Thursday, August 2, 2012

Waiting Room Sanity (Part 2)

So you're at the doctor's office for an appointment. By now you have checked in and waited a while, and finally a too smiley nurse weighs you and ushers you into your own private germ-filled petri dish shaped like an examination room.  It is now time to call on the proper exam room Rules of Etiquette for your current location.  (If you missed the guidelines for your time prior to this, read the post from yesterday.)

1.  The nurse will most likely ask you some questions, and then at some point she will take your blood pressure.  I believe you ought to expect that your blood pressure will be higher than it should be, just due to the pain in your arm from having your blood pressure taken.

2.  Depending on your ailment, your nurse may provide you with a hospital gown to wear during your x-rays or exam.  Be forewarned that the said gown will never fully cover your critical parts, and so you should not be ashamed to ask for a larger size or even ask for two gowns, the second gown will cover those embarrassing gaps.  I should have thought of this before I was paraded down the main corrider to the x-ray chambers with my arse hanging out the back of the miniature gown she gave me.

3.  Pay no attention to the hidden but I still know they are there stirrups at the end of the examination table.  Nor to the weird snake-like curvy light that will be used to illuminate all manor of ugliness being examined.  It's kinda like not allowing yourself to look at the pink elephant standing over in the corner of the room.  Use mental zen and ignore it until later.

I don't see this, I don't see this.....
4.  Do not even think of where the popsicle sticks and long q-tips and other probes will go.  That's for later too.

5.  Imagine what dangerous things, so dangerous that probably a medical vehicle and medical personnel in biohazard suits come to take them away, are in that Sharps container mounted on the wall.  No, don't.

6.  Do not bring back to your conscious recollection all previous and extremely uncomfortable  incidences in which the doctor jammed those ear thingies eight inches into your ear canals.  Especially if this doctor visit has something to do with vertigo or an earache.

7.  If you are still waiting to be seen by the doctor (and you probably are if it hasn't been at least 1/2 hour since the nurse left), do not be tempted to move around the room and go read the articles on the bulletin boards and door.  They will give you information about illnesses that are currently terrorizing your neighborhood, and I guarantee you will start experiencing symptoms you really hadn't noticed before now.  And if that doesn't happen, you will be hatching a baby ulcer because you at least will be worrying about catching said illnesses.

8.  As I alluded to in the previous point of Exam Room Etiquette, settle it in your mind that you will wait at least 1/2 or more hours until the doctor makes an appearance.  You will be cold (because part of you is sticking out of that ridiculous gown), worried, bored, then irritated.

This appointment was to happen at 11:00.
9.  When your boredom from the long wait just about has the better of you, refrain at all costs from grabbing one of those magazines in the wall rack.  You have no idea how many and what types of disease-infected fingers have touched those pages.  You don't really want to read again about Kim Kardashian, do you?  Nope, not worth the risk.

10.  If you see a sign like the one I noticed on the paper towel holder near the sink, DO NOT do what it is telling you to do.  If you are singing and your doctor enters the room at that very moment, he may be scheduling another appointment for you, at another facility, if you know what I mean.

So that's my basic list of Etiquette Rules for the exam room.  
Stay calm, remember the rules, and have a pleasant exam!


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