I see a nurse's aide in a scrub top feeding one of my patients, as I'm doing my pre-rounds, so I go over to check on her.
"How's she doing today? We want to take her for a scan later if she's up to it."
"Oh, she's not doing well at all. Seems like she's completely out of it."
"But she's eating?"
"When you get a chance, if you could also check on the guy in 314?"
"He needs to be drinking more water-- if he's not, I want to start him on IV fluids, so let me know how he's doing?"
Ten minutes later, I see her come out of the room and head toward the other patient.
And I happen to notice this "nurse's aide" is wearing a visitor badge.
I *run* from the call room and catch up to her.
"Wait-- you're a nurse's aide, right?"
"No, no, I was just visiting my mother, down the hall."
"Wait, wait-- what? But you were feeding someone else--"
"Yes, I noticed when I walked by that she didn't have anyone to feed her, so I just thought I would help."
"And now you were going to go check on the guy in 314 -- why didn't you tell me you didn't work here?"
"I just thought you needed help."
"I do, but-- this isn't your job. You shouldn't be doing this. We have staff to do this. Go visit your mother."
"Are you sure?"
Lesson: not everyone wearing a scrub top works in the hospital.
Lesson: our visitors are more helpful than some of our nurses.
Lesson: I should make sure people work here before giving them assignments.
Lesson: before I start talking to someone about a patient, I should make sure they work here.