all? This study does nothing to further your assertion that "Fox [is] the most balanced in straight reporting".

    The study [] covered *only* 2008 Election stories during the prime time evening news shows for a period of 3 1/2 months in late 2007.

    The methodology was to look for "positive" and "negative" comments about candidates. Suppose we had a story about a serial killer. By this methodology, if the news program called him a thug twice, and a blessing once, then we'd have an "unbalanced" news report which was 66% negative and 33% positive.

    (Interesting to note that by these measures, the Fox news was close to 50+/50- for democratic candidates, but the others averaged 47+/53- for those democratic candidates.)

    If you wish to learn more, go to ( and find out who funds the Center for Media and Public Affairs ( At the time of the report, the president of the CMPA, S. Robert Lichter, was a paid Fox News contributor.

  • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:23PM (#32446114) Journal
    Balanced like a good random number generator?

    If something/someone is bad, say it's bad. Fuck "balance".

    Us nerds should care about truth more than "balance".
  • by jack2000 ( 1178961 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:47PM (#32446614)
    It is not hi JOB to do the test. Where i live the technicians that do the labwork are specifically trained to do that. The doctors know how to do it too. But would you rather have the doctor see 1 patient and do labwork or seeing 3 patients in the time it would take him to do the damn labwork?
  • Re:Easy solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@[ ] ['yah' in gap]> on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:57PM (#32446808) Homepage Journal

    But they do.
    Md's are highly trained. They are experts. You are not. You're opinion in that field should never carry as much weight as theirs.

    That Dr has MORE VALUE in the medical industry then you do.
    Just like a bridge engineer has MORE VALUE in designing bridges then you do.

    The idea of titles is to give information.

  • Thank You! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:40PM (#32447620)

    I just wanted to say "thank you" for your sanity in this discussion. Who goes to an ER without an emergency, anyway?

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bakkster ( 1529253 ) <{} {at} {}> on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:50PM (#32447810)

    Just because someone hasn't been through medical school doesn't mean that they couldn't have gone to medical school. Am I automatically less intelligent because I chose a career that isn't in the field of medicine, or that doesn't require a few extra years of school? It's not like the day I got my bachelor's degree I stopped learning new things. I learn more every day while working.

    Nobody said non-Dr.s couldn't be smart as well. It doesn't even recognize intelligence per-se (although it's certainly a factor). It only recognizes achievement, specifically their degree. In other words, while smart people may not be all doctors, all doctors are smart people (it's a universal affirmative, but only one way).

    It doesn't make them better, but it does make them a Dr. Regardless of your thoughts on the implied benefits of such a title or how they may carry it, they certainly did earn such a title. Similarly, just because you're as smart as or 'could have been' the president, you aren't the president and thus don't receive that title.

  • Balanced reporting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tetsujin ( 103070 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @03:43PM (#32449602) Homepage Journal

    If something/someone is bad, say it's bad. Fuck "balance".

    Us nerds should care about truth more than "balance".

    The problem is that judgments like "bad" are subjective - and providing just raw, verifiable information usually isn't much help to the audience, they need analysis as well so they can understand the bigger picture, the significance of that data... And analysis, too, varies depending on the source.

  • Re:Easy solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@[ ] ['yah' in gap]> on Thursday June 03, 2010 @06:05PM (#32451478) Homepage Journal

    If the engineers had a Doctorate, I would call them Dr. Smith.

    In hospitals, clear designation is critical. So I call them Doctors, I Call nurses Nurse.

    In this context, calling them Dr's is important.

    The whole context here is medical. I know many Dr's., and when not in a work environment I call them by their first name, and they are fine with that.

    "you already know who they are or can easily discover it (name badge?"
    During an emergency? I've been in and watched many people in an emergency room and very often the person is to busy or in pain to or emotional involved to read a name badge. Or communicate above a single word. When you are having a hard time you don't want to say "I need Steve"

    "If you want to treat a person as an equal, you use his/her name."
    In a medical context, you are not the Doctors equal. You only think that because we live in an age where everyone thinks they are an expert.

"All we are given is possibilities -- to make ourselves one thing or another." -- Ortega y Gasset