I have been temporarily stymied here by sentences like, "The patient was stoned by rugs." (Try "rogues.") Speaking of rogues, I had visions of an Indian snake charmer run amok in East Africa after reading in two separate charts, "The patient was beaten by a snake." (Maybe "bitten"?) Most recently, I was startled to see an "NPO after midnight" order written as "Starve the patient after midnight."
Even oral communication has its moments, and that's always a two-way street. Today our medical officer asked me to consult in the Outpatient Department. Francis instructed the patient, who was lying face down on the examining table, to remove his trousers. "Boils?" I anticipated. "No," Francis replied without hesitation. "His balls are in front."
Fortunately, calligraphy, spelling and the nuances of vowels are not necessarily required to communicate effectively and give conscientious care at Maseno Mission Hospital. The ability to laugh at ourselves, though, is a prerequisite.