Category: The Clinic


A Day At The Clinic Part 6 - Risa Rules

Learning The Clinic Rules (Risa Rules)

Surviving a session at the Clinic is a little bit more than just staying alive. You got to be able to deftly handle your life, health and ‘technical requirements’. We come into the clinic weighing over our ‘dry weight’ and sometimes short of breath, so you can’t wait to get that weight off of you.  So life and health issues and how one handles them are always a constant battle. But there is another set of rules that runs right alongside the first two. It’s called the ‘Clinical Manager Method for Efficient Dispatch of Patients’, The Rules of the Clinic or just Risa Rules for short.

I’ve been going to the Dialysis clinic for about 10 years and you think I would have them (Risa Rules) memorized by now, but hey this is me, and Risa and I clash on the her Rules just about every time. In fun and in jest and in no certain order I present to you, The Risa Rules.

Rule #1

Rule # 1 (this is a shared rule): Do not drag around, be or act distracted, or jst taking your time when weighing yourself on the scale and then getting to your chair. Upon entering the clinic, be quick, and be efficient (you go straight to your chair). Now most patients get themselves weighed quickly and are soon settled in their seats.  But you know I get in about 30 minutes later than everyone else, so they are all ready sitting down. From the front scale I see Faust and Troy Carpenter, so I say hello and start greetings and small talk with them. One of the 3 technicians (Risa, Shawn or Rebonie) is always stationed near the front and even if I am not their patient, they’ll still converge on me and tell me to step it up and rush to my chair. Of course as I pass by each patient I have to say good morning to each and every person and so it takes much longer than it should for me to get seated. Of all the techs, Risa is on my butt the most. 

Rule #2

Rule # 2: Don’t speak while the Clinical Manager (Risa) is talking or helping someone else. The Clinical Manager takes her Dialysis job seriously and is a very dedicated professional. But understand that I gave Risa the Clinical Manager title. The way she gently barks out quick commands like don’t do this, don’t do that, keep it moving, you need to be double billed for tying up your chair (being late or long complications) etc. became the reason for giving Risa that title. Yeah, let me get back to the Rule. I was curious to what my heart rate was so I Risa was my tech that day so she was near my station and I asked her “what was my blood pressure?”.  She quipped back with a question, “Did I look at you” I said I guess not, “Did I acknowledge that you can speak yet” and I said no,” Well you know I’ve told you, don’t talk unless I say it’s ok”. Only thing I could say was sorry I’ll remember to use my telepathic powers to get permission to ask a question. What made that more hilarious after my ridiculous statement was that Risa nodded with approval! I guess I’m finally making progress with Risa Rules though I’m still trying to figure out how to read minds to know when to speak up!

Rule #3

Rule # 3: When taking about the clinic staff, even if you know you’re right, remember to do it very quietly or you’ll incur the Wrath of Shawn (Risa’s buddy and co-enforcer). I found out again that Shawn is a force to be reckoned with. Oh yeah and you must remember that these techs have bionic hearing! No joke, rumors say that they can hear their name being talked about from more than 400 feet away. So what made Shawn get involved with a small rant I had going on with Les. Les and I were commenting to each other about the apparent lack of official recognition by the clinic for the passing of Willie Hood, a 15 year patient of the clinic. There was no announcement to the patients, not a  flyer or sign posted up front. There was just nothing to acknowledge his passing! So I was ranting off to Les and then She Stepped In! She came to our area right when I was yakking about how Willie gave candy to the tech’s and staff all the time for years and you would think that one of them would take the initiative and say something good about Hood. And Shawn engaged me at that point. What?? She said and Les said wooah! She commanded Les to hide his face behind the TV and keep his mouth shut or he’ll be next (of course Les obeyed). Directing her full attention to me, I tried to hide behind my TV screen (like Les) and hoped to divert her attention away. Shawn wasn’t having any of that, for I had said too much. She came up to my TV screen and smacked it away! I felt so exposed. She calmly asked me with the whole clinic looking on, What would I have the Clinic say about Willie Hood? She explained that Hood’s family has not made any contact with anyone at the clinic, so they had no official or verifiable news (her face and tones were real intense and I was a little scared) to report to us. Shawn defended all the tech’s honor by calling me out. She then asked me what do I want to say about Willie, what do I what to write for them to put out up front. With the whole clinic looking at me, I feebly said that we already wrote about him on the blog. My I really was trying to divert attention away from me, so I asked where is Griffin when I need him, knowing that if he was here he would crack some jokes and Shawn and the rest of the staff would’ve got on him. But it wasn’t just Shawn, Rebonie joined in and even the Clinical Manager Risa jumped in (that bionic hearing pulled her in) and was about to crack some words on me, but I got a reprieve from her when her patients needed her up front so she had to go. But this wasn’t over, the nurses now all gathered around my stationed to check out who was the trouble maker for the clinic. They jokingly admonished me to not say bad things about the clinic and its good name. Jokes aside we were somewhat upset about the non recognition of Willie Hood, and all seriousness aside everything Shawn and the nurses said was real funny stuff (the whole clinic got a good laughs that morning). So what was my lesson that I learned. Well if you gonna talk so smack or crap or plain ol’ stuff about the clinic, if it involves tech or staff whisper. Say it very low, because Shawn and her friends possess super hearing! And when you are confronted by them, deny, deny and deny. Buy yourself time and hope another patient pull them off you. So whispering is the key to avoiding the Wrath of Shawn!

Rule #4

Rule # 4: Do not loiter in the Clinic when done with your treatment.  Of course I like to talk to my fellow patients before, during and after treatment. After getting off the machine I’ll (try) to hold brief conversations with Griffin, Sims, Davis, Wilder and others as I’m leaving. Risa is right there, telling me that I got to go, loitering is not allowed in the clinic. So she makes sure that I ‘vacate’ the area and I try to squeeze as much conversation in as possible. Risa then tells me, that’s what phones are for, talk to them on your own time.