SACRAMENTO, CA – Intern Dale Sheppard went to see one of his patients early this morning, only to find her stewing because the pillows were uncomfortable and, as a result, didn’t sleep well. Not only did Sheppard report this to his team on rounds a few hours later, he even described the pillow on physical exam.
“He described the pillow as soft, nontender, nondistended, without rebound or guarding,” explained Sheppard’s resident, Kristina Tikhonova, impressed by his attention to detail of both the patient and her hospital beddings. “Though he didn’t hear any wheezes, rales, or rhonchi, he did note 1+ pitting edema.”
Classically, the physical exam is performed on patients (human beings are the most common), not on inanimate objects. Prior to Sheppard, the only other known case of a health care practitioner examining an inanimate object happened just in the past 24 hours when orthopedic surgeon Thor Hammersley was spotted auscultating an Ancef pump.
“Sometimes you have to trust your gut, especially if it does right for the patient,” defended Sheppard proudly.
But Sheppard didn’t stop there. Sheppard took the initiative to check labs on the pillow, without even running it by his resident or attending. The down feather count was within normal limits. The pillowcase count was one.
“We went over the assessment and plan, and guess what was first on the problem list? Acute soft pillow deficiency,” said the impressed medicine attending on the team, Jacob Mandelbaum. “This intern really has his pulse on patient satisfaction and, therefore, medical care. This would be a fantastic case report.” Mandelbaum added later, still glowing over his all-star intern: “He’s going to be chief resident one day, I have no doubt about that.”
Shortly before 3 PM, the patient received a softer pillow with 4+ pitting edema and is “absolutely ecstatic about counting sheep tonight.” Sources have also confirmed with Gomerblog that the pillow switch should cure all of the patient’s comorbidities and the patient will be discharged home tomorrow and live happily ever after.