8 years ago I was working for a company that hosted a number of screening applications and healthcare registries for the NHS in the UK; one of the services was an orthopedic implant registry.
Most of the calls we’d get were from doctors or hospital admins, but we’d get a few from patients who call about things we either didn’t know, or weren’t qualified to answer. The only service we provided to the patients was data access, but that wasn’t done over the phone.
One day, this rather persistent lady (PL) called about post-op care.
Me: Good Afternoon, <Implant Registry>, P2581 speaking, how can I help?
PL: Hello, I’m a 50 year old woman, and I had a new hip about a month ago. I was wondering if I could ask you a few things about after care.
Me: I’m not medically trained, I’m not qualified to assist you with after care advice. You’d need to either speak to the post op team from your orthopedic dept, or your physiotherapist.
PL: Are you sure, it’s just a few things I need help with.
ME: Sorry, no. I’m not allowed to give out advice on things I’ve not been trained in.
PL: Why can’t you provide this?
Me: It’s not a service we provide, we’re just an implant registry. We track the operational life cycle of the implants, and track their reliability, etc.
PL: Surely you can answer a few questions though?
Me: Not relating to your aftercare or recovery, nothing medical.
PL: But I just wanted to ask about sexual positions!
Me: Sorry, I can’t help you with that. I’m not qualified to answer that, you’d need to speak to your physiotherapist.
PL: Oh, have I embarrassed you?
Me: No, I just cannot answer that, I wouldn’t begin to know how to advise you. You’ll need to speak to your physiotherapist.
PL: But he’s a man
Me: <Internally> WTF am I then?
Me: Sorry, but I still can’t help you madam. You could try..
PL: Fine, never mind.