Apr 11, 2009

"Mistaken Identity"

Here's a great poem from Pulse Magazine.

"Mistaken Identity"
by Kathleen Grieger

Surgery finished,
I finally sleep

Pushing my shoulders,
the technician wakes me

"Come now,
we need a chest x-ray"

Smiling, she pulls me
into position

The x-ray machine
tight against me

Finally getting a chance,
I ask what she is doing

"Oh," she says "I have
the wrong one

You are not a 64
year old male"

Lying me down,
she walks away

As I fall back to sleep,
I wonder, now bald

what I must
look like

About the poem: "Frustrated with the problems and errors that were hugely complicating my medical treatment after brain surgery, I realized that it was necessary for me to start writing again. Because I'd been so busy before, my poetry had been set aside; picking it up again was the best thing I've ever done."


1. As a health care provider, do you use a creative outlet to express your stress or frustration with work? What do you do?

2. What steps are you taught to make sure you have the right patient? Does anyone teach you this? Or, what steps does your health care organization take to make sure you operate on the correct patient?

3. Have you ever had an experience like the patient in the poem?

1 comment:

kathleen Grieger said...

I am flattered you used the poem,as someone told me to look here.
Going through it, I know it is one to be used for others.
The interactions and answers I have had with much of medical field are . . . I guess inane.

From this poem to someone telling me we need blood tests because they cut themselves while in my brain.
Do being told "what do you expect? You are never the same once the air hits your brain" When i statused after surgery. To much more from there.
So I am saying using error as a teaching tool is a good thing.