Monday, February 14, 2011

Pre-Surgical Testing

My Day of Pre-Surgical Testing

I went for my pre-surgical testing. I was asked if I wanted my name called or would I like to use a number. It was a wonderful offer since because I am a private person, I didn’t want to run into people I know. I chose to be called by number.

I was handed a stack of forms to complete. I was not asked if I could read them or if, in fact I needed help. I have learned to always ask people if they need help writing, if they forgot their glasses or couldn’t see well. Reports are that as many as 90 million Americans have low literacy so the chance are that one of these people will be standing, at some point in front of this woman handing me the forms. But this hospital did not seem prepared to make me feel comfortable if I couldn’t read the forms. I may have sat in a corner signing for things I had no understanding.

After being called in, I was greeted by a young woman who sat with me and explained payment, insurance and some other incidentals. She was calm and made me feel that I was not a burden. In this private area I may have been able to tell this woman I couldn’t read or, I couldn’t understand what she was saying.

 After a long wait, about 30 minutes, I was seen by a nurse practitioner. Because there were two women, I had to ask if one was in training. No explanation was given why one was going to watch my intake until I asked. I was never told that this may be an all -day event. Were I planning to go back to work or had other plans, I would have, at this point needed to cancel.

The nurse practitioner talked fast, and pushed papers in front of me to sign, barely giving me an opportunity to read them. I was sure to block out her continued questioning while I read the forms. She was eager for me to sign. I wasn’t sure if this was the way she was training the other woman, chatter the procedure, ask patient to sign, chatter the procedure, ask patient to sign. Never was she asking me if I had any questions or if I understood. Maybe I just looked like someone who would speak up if I needed to.

 When I left, and was brought to the x-ray department, I waited another 45 minutes with only one other patient waiting. I assumed it was lunch time and we were just left there, but you would think, being left alone, in a strange place, at such a vulnerable time, one of the 4 or 5 women chatting about their family’s vacation may have explained what the long delay was. But, I had to assume that wasn’t their job.

1 comment:

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really? I consider myself a very private person as well and I would like to be offered that to stay in the anonimity