Saturday, June 7, 2014

Forum Post: FM Complaints: Healthcare Edition

At my house, there is a strange obsession with the TV show House M.D. (For those of you not familiar, it was a show about an unconventional genius doctor.) The obsession is my husband's and it's strange because he hates doctors and hospitals. But he loves all the crazy medical mysteries that House has to puzzle out.

The bizarre in hospitals apparently doesn't stop with obscure medical conditions. FMs who work in healthcare facilities have sent in a fair share of pretty strange complaint stories. One of them almost seemed too preposterous to believe — until another person in another hospital sent in almost exactly the same story! (I only put one of the versions in the batch below. I'll let you guess which one it was.) Enjoy!

"We are a hospital with outpatient clinics in the same facility. One of the Medical Clinic doctors swore up and down that she could smell mold and had us checking all the walls to see if we had a leak that was soaking a wall and was hidden. This went on for a week. We finally found the problem; one of their coffee pots had not been cleaned in a long time and had some funky stuff growing in it (it was white). Needless to say, they quit griping after we told them to clean their coffee pot."

"I work at an in-patient state psychiatric hospital.  It is an older campus and we are often renovating the facilities. During one of the construction projects a nurse who must have had a particularly trying day complained that all the construction/renovation activities in the patient care areas occurred during the day and was very disruptive to the therapeutic milieu.  She asked why we didn’t have construction activity occur on the night shift so as to give the day shift a break from the noise — apparently sleep interruption/deprivation for the patients was of less concern to HER than day time noise disruptions!!"

"I work in a hospital in maintenance and there was a call in for one of the wards for a toilet problem. The work order stated, “Lower water level in toilet.” Obviously, this required further investigation so to the ward I went. Upon arrival I stopped at the nurses station for clarification instead of asking the patient. The nurse, with complete embarrassment, stated that the patient’s “junk” was touching the water and he was asking if the water level could be lowered to accommodate. Well we tossed a few ideas around and just figured he was bragging but we couldn’t help this time."

I'm starting to think a show about FMs puzzling out all the bizarre situations that come up in hospitals wouldn't be far off the mark. At least, it would be funny. What do you think?

And I bet you guessed which one made me say, "WHAT?!" So to the FM who sent that one in, know you are not alone! And your colleague with the same.... um.... water level problem had a great solution — offer the patient a potty seat to elevate him to a drier position.

Can you top these stories? Post a new forum to the FM Complaints page or send them to me at


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