Monday, March 2, 2009

Privacy is WAY Overrated.

OK, so you go to a doctor appointment. You don't like going to the doctor anyway (I think most people don't, unless they are hypochondriacs and dig the attention), but today you are going to a clinic that is under construction to meet a doctor you have never seen before. Thankfully, you know your condition; this isn't an emergency or something that's got you completely skeezed out like you're sure you're on your death bed.

So, you go in the entrance you always used in the past, several years ago, since there are no construction signs telling you not to. But you find yourself facing sheetrock walls and a door that won't open into the hall inside. So, you exit the building, go around to the front and find a way in that isn't locked out by chainlink fence and those big white and black and red signs that say, "KEEP OUT." No big deal, but you want to be on time and honestly are a little nervous and don't have insurance, like so many people. So, it's a pain in the ass and throws you off a little now to enter the building to face construction everywhere and no signs telling you where the hell the doctor and the nurses and all that are- until you get in the elevator (because you can't even see any stairs.)

Now you know you are to go to the second floor, or risk being shot on the spot by a combined team of medics and construction workers- with lethal injections and nail guns. You get off the elevator and see the Nurses' Station, but just as you get there, you see on the wall a sign that points in the opposite direction and tells you to go that way to the "Check-in Kiosks." So, you do a 180 and walk toward voices, but there are the Pharmacy on one side and the Check-Out Station on the other. Some lady in there looks up at you as though you are a pain in her ass and asks if she can help you?

"I doubt it," you reply, and turn around and see a closet full of computer terminals, with card swipe machines and writing pads attached. These are the "Check-in Kiosks." So, now you get to complete a check-in process with a friggin' computer, as T Rex would complain, and swipe your card and write on the pad and THEN go back to the Nurses' Station, where you can talk to a person in the flesh.

What do you do, immediately? Yell at the poor nurses who are just there to do their nursing jobs. You ask them if there is some reason you can't check in with a person anymore, and they say, "Yes; for your privacy." (Because some person sitting next to you who obviously would want to know your entire medical history- or at least where you live so he- or she- could stalk you later- wouldn't be able to look three inches in either direction at the screen next-door to his own screen while checking in.)

You tell the nurses you don't like it; that you don't like coming to the doctor anyway, and then to not be able to find where you are supposed to go, or ask a question of a real person while checking in when you are going to be talking to that real person in a couple minutes anyway. "OK," says a nurse.

You tell her, "No, it's NOT OK!" And you let the nurses know that the whole privacy crap is just that- a load of crap.

And thankfully the nurses remember to keep their polite and patient bedside manners, and the doctor ends up being a pretty cool guy.

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