Doctors and their awful offices

(Jordan Hammer)

Kelley Marble

Have you ever had an appointment and despite the reserved time slot they promised you, you still have to sit around for another 45 minutes and wait?

It seems like every doctor’s office visit ends up like this. You show up to your appointment on time, which is so far off course from any other subject of your life, and you still have to sit around. Then, you are stuck sitting in the waiting room with all 5 choices of magazines they order: Fortune, Parenting, Reader’s Digest (with the extra large print), Highlights, and Travel. All acceptable magazines I suppose, if I were 50 years old or 5 years old.

The laws of a waiting room are simple. You do not sit in the chair directly next to somebody, you do not talk on your cell phone for someone to overhear, and if you know you are sick, be sure to cover your mouth when you cough. There always seems to be one schmuck that walks into the waiting room violating all these non enforced but respectful codes.

Typically it’s a middle-aged lady with her child. She storms in while talking on her cell phone about the latest PTA problems dragging her snotty child across the room. Then when she goes to sign in, she sets her cell phone down without hanging up and scrapes through her purse to find her insurance card.

Finally after collecting the stale bag of pretzels she has dropped on floor she takes a seat while sick child plays with the given toys set aside in one corner of the room. Where does the lady take a seat? In the chair directly next to you, still ranting about how awful of a job Sally Jones is doing as the PTA president. That is of course followed by her germed up child running over to sit on her lap, which always ends up in him coughing on you and wiping his nose on his sleeve. (And of course the mother pays absolute no attention.)

Mean while you look around for a magazine that sparks your interest, but none really do, and most are torn up by the previous reader. All you really have left to do at this point is listen in on other people’s conversation. But nobody’s conversation is ever as interesting as the ladies that work behind the front desk. Their chat usually entails something that requires very little thought, but a lot of gossip.

By the time you are called back, you can glance at these licensed vocational nurses confidently knowing where their life is heading. (And who they hooked up with last night.) So you finally got to the back, you smile back at everyone else still waiting. You can’t help but to feel good about the fact your name got called, even though you are at the doctor’s office. You start out with the typical blood pressure, weight, and temperature routine. Then they ask you what the problem is as if you didn’t write that down somewhere when you signed in, or when you called in to make your appointment. So, you in detail give the nurse your symptoms expecting him/her to have a response for you, but they don’t and they leave you sitting in the cold room all alone as you sit on a piece of tissues paper type stuff that you have already ripped.

Another ten or so minutes have passed; you’ve already read every sign on the wall 4 times over. You fully understand to warn the nurse or doctor if you have a latex allergy, or that lab results take at least for days to come back. Finally the doctor walks in, says hello in an almost slurred speech and once again asks what is wrong with you. How many people must you explain to your symptoms?

It’s at this point of the doctor’s visit you begin to feel jipped. The doctor then hardly looks you over, writes up a prescription and walks out. You’ve spent an upwards of an hour to wait and see a doctor for 2 minutes, and now your HMO requires you to pay $15 visit fee. Perhaps the $15 dollars covers a temporary rent fee for sitting.

Seeing as how is it flu season and everyone at school seems to be infected, this trip seems inevitable. Granted, not every doctor’s trip ends up in these exact circumstances, a lot of them do. I suppose this could all be avoided if everyone would take a little more pre caution when sick.

The bottom line seems to be that we could all help each other out if we avoided school when we are sick, or get on some type of antibiotic. And for goodness sake, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.