Nothing Like Being Part Of The Problem

, , , , , , | Healthy | July 3, 2020

Our office currently prescreens people who come in by asking them pertinent questions and reminding them to wear a mask to their appointment, where we will take their temperature.

Patient: “Hi, my name is [Patient]; I’m here for my 2:00 appointment.”

Me: “Did you bring your mask, ma’am?”

Patient: “I didn’t know I needed one.”

We have her marked as prescreened, so I know she was reminded.

Me: “That’s okay; we have extra masks so I can give you one to wear.”

I hand her one and wait for her to put it on, but she just stands there.

Me: “Ma’am, if you’ll put the mask on, I can continue checking you in.”

The patient makes a face, but puts it on.

Patient: “All my information is the same.”

Me: “Okay, and your cell phone is [number]? Okay, I have you checked in. If you’ll have a seat in your vehicle, a nurse will call you in when we have a room ready.”

Patient: “In my car? You want me to sit outside in my car?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. We want to limit our lobby to elderly to help against extra contact. We also suggest people call from their vehicles to speed the process and make it easier.”

We would have told her this when we called to prescreen her, as well.

Me: “If you don’t have AC, then we understand if you need to sit in here.”

Patient: “Yes, I have AC!”

She sits down in the lobby anyway, and we get a large influx of people coming in and out for their appointments. At one point, she comes back to the window.

Patient: “How soon is my appointment? I’ve been here for twenty minutes already and there’s been a ton of people going through here.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, that’s why we suggest patients sit in their vehicles. You have two others in front of you, so if you want to sit out there, we can help you limit your contact with others and call you in when we’re ready, okay?”

She sits down again and waits until it’s her turn to go back, which is almost another thirty minutes later, and only ten minutes past her appointment.

Patient: *As she passes me* “You should have told me you were going to have so many people in the lobby. I didn’t feel safe at all. Next time, tell me to sit in my car.”

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