Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Impatient Patient on Receptionist Rudeness

So today I called about my cervical cancer biopsy test result. Twice. The first time I called the reception was somewhat tepid, and this was after 9 minutes to get through, and then 11 minutes on hold. Besides that being unacceptable, it was also a bit stressful as I only have a half hour for a break. I asked to speak to the nurse and was told that she was busy. When I told the receptionist that I was away for the rest of the day and would be unreachable, that was still too bad. I asked to get a phone call the next day from the nurse and was told that she would pass the message along.

The next time I called I was a bit more stressed. A close relative has cervical cancer as of this last month, and I was a bit worried. Needless to say, when I waited for another 10 minutes to get through, and then another eight on hold, I was a bit upset. I explained that the doctor had told me to phone for the results. Too bad. I said I would wait on hold- it could be thirty five minutes, and there was no guarantee she could talk to me. When I said I needed to know if I had cancer or not so I could get the Mirena IUD put in for excessive bleeding, she said I would have to wait.

I took a deep breath and said very calmly, that I thought that if she ever heard the words cancer and wait in reference to her, she wouldn't like it very much. I said that I was sure I did not have it, but I needed to know soon in order to make the necessary arrangements. I also said that the nurse could call me at her convenience, but I didn't know when I would be at home as I had errands and kids to deal with. I then hung up the phone and burst into tears.

I don't have cervical cancer, and my PAP smear was fine. The nurse did phone me- twice, because I was driving kids around. I just wish that there had been a bit of give, or some other option like a computer that I could have gone to that would tell me my results. Why can't that be possible? I was just following orders given by my doctor, and her employee made it so hard to get what I needed. I was not phoning for an ordinary urine test. I would have gladly scheduled an appointment. I would do anything but be told to wait on a cancer biopsy ever again.

Receptionists, medical or otherwise have no business treating patients or clients like horse poo. There are ways to be polite, there are ways to take a message. I know EVERYONE is busy, but it is because of people like you that I wish that I never had to see a doctor.

I hope that is the last biopsy I need for a long time.


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