Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Well, what can I say about working at Parker Medical Clinic? It was rarely dull.

I was about as fresh out of school as a person could be. I’ve always been told that I am pretty sharp and I guess I pick things up quickly – or at least I did when I was younger. I was kind of thrown into things at PMC, but it all worked out.

The doctor who owned the clinic also had a clinic in one of the ski resort towns, so he spent most of his time in the mountains. The physician’s assistant, Randy, saw all of the patients and Joan was the receptionist. I pretty much did everything else.

There was another clinic in the tiny little town of Parker, but ours was the only one on the main drag. Which meant we had people walking in the door with all sorts of emergencies.

One guy had dropped an engine or something on his foot. He didn’t know how bad it was until I took his boot off and his entire big toe peeled back, being held onto his foot only by the skin on the bottom. There was a young guy who had been spray –painting in a home under construction. He stepped outside to light up a cigarette, instead, with the paint fumes still clinging to him, he went up in flames.

The most blood I have ever seen in my life was from a teen-age girl who had had her tonsils out the day before. She started hemorrhaging from the incision site. By the time her mother got her to our clinic, the jacket she had cradled in her lap was full of blood. She came in carrying it and it was at least an ice cream bucket full of clotting bright red blood.

Luckily Randy thrived on these kinds of incidences. Joan just made sure she always had the number for the helicopter close at hand. We managed to have a lot of fun though, too.

There was this group of four or five school teachers who would come in after work once a month for a weigh-in. I would weigh them and Randy would spend 5 or 10 minutes talking about diet or exercise. If they lost weight or stayed the same, there was no charge. If any of them gained weight, they owed us $5. Instead of putting the money into the clinic funds, we put it in the donut fund. On slow days, when we had some extra money in the fund, I would run down to the grocery store and pick up a dozen assorted donuts. Kind of seems like a contradiction, doesn’t it?

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