And So Begins My New Life

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Location: Southeast, United States

I'm a Funeral Services graduate embarking on a new career. I graduated high school in 1981, served honorably in the United States Navy from 1982-1986, been married since 1986, and have one son. I've relocated to a new state and have begun working in my chosen profession of Funeral Services, and I've never been happier.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Doctor Frustration And Vindication

Yesterday was a heck of a day, and I came home feeling very down. We had received a call "second hand." By that, I mean we were not the ones initially to get the call to pick up the deceased. The person died in a hospital, and the organ donation people came for the body. While they had it, the family contacted us for services. We met with the family and made arrangements to receive the body, but we got very little in the way of paperwork. For the doctor of record, all we had was one name. I wasn't sure if it was a first name or last name, and there was no phone number. I called the organ people, who were able to give me a last name, but no phone number. After much research on the internet, I found a likely match, including a phone number. I called that office and confirmed that the doctor had seen the patient, but the staff would not verify that the doctor would sign. We delivered the death certificate anyway, hoping to get an answer in the meantime.

It turns out the doctor had only seen the patient once, while he was covering for the primary physician. So he was not going to sign the death certificate. I was able to get a name and phone number for the doctor we were told was the primary. I called that office and gave them the information, but they never called back. So after about 3 hours, I called them, and was told they had no record of the patient at all. I called the hospital where the patient died, hoping to get another doctor, but there weren't any listed on the patients charts. In the meantime, my boss is getting frustrated with me because I wasn't getting anywhere. At one point he's standing there watching me on the phone, and he says, "we may have to call the family and get the name of her doctor." I picked up the file and handed it to him, and said, "you can call while I'm on hold for the organ people." He just looked at me like I was crazy and did absolutely nothing. After getting nowhere, and with the day winding down, I called the spouse of the deceased and left a message to call us back. I then called my boss and told him what I had done. He proceeds to tell me I should not have done that, despite his suggestion a few hours earlier of doing that very same thing. He then asks me for the phone number of one of the offspring. He calls and finds out the name of yet another doctor.

I came home feeling very down because of his criticism, and because he seemed to get the results in just a few minutes while I had gotten nowhere all afternoon. This morning he came in and started working on confirming the doctor, only to start running into the same obstacles I had. The doctor he had was not the right one, the hospital was of no help, etc. I felt vindicated and much relieved that he was having the same amount, if not more trouble today than I had yesterday. To top it off, as of close of business, he still had not resolved the issue.

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