NP doesn’t understand how urine cultures work

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Tell the bacteria to grow faster, or NP Karen will not be pleased!

Originally posted on Reddit. Lightly edited for grammar and clarity.

Obligatory “Not a Doctor”, but working 3rd shift in the microbiology lab I field calls from plenty of nurses about proper collection and ordering of cultures, PCRs, etc. However, just a few days ago I received a call. She introduced herself as “Dr. BlahBlah” (who turned out to be an NP) and seemed to be pretty upset that her patient’s urine culture results were not finalized yet. I know things slip through the crack sometimes, so I understood her frustration and asked for the medical record number to see what I could do. Looking in the patient’s chart I notice the only urine culture that had been collected and received was just five (!!!) hours ago. I calmly explain that we keep urine cultures incubating for at least 14 hours before we do any plate reading so she would have to wait. In a condescending manner she says, “Look a little closer. We DID order it STAT”. I tried to explain that it didn’t matter what priority she ordered it, it still needed to grow. Frustrated she asked “Is there nothing you can do to speed it up?” and I replied “Not without a time machine.” At this point I could tell she was furious, and she began shouting that she needs a sensitivity right now and that she is going to send down the patient’s urine so that gets done quickly. I told her it didn’t matter if she was sending down a new sample, I would still have to culture it to get the sensitivity. She told me that it didn’t make any sense she couldn’t have a STAT sensitivity and that I was lying to her, and asked for my clock number and my supervisor’s name. With a smile I gave her my name, clock number, and the name of the microbiology lab’s medical director and had a laugh with my other coworkers.

Thought you guys would get a kick out of this since my friend is in medical school and he suggested I tell this story on here. Cheers!