On Tuesday afternoon, I was training yet another new person in our department at my desk. At about 2pm or so, my phone rang, so of course, I picked it up but did not expect what I heard on the other end of the line. Here's what happened:
Me: Prior Authorization dept, this is PA Honeybee how can I help you?
Patient: Oh God, oh God, help me! I am hurting so bad. He beat the shit out of me, pushed me on the bathroom floor, and smashed my head against the bathtub!
(she sounded like she was hysterical, in agony, with a shaky voice)
Me (eyes wide, heart now racing): Have you called the police? You need to call the police and seek medical attention for your injuries!
Patient: I need my medication so I can get out of here....Oh God, what if he comes back for me? I need pain gel, I have already been hospitalized they let me go. But I need it I need it, I gotta get out of here before he comes back to beat the shit out of me again! (sounding super frantic/shaky/terrified)
Me: (heart racing, feeling helpless) You need to call the police. You need to talk to them, not me. They can help you.
Patient: they don't do anything, they don't care unless there is blood! Oh my God! Aaaaggggghhhh! If he comes back he could end up killing me, please hurry!
Me: You should call them anyway, this is extremely important. Let me see if we have received a request for your pain gel. Yes, we did earlier today, I will expedite it for you.
Patient: Oh God, Oh God! Please hurry, I gotta get outta here!
Me (in my head): Why the hell would you be calling about a pain gel Prior Auth instead of packing up your crap and getting the hell out of there? If you had the shit beaten out of you, that pain gel is not gonna do much to help you out unless you have some superficial contusions not major bodily injury as stated.
Meanwhile, all the co-workers around me stopped what they are doing, and are staring at me with puzzled looks on their faces during the exchange. My mind is racing as to her rationale, my heart is racing, and I'm freaked out.
To make a long story shorter, I got the auth taken care of for her, we disconnected, and I felt the huge urge to run down the street to the nearest bar to have a few shots to calm my nerves. Instead, I did some deep breathing and drank water since working while intoxicated is not a good idea. This was the most bizarre day I've had in my position to date. I hope it's the last, but, it probably isn't.