The Nation's Health + politics

More Musings from Another Waiting Room

"25 year old female, waiting for an X-Ray in a waiting room"

A few months back when I started blogging I wrote one entitled 'Musings from a waiting room.....'. It was inspired by an unfortunate A & E admission by myself where I was forced to sit in waiting room for almost 6 hours with a bunch of morons. I threatened that I may take up this subject again and now due to recent events I got the chance to spend another prolonged stretch of time in one of the most depressing places one can be. Like before I sat there patiently waiting my turn watching hordes of people come and go. To be honest I was disgusted with what I was seeing. The pathetic reasons people were there, the shameless dress sense, the poor parenting, the immigration problem laid bare and just generally the lower echelons of society amalgamating in waiting room during the middle of a weekday. My opinions may make me a snob, in fact, they probably do but I don't care. I was there by appointment, I was reasonably well dressed, I sat on only one chair and sat quietly until my name was called. That is what waiting room etiquette dictates, that is what is courteous to do. Apparently the general public think otherwise. This is what the NHS is up against.

The Divas and their sprogs: They were about 25 years old. She was a gobby diva and talked loudly like she was from the Bronx, he was a poser and sat sulking on the bench. Their twins were about 18 months old and screamed constantly. Their solution was to give them a Nintendo DS each, with the volume on full. Selfish much? Oh, when the crying started again, 3 packs of sweets were the order of the day. Not ideal for a toddler but what do I know?

The English language: Her nor the children could speak a word of English. From the sign language to the receptionist the boy had a sore throat. They were told that they should go and see a GP. This was A & E for accidents and emergencies. They nodded and sat in the waiting room and as there was no way to communicate with them they were booked in despite it not being appropriate.

The Mobile Phone: Like I said in my last waiting room rant, phones have a silent function. Silent should be enabled when at work, in meetings, on buses, trains and hospitals. Why? Because it's the courteous thing to do. When in a crowded public place having you phone repeatedly play Betty Everitt's Shoop Shoop song is more than a tad irritating. In fact having a conversation about the fact you're sat in a waiting room so everyone can hear is also infuriating.

The Hot Baby: In comes a frantic looking mother clutching her offspring tightly! I can overhear her telling the receptionist she has a temperature that won't go away with Calpol. Erm......doy! See the hot baby? Yes, the one you are holding. The one wrapped in a vest, 3 baby grows, a sleep suit, 3 blankets, a duvet, a space blanket, a sheep skin, a bobble hat and gloves. Yes, that one. That is why she still has a temperature. If you wrapped me in that I would sweat like a weight watcher in a cake shop!

The Hypercondriac: The was a large lady sat on the front row. She had one leg up on the seats next to her occasionally looking around the waiting room seeking apparent approval and sympathy for her injury. The funny thing was her 'severe' injury gradually improved with each stage of the triage process. When her name was called she hopped into the assessment room. She hobbled out.....! She hobbled off to xray. She limped back.....! She limped into the Doctor. She walked out........

The Drama Queen: The generations of a family all equally as melodramatic. They were on my bench. The 9 year old had apparently broken her wrist. She clearly hadn't. After triage she wasn't put in a sling. After xray she was sent back to the waiting room yet even then the mother was on the phone to all and sundry saying how she may have a 'severe break' and may need surgery! I sense some Munchausen syndrome by proxi!

The Chav Family: I want to vomit. The was apparent ill though you wouldn't have guess. Glammed up, peroxide hair in a council face lift, chewing gum with a mouth like a toilet. He was dressed Ali G with bum fluff, the 3 year old boy was dressed like a mini Ali G with his ear pierced and drinking a can of coke. The 5 year old girl was a mirror image of her 18 year old mum but with cornrows for a haircut. The worst behaved kids I've ever seen, running around, shouting and swearing which the parents repeatedly went outside to smoke.

The School Boy: This insolent little punk had a constant smirk etched across his face. I never worked out what was wrong with him. His fat obnoxious parents were both there which to me meant neither of them worked. No surprise there. They also felt it appropriate to verbally abuse reception staff because they had been waiting for 2 hours. So what! So has every other prat in the place. And I told them so! When his name was called his parents were outside having a fag and he was in the toilet. I said nothing, just smiled. Poetry!

The Teenage Lesbians: I have nothing against lesbians. Some of my best friends are lesbians. I do however have issues with unnecessary public displays of affection. And I mean full on groping, not just a kiss. You're supposed to be ill for starters, let alone being surrounded by children! The first one was a goth, with ears, eyebrow, lips, nose and cheeks pierced. She was also sporting a ridiculous haircut but hey, each to their own. The other one, the 'ill' one was obese, had achne, was wearing a 'rainbow' striped hoodie was the Hindu Aum symbol on the back. This was accompanied by pyjama bottoms and Ugg boots. This isn't and never has been a look. You are in public. Make a bloody effort or failing that, at least get dressed!

All of these people could and should have been treated by their GP by appointment but why bother? Why wait? Why not clog up a hospital? And why not make it a family outing. I mean it's like going to the zoo but instead of animals there are ill people and instead of the gift shop there is a vending machine and pharmacy giving out free medication. After an initial triage if they should have gone to the GP just say"Go away"! If it isn't suitable for A & E don't treat it. No wonder the NHS is always under pressure, these people who pay tax and don't pay national insurance abuse it with no deterrent. Set some rules for the waiting room about noise, mobile phones, attitude and having takeaways delivered and enforce them. Hospitals have security, use them! I you don't obey the rules you don't get treated.

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