Great Quotes in Medicine | Sticks & Stones

Posted on February 13, 2011


angry patient

This man is in need of what we call "Vitamin H" (that'd be Haloperidol, Wiki it)

A little over a month ago, we got a lecture on psychiatric emergencies.  The psychiatrist lecturing had given other talks, so I knew he had a bit of a mouth on him (and I’m convinced he gets away with it because of his charming Southern Drawl).  However, while telling us about agitated patients, he really let ‘er rip.  I’m providing this quote with context:

Experienced psychiatrists and nurses will just ignore that verbal abuse.  I mean, you could be watching the weather report on the weather channel, that’s how much impact it has on us.  You can’t personalize it.  I give this lecture to my hospital staff all the time, and here’s what I tell ’em:

If you don’t like to be called a motherfucker or a son-of-a-bitch, then this is the wrong job for you.  And the fact is, even if you ARE a motherfucker or a son-of-a-bitch, it has nothing to do with you taking care of this patient. Your job is to take care of this patient.

It’d be like me being a cardiologist and telling you “I love cardiology, but man do I get pissed off when they have chest pain!  Hmph!  That thing just gets me pissed!”

Needless to say, that got all of us MF’ers and SOBs fired up – later that day, I got into a knife fight with a patient!

The police later explained that I had misinterpreted what the good psychiatrist had meant to convey when he said “Your job is to take care of this patient.”