Friday, April 3, 2009

Hating Healthcare!!

I work in the healthcare industry. I'm not a doctor. I'm not a nurse. I don't take you to your room and give you a warm blanket. I don't take your vitals, but I do play a "vital" role when you come to the ER. I know everything about you. Why you're here, who you came with, and which insurance plan you have. I can also find out how severe your "illness" is when you visit, and I can also find out how many people came to the ER with that exact same thing that day.

The problem with this? Glad you asked.

I truly hate the healthcare industry. Let me explain.....

For the most part, I see people's expression as they sit in the lobby filling out mundane paperwork and wondering to themselves, "How long is the wait? I can also see them playing with their kids in the designated play area, yet, a couple minutes ago they mentioned they were having severe and excruciating back pain coupled with shortness of breath. I also see them come to the ER for routine things....cough, headache, pink eye, ingrown toenail, prescription refill, etc. I wonder why they don't go to their primary care physician (PCP) for this kind of stuff.

Now I know why....

I've had a sinus infection for 2 weeks. I thought it would go away. I went through 2 boxes of tissues at home, and 3 boxes while I was at work. My nose is runny, my head is pounding, I have a slight cough, and I'm starting to lose my voice.
I waited too long.
Finally, I decided to give my PCP a call.
I explained my symptoms, and I hoped I could get in within the next hour or late afternoon.

"Nothing is available today....." replied the secretary. "Let me check next week...nope nothing until the 16th."

In case you were wondering, that's almost 2 weeks away. I could write the rest of our dialogue here, but I won't. Just know that I may have yelled at her a bit, and mentally, I was using sooo many expletives that she probably would've fallen back in her chair if I actually said anything to her.

My first option was an urgent care. My second, was the ER. Since I am cheap, I decided to go to urgent care. I probably would have gone to the ER, but honestly, I didn't want to be like the rest of those people that I mentioned earlier who use the ER as their PCP, plus I didn't want to pay a huge copay either. I really didn't have much of a choice though.

I went to urgent care, and was seen right away. It was just as busy as my PCP's office usually is, and both facilities have the same amount of people working there at all times. It's pretty pathetic, but what I learned from all of this is people often complain about the ER--the slow wait time and people not being seen promptly enough for their "severe illness."

After being in the boat with the rest of these people--I COMPLETELY understand what they have to go through. So the next time I see someone come in for something as minute as a bloody nose, I will know that their doctor was making them wait for 2 weeks to be seen as well.
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