Help Wanted: Patient (part-time position)

Basset hound howling with word balloon: "Help wanted."

I’m a bit busy of late. Recently, I have been contacted by a few former clients. You may wonder what a bad job I did the first time if old clients feel a need to return. In my defense, please remember that we all need a refresher occasionally.

I also have another upcoming speaking engagement: I’ll be talking to health professionals about empathy. An empathy conference for medical professionals is almost as ironic as the need for Patient and Family Centred Care week. I anticipate preaching to the health-care choir. Yet who am I to give up an opportunity to be the centre of an audience’s attention, even if only for a few short minutes? I can’t wait.

These responsibilities, in addition to my full-time patient job, my dog parenting, the rare bit of housework (I vacuumed today!), cooking and baking, yoga, and napping, are taxing me of late.

At the same time, I’m sure you’re aware of the drop in oil prices. Highly qualified professionals are losing their jobs left and right in Oil Country. I feel a moral responsibility to pitch in. It’s the least I can do during this time of flux.

Thus, I am reluctantly hiring an assistant to assume some of my patienting duties, including:

  1. Organizing and replenishing my medicine cabinet.
    1. Checking that all prescriptions are up to date;
    2. Calling in and picking up renewals as needed;
    3. Filling my granny pill case every two weeks;
    4. Refilling my granny pill case as medication dosages change unexpectedly.
  2. Monitoring symptoms.
    1. Tracking old symptoms and identifying new and notable ones;
    2. Determining whether a physician consult is needed, and with which specialist;
    3. Reassuring me when I’m being a hypochondriac.
  3. Booking appointments with physicians and labs as needed.
    1. Contacting medical offices by phone (allow time for long holds or call backs);
    2. Reminding me of booked appointments;
    3. Completing medical history forms (you’ll memorize the answers in no time);
    4. Entertaining me for hours in waiting rooms;
    5. Relaying concerns to physicians as appropriate.
  4. Clothes shopping.
    1. Taking monthly body measurements to determine clothing size;
    2. Shopping for clothing that will fit current body shape as needed;
    3. Cleaning out closet regularly and donating anything I can’t believe ever fit me.
  5. Grocery shopping.
    1. Reading food labels obsessively for sodium counts;
    2. Buying everything that has no added salt;
    3. Knowing which aisles to skip altogether, in addition to cat food.
  6. Cooking and baking.
    1. Ensuring the freezer is filled with low-sodium meals and baked goods at all times;
    2. Planning meals around fruits and vegetables that are rotting because I’ve been too tired to use them up;
    3. Making meals while I nap.
  7. And finally, worrying.
    1. Determining whether I am safe to drive today;
    2. Wondering if and when I will die;
    3. Thinking other morbid thoughts and dreaming about cancer;
    4. Fearing no one will come to my funeral;
    5. Other various and sundry concerns.

Qualifications include having the patience of a saint (you’ll be working closely with me), excellent organizational skills (which I lack), and the ability to manage emotional reactivity (yours, that is; I’ll manage my own, at least sometimes). I will retain primary responsibility for being sick because I wouldn’t wish my ailments on anyone. In addition, I will maintain responsibility for all ER visits and hospital inpatient stays because, well, it seems only fair.

A graduate degree in engineering or business administration would be beneficial. Unfortunately, due to funding cuts, this position is unpaid. Interested individuals–you’re still interested??–may apply with résumé to:


4 thoughts on “Help Wanted: Patient (part-time position)

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