Some places are so impersonal, you feel more like the chair you’re sitting on rather than a person sitting on the furniture.
I’m getting to see a lot of ‘hospital’ furniture lately, and today was no exception.
I had to go to a different hospital for my bone density scan, and the differences in staff, clear signage, and places to park were amazing.
We were 45 minutes early for my appointment, and there was nowhere to park, so Hubby dropped me off in the hope that the guy sitting in a disabled space in his vehicle with the engine running would be leaving shortly and he could nip in the slot (he has a blue badge).
The doors adjacent to the drop off zone clearly stated they were not for admittance.
OK I thought as I trotted down the concrete corridor to the main entrance armed with my letter and directions how to find the relevant department.
From the block map inside, I located where I was, where I had to be and followed the arrow.
There appeared to be only one and the reception desk was not for the department I wanted.
If in doubt, I always find the nearest loo to gather my thoughts. At least they were easy to find!
The letter said to go up the corridor between the coffee shop and book store.
As I hadn’t seen either when I came in, I made my way back to the entrance, and there they were, having been directly behind me but with no signage on entry, and nothing like the block map (sigh).
Even better was a nice big sign over the door at the end of the corridor for Bone Density.
Yeeha! Feeling on a roll, with positive steps I went through the door to be confronted by reception, and a rather pregnant patient who was quickly losing hers.
There were no less than 6 members of staff on the other side of the glass, only one of which was on the phone, and none came to either window to see to patients arriving behind us for their appointments.
The woman who eventually took a seat at the computer told (not asked) the pregnant lady to move to the next window where a colleague would see to her shortly.
My turn, and to break the ice, I asked how her day was.
I got a grunt of ‘Ok I suppose’ and that was it.
I was told to go half way down the corridor, take a seat on the right and wait.
To pass the time, I admired the photographic art on the wall.
Several people came in and were told to go to different areas than me to wait. They were all called forward shortly after arrival. The pregnant lady was still waiting at the second window.
I made conversation with another patient in my ‘area’ who was in for a leg massage at 2.30. She was called in at 2.35 by another long faced staff member.
My mobile rang, and it was the Breast Clinic giving me details of my assessment with the radiotherapy unit on Tuesday at 9am. Such a bright and cheerful voice on the other end of the phone, totally in keeping with all the other professionals I’ve met there.
My first treatment is scheduled for December 29th, but I will get full details of my planned schedule next week.
My appointment today was at 2.45, and by 3pm having started to contemplate the number of erratic blue flecks in the lino flooring, I was on the brink of going back to reception to check I hadn’t been forgotten.
The leg massage now over, the lady from 2.30 was on her way out and wished me luck.
The nurse who had called her in walked towards me, and kept on walking.
Coming out of reception, she called my name and I followed meekly in her miserable wake determined to be cheerful.
I was weighed and measured (will compare weights tonight), then had to lie down on the couch so that she could take a scan of my spine, hips, and thighs.
The nurse went through her spiel, and I asked her how long her shift was. That sort of woke her up from being an automaton, and suddenly we were engaged in a lengthy conversation. We covered family, Christmas, gas bills and a fraudulent cashing of a refund cheque last year, the case of which was still ongoing even though they could prove they didn’t have the money.
By the time I left, Nursey was all smiles and chatty, wishing me luck with my forthcoming therapy, and said to tell the Radiologist on Tuesday that my scan is in the system which should be accessible to them by then.
How was your day?