Thursday, August 26, 2010

Attention patients!

Your appointment is over. You are certainly welcome to wait in my lobby for your ride, to complete paperwork, or to have some water to recover from your grueling appointment with me.

However, please DO NOT USE my lobby for any of the following activities:

To use a phone (mine or yours) to make political calls on behalf of whatever candidate you're supporting this year. I respect your right to be involved in politics, but my waiting room isn't the place to do it. Not everyone out there agrees with you.

To have the sandwich, pickle, and bag of chips you've been carrying around in your purse. I don't mind you grabbing lunch in a hurry, but spending an hour here eating, calling friends, and using my magazines as napkins is a bit much (If this sounds familiar to you, asking Mary if we had any salt and a can of Sprite was over the line).

To call several local restaurants to set up catering for a party.

To try and sell real estate opportunities to other patients who are waiting to see me.

To see how much more (or less) your specialist co-pay is compared to other patients.

To hand out flyers to see your band play at Bubba's Roadhouse this weekend.

To argue about ANYTHING featured in "People" magazine.

To wait and see if a drug rep with samples of your medicine wanders in, and then assault them.

To ask my other patients what they think of your stock-market investment picks.

To appoint yourself schedule monitor, and tell Mary who signed in before whom.

To get out a scissor and cut coupons, articles, pictures, and anything else that strikes your fancy out of my lobby magazines.

Thank you.

22 comments:

Christie Critters said...

I work in an educational setting. We have a lounge area that is meant for study groups. It has comfy chairs in it...people use it to play computer games, eat lunch, chat with friends, sleep, and once somebody actually moved all of the furniture back to the walls to practice swing dancing...Study groups? They have to go use a conference room elsewhere because they are effectively pushed out of the space. Policing it would be a full time job. People can be such idiots.

Anonymous said...

Wow...this sounds like the chubette group that "needed" you to come in after business hours to set up your scale!! What has happened to the sense of "public" ~vs~ private space? Has no one taught these morons that some things are best done in private, or at least in an appropriate setting?

Maybe this is why some folks see NO PROBLEM with shopping in pj's, barefoot (or in fuzzy slippers), and with hair in curlers. And don't get me STARTED on body functions and grooming in public places...including in restaurants!

Pattie, RN

Vincent said...

We once had a woman come in for an appointment with her three kids in tow. She stopped at McDonalds on the way over, got them all their lunch, and then set them up on the table we normally use for magazines so they could have their picnic while she had her office visit. She was upset when we told her that they could not eat here. Her comment? "Well what are they supposed to do? eat in the CAR???" um.. yes actually! She was NOT happy.

Since then, we've posted signs all over the office, including right in the middle of the front door, at the front desk, and in the bathrooms stating "Please, no food or beverages in the office". We still average 1-2 people a day who think this doesn't mean THEM, because they JUST picked up their coffee, and we wouldn't expect them to just throw it away!

It's pretty interesting the slice of humanity we get to see in private practice.

Esmerelda said...

Dang - way to take all the fun out of waiting for a Dr.

Anonymous said...

If your office is like one or two I've visited... perhaps cutting wait times down from 2+ hours to the assigned time or within 10 minutes of it would help.

Vincent said...

Anonymous? Our average wait time is under 10 minutes. We do not overbook. A patient coming in for a full physical and a PAP and bloodwork however may be here a while - that's why her kids got the picnic.

Anonymous said...

I've had the last one on the list happen to me. While waiting for a dental cleaning I was looking at a magazine and saw a delicious-looking pie that I wanted the recipe for. I flipped to the page it was supposed to be on only to find that the page had been ripped out. Geez. Just take a picture. That's what cell phone cameras are for.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:59am

it's not about the wait times, please read the first sentence again, these things happened when the appointment is over.

Anonymous said...

Vincent - I'm on board with all of this. I totally agree - except... COFFEE??? You won't allow someone to walk in with a cup of coffee in their hands? Are you serious? And you think THEY are the "odd" ones who are out of touch or out of control? And I don't even drink coffee - ever. On a little power trip there buddy?

Vincent said...

