If you have never been lucky enough to encounter an impatient patient in a waiting room, well take heart, eventually you will be privy to a scene you will tell your friends about, over and over again because you still cannot believe what you saw. This goes beyond the upset small fry being fussy. This territory covers the patient that needs to be somewhere else and that somewhere else is much more important than being patient and waiting in the waiting room they are in at the present time.
Let’s talk about this impatient patient. First an appointment had to be made at some point in time. I feel very lucky to live where I live. We have a nice clinic and great providers that are available easily and usually the same day that we call for an appointment we can get in. Where else is that need met without involving and ER? A very advantageous advantage to living in our small community. But if an appointment is made you have got to know that a block of time needs to be carved out of your day to go, meet, keep and have time for that appointment. How hard is that to do?
Yes, yes sometimes things happen and new appointments mess with existing appointments. Trust me I have had those things happen. But an important thing I learned along the way is this, “Poor planning on your part does not make an emergency on my part.” Or vice versa. In other words if you find the need to stand at a counter and rag on a poor receptionist because your hair dresser needed to change your appointment because she needs to go to her palm reader a few hours earlier because her palm reader didn’t know that her babysitter needed to leave earlier than expected because her mother needed a ride to the airport to pick up her sister who decided to fly in a day early because the rates went down and she saved 5 bucks! Really? Sure, no problem. It’s only fair that the whole world shifts to accommodate all that! And by the way, shouldn’t the psychic have known about the early arrival of the sister? Floating on…
Keeping with the medical side of impatience. I once talked to a pharmacist who has dealt with a few impatient patients. One couple in particular. (Oh when impatience has back-up in the form of a second impatient person, up you know you’re in for double trouble!) The deal was that they needed that medicine, whatever it was, and they needed it right now! You and I know that no matter what kind of medicine you take, be it for anything from acne to zinc toxicity it will take a bit of time for the medicine to start to work and even more time, usually, to see results. With that in mind, wouldn’t a bit of decorum be appreciated? The time it took for the give and take of them saying hurry up and the pharmacist explaining they were not the only ones in need of medicine just bogged down process. But the impatient patient never seems to be able to take that last step to see how time is used up during the fuss and fume period. Oh and by the way this impatient patient had just spend more than a few hours in the ER—waiting. Wonder what that was like for the ER staff?
It probably sounds nuts, but I rather enjoy the short one act plays put on by impatient patients. Like a woman who stood at the sliding glass window in a doctor’s office going on and on about her Obama Care insurance. How she was covered. How it was paid for by Obama. How she should be first in line because of it. How she could just snap her fingers and Obama would walk in with checkbook in hand. How—well you get the jest of it. (Yes I meant to say “jest”!) The receptionist was cool and collected. Apparently this was not her first rodeo ride. Quite jesting, aka entertaining. Now I’m not saying there isn’t a time and place to not be patient. If you find yourself sitting next to someone who is say turning blue, for goodness sakes stand up and be the most impatient person in the room by screeching, “Hey this guy is turning BLUE!”
I have heard stories of patients who wait weeks or even months or more for appointments. I, thankfully have not had that happen—yet. But if I did, and I even remembered after months of waiting why I had appointment, I would keep it, and I would be on time and ready to wait. Just sitting back to enjoy the free show in the waiting room. Of course you realize that there is an outside chance you will not get to see the end of the show as your name is usually called just before the crescendo of the scene being played out by the impatient patient.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org