Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (6)

Nurse Vs. CIA Agent: Nurse Wins

This weekend a man came to my unit and rang the doorbell a half an hour before visiting hours were to start. I opened the unit door and a large burly man wearing sunglass and a dark suit asked me if a certain patient was on my unit. Of course I told him that I couldn’t say who was on my unit because of HIPAA. Without smiling, the man reached into his pocket and pulled out his ID. He was from the CIA. Then he repeated himself and waited for my answer. I looked at the badge and the picture on his ID, and then I asked the man if he had official or personal business on my unit. His eyes dropped to the floor. He stammered and said that he came to the hospital because he wanted to visit his neighbor. I told him that was very nice, but that he was going to have to wait until it was time for visiting hours just like everyone else. I also let him know that due to hospital policy, he was going to have to secure his weapon with security before he could come onto the unit. He protested. “ But I’m with the CIA!” he said. I smiled. “I know you’re with the CIA, but I’m the charge nurse.” I won.

I don’t care who you are. Never get into a power struggle with a charge nurse.

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched’s Place.*

You may also like these posts

Read comments »

6 Responses to “Nurse Vs. CIA Agent: Nurse Wins”

  1. Rini says:

    Abuse of power much?

  2. Rini says:

    Erm.. the CIA agent, I mean. The charge nurse is right on; the guy was an idiot to think he's above the rules because of his job.

  3. DrV says:

    Too funny. These are the nurses I want on my team

  4. Rini says:

    Abuse of power much?

  5. Rini says:

    Erm.. the CIA agent, I mean. The charge nurse is right on; the guy was an idiot to think he's above the rules because of his job.

  6. DrV says:

    Too funny. These are the nurses I want on my team

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

Unaccountable: A Book About The Underbelly Of Hospital Care

I met Dr. Marty Makary over lunch at Founding Farmers restaurant in DC about three years ago. We had an animated conversation about hospital safety the potential contribution of checklists to reducing medical errors and his upcoming book about the need for more transparency in the healthcare system. Marty was…

Read more »

See all book reviews »