Monday, March 14, 2005

News Today

A large women in her 40s comes in to work today, stood in front of the counter for 10 seconds and went and sat down. My co-worker and I were both on the phone talking to patients and when I hung up I went over to get her name so I could check her in on the computer for the doctor. When she saw me approach she said loudly and aggressively "I did come to check in, but you just ignored me". I apologised and explained we had both been busy with the phones.

The phones on Monday mornings in particular are incredibly busy, and most patients understand that if we're already on the phone, we will eventually get to them. We do our best not to leave anyone waiting too long, tend to excuse ourselves, put the caller on hold and deal with the patient in front of us.

She ranted and raved about being kept waiting and reckoned it was all a get rich quick scheme that she had to see herr doctor, to get her prescriptions and that the prices were nothing short of extortion (it had been quite some time since she'd been in, and when her husband rang that morning and asked for a script over the phone, he also asked if she would need to come in)...after looking at the last time she'd visited and it was almost a year, I told him that unfortunately she would. (It's health policy here in NZ, if you're on regular medicaiton, you need to see your doctor at least twice a year, primarily so he can monitor that it's still doing the best job for your body).

She stormed outside to have a smoke and I went back to my desk, checked her name on the computer and realised she had actually turned up an hour early. Blah...that meant I had to go out there and tell her. I went outside and said "Mrs Bitch?*..." interrupted by her yelling at me "WHAT DO YOU WANT?! WHAT DO YOU WANT?!" (God, if anyone needed medicating it just HAD to be this woman).."your appointment's actually at 10.45"...."FINE!" Jumped in her car shot out of the carpark and squealed up the street, I heard her toot angrily at someone/something that was obviously getting in her way. Poor lady was having a bad day I guess. I watched her car disappear in the distance under a haze of burning rubber and thought "oh ok, fuck off out of my surgery, see if I care".

Some days it can be exhausting not fighting back....but....us receptionists don't know what these patients are coming in for....we don't know what's wrong with them....and anyone that carries on in such a way could be an unstable mental health patient. So, I obviously can't be saying what I really want to say because I could end up being thumped. Anyway, after talking to her doctor, turned out this particular lady is most unstable, very very difficult to deal with (ya think?) and after hearing what I told her, the doctor told me to be prepared later when she returned because she may have to admit her to the psych unit at the hospital today.

The drama didn't end there, but I'm too tired to keep typing and besides I have some personal news I want to tell before I fall asleep.

So to end this on a more positive note...I went for my first weigh in tonight after my first week of trying out the Weight Watchers plan and lost a startling 3.6 kg! THREE POINT SIX FRIGGIN KILOS!! God knows how I did it, but I must've been doing something right. And I don't expect to ever lose that much again in one week, but hey, for the time being I'm happy with that. Yay!

*not her real name....pseudonym used to uphold patient confidentiality
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