Yeah, we had to add coffee to the list when one of my patients brought in an extra large Dunkin' Donuts extra light and sweet, brought it into my exam room, spilled the entire thing next to her chair, then covered the spill with her coat so I wouldn't notice. Didn't mention the spill, so we couldn't clean it up in the moment. It soaked into the carpet and the underlying padding. It took me an hour with a carpet steamer to get the mess cleaned up, after seeing a full day of patients.

Power trip? no. If it were a one-time freak accident I'd let it go. If the patient said "Doc, I accidentally spilled my coffee, can I help you clean it up?" I'd have been OK with it, and been able to take care of the mess while it was still fresh. Unfortunately, it's happened more than once, and it's just not worth the extra work to clean up after people.

terri c said...

Well, I used to go to a local dog park and one night a family brought in their dinner from a fast food place (walking past the big sign that said NO FOOD) and settled down for a picnic!! They learned real fast what a PACK of dogs looks like! And they were shocked.

Anonymous said...

we provide coffee in our waiting room, but not food. in fact, when i took brownies to the receptionists this morning, i held them low below the countertop so the patients would not see. i am not aware of food/drink abuse, but i will ask tomorrow and get back to you.

Don said...

Is it okay to go back into the waiting room and quietly finish reading a magazine article or two that one had started while waiting for the appt? My doctor doesn't have a long waiting period, but he has several magazines that I don't see very often. I've done this a few times and no one complains, but now I wonder if my behavior was offensive in some fashion. No one is waiting for a chair, and there are plenty of open parking spaces.

The Evil Receptionist said...

The schedule monitors--I'm glad to hear other offices have this condition, too. It only hits once in a while, but boy, when it does, it lasts all day. Almost like it's contageous.

Maha said...

If it weren't for the fact that you're a neurologist, I would have sworn that you were describing my GP's waiting room. I was offended on his behalf when someone asked the secretary for bus fare! People are uncouth beasts!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Don- That's okay with me.

kg said...

And GIVE UP the cell phones!!! Thw whole waiting room and staff does not want to hear your conversations! I just think it's rude but I believe I'm in the minority these days. So easy to just step outside if it can't wait. Or you know what, I can understand it if it can't wait, go ahead and take the call with 8 people listening, but shoot, man, I rarely hear anything that sounds urgent. I would even go for band flyers or people cutting out of the mags if they'd stay off their dang cell phones.

Kim said...

I'm afraid to stick around in doctors office waiting rooms any longer than I have to. Too many sick people there. Maybe not in a neurologist's office...probably not much catchy there, but anywhere else, I try to avoid even sitting near anyone else or touching anything that might have been sneezed on!

Don said...

I left on a cell phone once in a doctor's office. My appt had been delayed for two hours because of an emergency involving another patient. This put me into a window of time when I was supposed to be interviewed over the phone for an out of state job. I explained the circumstance to the receptionist. and when the call came in I went outside to take care of the interview. No one was angry, and I was able to complete both the Dr appt and the interview.
Simple courtesy will prevail, at least sometimes.
Of course, it might have helped that we regularly brought in boxes of tangerines for the doctor and staff.

ERP said...

Just be glad they aren't watching porn on their Iphone.

Anonymous said...

followup- our receptionists say that food and drink are not a big problem, although kids sometimes get into the coffee table and make messes that the staff clean up. what they hate are parents who are mean and nasty to their children.

Anonymous said...

Oh this made me laugh so hard. Feel Lucky Dr. Grumpy. I do family practice in a rural midwest town. You don't even want to know what goes on in my waiting room. The worst are the parents who just leave their entire brood in the waiting room while they go get their pap. (Although I prefer that to bringing them all back to witness!) My old nurse once went out there and told 3 little angels to "Shut up and sit down!" Then when they just stared at her open mouthed she said "the words you are hunting for are Yes Ma'am" Don't get me wrong we love kids, have 2 preschoolers of my own and lots of toys out there for them, but we caught one kid in the sample closet. He was 2, his momma was in the waiting room yacking on the cell phone and couldn't care less. Then there was the lovely experience of having the cops waiting for one of my patients so they could arrest her in my waiting room!

 
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