There’s no such thing as a stupid question.. unless you’re a colleague of Dr Copperfield’s.
Now and again I have been known to express the opinion that medical students don’t seem to know much. About anything.
Similarly, I have let slip on occasion the idea that nurses, in the main, don’t know a great deal about anything either.
Neither of these things really bothered me all that much. I felt safe in the assumption that the clueless medical student of today would discover a spectacular cure for something later on in life and as for the nurses, let’s just say that I’ve lowered my level of expectation to mirror their level of performance. A bit like being a Pompey fan.
And so life chugged happily along until I picked up the phone a few moments ago.
‘Hi Tony. I’ve got a patient with me who fulfils the Ottawa criteria for an ankle X-ray.’
In line with touchy feely modern feedback methods I am now obliged to say something nice. So, well done for knowing (a) that the Ottawa rules exist and (b) applying them in everyday clinical practice.
‘What do I do now?’
‘Er, how about sending the patient to the local Casualty department for an X-Ray?’
‘Fine, thanks Tony.’
This call did not come from a medical student, a nurse or even a receptionist.
It came from a doctor. One with letters after their name and everything.
Even now, I’m checking the light fittings in my consulting room for a hidden camera and a microphone. Hopefully, you’ll see me on ‘You’ve Been Framed and Set Up cos you’re Game For A Laugh – On Ice’ next weekend.
Otherwise you’ll find me in the pub drowning my sorrows. Again.