Karen, just one of the many admin comprising 34% of US healthcare costs, sent a department-wide email yesterday in response to concerns about PPE shortage and pay cuts. While staff eagerly anticipated news of new masks, hazard pay, and protection of trainees, Karen spent her morning making trendy TikTok coffee at home, organizing her sock drawer, and finally cleaning the garage. Then around 1 pm, she sat in bed to type out her hospital’s much-anticipated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an excerpt of which is below:
“As you all know, we deeply care for your and your family’s health and wellness through this time. As such, we will be offering free sharpies to write your family name on your mask, which you can then wear until your last breath and pass on to your kin for future use.
We hear your concerns about hazard pay, and to minimize stress through this time, we are here to definitively say you will never receive it — so you can stop worrying about it! If this doesn’t resolve your worries, please view Wellness Module 589 on the intranet for a brief yoga lesson.
Please remember that when you entered the honored profession, you did so at your own choice. We understand your student loans eventually took that choice away from you, and hope that the federal government forgives those or something. Your pay will be deducted for the time it took to read this email, which is a nonessential activity during this pandemic.”
Karen prepared a draft email to fourth year medical students with an exciting opportunity for an “unforgettable capstone” experience working in the hospital for free. She decided to send the email tomorrow, as she had worked too hard today. Karen then returned to the comfort of a warm home with her children, while readers of the email continued to care for patients in the hospital.