I don’t care how many pretty fish you have swimming in a tank in the waiting room, it’s not enough to make a doctor’s visit an enjoyable experience. No one wants to go to the doctor, except probably hypochondriacs, and a 3-year-old Abby Hopkins. Actually, she went by Babby Conkins at the time, and she could not wait to get a shot. She wanted to show her big brother how it was done. He hadn’t handled the needle with the courage she thought a 6-year old should, so when her day came, she asked, “Is Brandon gonna come watch?” He did. So when the nurse readied the needle, Abby boldly stuck her rear-end out toward Brandon, turned her head to stare him down, and without a peep or even a grimace, made her challenge clear.
That was an entertaining trip to the doctor. But other than that particular visit, I can’t think of one good time I’ve had. Yesterday, I had some time to ponder doctor’s visits as I sat in the waiting room of one such place. I came up with a few ideas that might make those visits more pleasant for everyone:
Get rid of the scale. I knew the weigh-in was coming, so I wanted to wear as few clothes as possible. You know, running shorts, Nike Frees – stuff like that. But it was cold outside, so I had to wear jeans and a sweater. And do you know what? Those people didn’t even subtract one pound before writing my weight down.
More entertaining/less educational waiting room diversions. The Healthy Advice TV explaining bladder leaks and the symptoms of a UTI probably seemed like a good idea. But neither the UTI girl nor the poor bladder leak lady would be able to sit still long enough to pay attention. The rest of us just don’t care. We’d rather be watching Montel. You know, like you get to do at the Jiffy Lube.
I have to brag on the Health Department for a second. When I went there to get my pre-Uganda yellow fever shot, they provided crayons and a coloring sheet. Turns out, that can be both fun and educational.
Waiting room stickers, identifying the reason for each person’s visit. That way, you know who to sit by and who to avoid. You might think this idea is ridiculous now, but the first time you have a choice in proximity to three people wearing stickers that say, “Throwing my guts up,” “Weeping boils,” and “Knee makes that popping sound,” I’m pretty sure you’ll thank me.
If you’re gonna set the thermostat at 62, then you should probably reconsider the “clothes” you make your patients wear. Get rid of the paper-thin front-buttoning cape and leg sheet and invest in some Snuggies.
Don’t tell me there’s nothing you can give me. I didn’t pay $35 up front for you to tell me my virus will just have to run its course. If you can’t give me something for my virus, then start looking for something else wrong with me, medical professional.
Stop posting those “Please turn off your cell phones” signs. I can only assume this rule is meant to dissuade me from making notes for my next blog post. Actually, I don’t care if you take those signs down or not. I had to wait 47 minutes for you; so sign or no sign, you can just hang on a sec. I have a cupful of ice to throw at the plumber’s crack.
Dear oral hygienist, it’s okay if we don’t talk. When your tools are in my mouth, it only makes me anxious when you keep talking and asking me questions. Some situations are best handled in silence. Same goes for you, OB/GYN.
What would make the doctor’s office more enjoyable for you?