“Hey,” Kit grabbed the shirtsleeve of one of the second year residents, and tugged him into the hallway. She wanted to be away from the prying eyes of Dr. Whiting for a minute. “Jackson, would you please sign this order for a blood panel on my patient?”
Jackson eyed it for a moment but couldn’t find anything out of place. “Dr. Whiting is okay with this?”
“Absolutely. He just got so busy he forgot to scribble his name across it. You know attendings.”
“Okay, no problem.” He signed his name to the order and handed it back to her. “Thanks for keeping on top of the paperwork. We so appreciate it.”
Kit smiled. Later, she might feel bad about lying to the resident. After all, they trusted the nursing staff to keep them on the right track in the hospital. But in the moment, all she cared about was getting the care for Mrs. Connolly that she was sure Dr. Whiting was neglecting.
Order in hand, Kit headed back to Mrs. Connolly with her phlebotomy tray and drew several vials of blood. Lacking anything definitive to keep her in the hospital, soon enough her children came to collect her and take her back home. Kit could only hope something would eventually show in the blood work to validate her hunch.
A few hours and a dozen patients later, a nurse handed Dr. Whiting a piece of paper with lab results on it. He pushed his glasses up on his nose and glanced at the name of the patient at the top. When had he decided to run a CBC, CMP, a lipid panel and a vitamin D level on the fender bender patient?
His blood boiled as he came to the conclusion that he had not, in fact, ordered any such thing. He remembered discussing blood work with the troublesome nurse, Kate? Kit? But he’d given no indication to her that he wanted her to do anything other than fetch the old lady something to eat.
Results in hand, he tracked down the nurse as she came out of one of the triage rooms.
“What the hell is this?” He shoved the paperwork at her. For her part, she stayed where she was and didn’t back away from him like he was used to seeing nursing staff do when he was angry.
“It looks like blood work results on Mrs. Connolly. Not anemic, but dangerously low vitamin D. Hmm.”
“I’m not an idiot, Kate, and I don’t appreciate being treated like some first-year med student.” He spoke through clenched teeth, so mad he could spit. “You run another test without my express permission and you’ll find your ass out on the sidewalk before you can blink.”
Kit was glad the man turned and stalked away from her at that moment, because damned if she wanted him to see that his words had an effect on her. Damned if she was going to let him see her cry on the job.
“It’s Kit, dammit.”