I work in a small community hospital. The hospital functions like the bar Cheers. “Where ev-ery-bo-dy knows your na-me” (Yes, I hummed the tune in my head)
For most small townies this is a great thing. There is a comfort level and town security blanket that gives you that ‘warm-fuzzy’ feeling. I myself admittedly am a part of this group whether I like it or not.
I worked at Big-Shiny Teaching Hospital for 2 years before transferring back close to home. In fact the Hospital is less than 3 miles away from my driveway. When I arrived at the new job, new hospital, my ‘orientation’ to the hospital included reuniting with many childhood memories that came in the form of co-workers, other staff and of course patients.
I do my best to keep it separate, but my darn family and friends can’t seem to grasp the whole HIPAA concept.
“Did you hear that so-and-so got admitted to the hospital?”
“Did you see so-and-so at work today?”
“Did you know so-and-so is sick?”
“So-and-so had surgery, how did she do?”
Confidentiality has no leg to stand on when it comes to town gossip. And the chatty-Kathy’s of the town get really upset with me when I become tone-deaf or simply ignore anything that is said in reference to work or the hospital. I play a mean game of ‘Dodge Ball’.
I guess my obvious rebuttal,”I can lose my job and my license” doesn’t ease their social suffering.
Heh heh..the trials and tribulations of small town nursing.