Sunday, August 5, 2012

Waiting Room Etiquette (Part 3) - Guest Blogger

Recently I had some visits to the doctor, prompting me to look around and gather up my thoughts on how to think and behave in physicians' waiting rooms.  If you missed my germophobic rantings helpful hints, read Part One here and Part 2 here.

In response to my two posts, a frequent reader posted additional thoughts and considerations on the subject of how one should act when waiting for an exam.  My daughter Sarah is a self-proclaimed expert germophobe, and in her comments she reminded me of things I had overlooked and which should definitely be added to the list of guidelines.  Here are her comments:

You forgot a few things... and as a germaphobe extraordinaire and someone who seems to frequent Doctors' offices like I'm getting paid for it, I feel inclined to fill in the gaps. 

1. When you are in said waiting room - hold your breath. If you need to breathe, walk outside, take a large gulp of air, and return to the petry dish.

2. Do not, I repeat, do NOT use the waiting room bathroom or any bathroom for that matter. Pee your pants - it's not worth the risk.

3. If you are required to give the dreaded pee sample, panic. This is the worst case scenario in a Dr's office. Remember, we try to avoid the bathroom at all cost. Never sit, hover. Also, use at least two towels when opening the metal pee jar chamber on the side of the wall. You know those assholes that had to leave a sample before you didn't wash their hands before depositing the pee. Take extra alcohol wipes and plan to completely sanitize yourself as soon as you get home. 

4. If you need to blow your nose, use your sleeve. Lord knows how many nasty, germ infected people pulled the tissue out before you. Your sleeve has GOT to be cleaner. (As long as you stayed standing in the waiting room and did NOT touch the counter at the receptionist.) If you MUST use a tissue, pull at least 5 out before you blow your nose with one of them.

5. Finally, remember this last tidbit: No door handle is too high, or too tricky for you to use your foot. Trust me, I've tried them all. It's okay if you have to do a split against the door just so you don't touch the handle with your hand or arm. (Gotta keep the arm clear for nose wiping...)  Although I will say, props to IKEA in Ann Arbor, MI.  They had "handles" at the base of the bathroom doors for you to catch your foot on to open the door - hands-free!! I was in public bathroom heaven. For those of you that know me, you understand this NEVER happens.

One last thing - when you are a female, you have to make that yearly visit to the "crotch doc." We all know about and dread these visits. My newest doctor believes, as far as I can tell (I've been in all five of his examination rooms over the past 7 months) that if you hang whimsical creatures made from wood which are ornately painted from the ceiling, the patient will feel relaxed when they lay back onto the examination table. DO NOT LET THESE CREATURES DISTRACT YOU! No matter what, it's not going to be pleasant and as an adult, those will not calm your nerves as you're showing the world what ya' got.

A sincere thank you to guest blogger Sarah for providing these very thorough and insightful reminders.  Obey the Waiting Room Etiquette Rules and you will never again leave your doctor's office sicker than when you arrived!  

Are there any other rules we may have missed?  For the good of mankind, please share them with us!


  1. I haven't laughed this hard in a very long time. I don't even think of what may be behind everything you touch. Thanks for the headsup.

  2. I've determined my family is comprised of whakadoo's and none of you could do my job in the er lol. Rachel

  3. Rachel, don't forget, half of your whakadoo family is probably more familiar with the inside of a hospital then even you are :)

  4. oops. That comment wasn't from Jill...L

  5. Sometimes I compare teaching in an elementary school to working in the ER. I think there are a lot more similarities than we even know. The booger and snot factor alone.... let alone peepee pants, sharts and dinkleberries... trust me, I've seen a lot in my 7 years. I think the best is yet to come...

  6. I don't want to hear it from any of you. I handle partially chewed, spat out, sticky and stinky food scraps every day. I put my hands on napkin cloths that were actually used as snot rags. I grab glasses off of the table...by their rims. I grab silverware off plates by the wrong end and scrape partially eaten mac and cheese out of the dish with my fingers. Who's hungry?

  7. Caleb...my immune system would still kick your immune systems ass lol. Rachel