Does anyone know CPR? Resuscitating the healthcare system.

I have not ever seen an advertisement for a job vacancy within our local public hospital system. However, after my visit today I imagine it would look a little something like this……

Job Vacancy
Medical Receptionist
Bendigo Health

Must have relevant medical experience and be able to demonstrate complete and utter disinterest in all patients.

The ability to be rude to even the nicest of patient will be viewed favourably.

Please send resume and three references from people you have been recently rude to within the last fortnight to the manager.

………………………………

As you may have gathered, I have just returned from my booking in appointment. Yes folks, my time has come once again to make my way through the maternity maze and hopefully come out the other side in one piece, physically at least. Mentally may be a different thing all together.

The midwives were nice. The clinic ones always are. Somehow they never seem to be the same ones you get on the ward though. I did require some extra blood tests that my GP forgot about so off I went in search of the new pathology place. It would have been nice if someone had told me that the hospital pathology department now only caters to emergent patients or patients on a Saturday morning. For everyone else you now have to walk outside of the hospital and about five minutes down the road to an inconspicuous looking building situated in a very strange spot.

I found it, eventually, after much walking around like a doofus. I entered and looked upon a room full of people sitting quietly and no reception desk. I looked again. Nope, still no reception desk. After a minute or two of looking like more of a doofus, an elderly gentleman pointed to a small table hidden over in a corner. Apparently you just take a number and sit down. Eventually a blood letter will materialise and call your number. I was number 17. I think I just felt the day get longer.

After the blood letting I then had to make my way a little further up the road to radiology to make my 19 week scan appointment. Upon entering and presenting my referral I was told that they did not handle the obstetric scans here and that I had to go back to the hospital. Grrrrrrrrr. I think I may have audibly growled at that point.

It was now 11am and 2 hours had passed since my 9am appointment. I was getting hot, flustered and of course, now I had to pee as if civilisation itself depended on it. Deep breath. Onwards towards the “other” radiology. Which just so happened to be across the road, up a steep hill and around the other side of the hospital.

I walked through no less than ten people standing in the entrance way to the radiology smoking their cigarettes and wondered if I should go back to maternity and update my details about my smoking status as I now felt like I had just chugged down a whole packet myself. Of course, there was a line. I lined up, I waited.

Once I was seen by reception I presented my referral once again and was cut off mid sentence and told to go around the corner to desk number four. Okey dokey then, around the corner I go to find desk number four in complete darkness. Back around to the front and on the end of the line once more. I felt like a kid in that South Park episode where they go to a theme park and line up for. Ride that turns out to be just another line. After all, it is not a true theme park experience without the lining up and waiting is it!

Once I made my way to the front again and informed the receptionist that desk number four was in fact closed she rolled her eyes and told me to go to desk two then. As if I should have already known this and was wasting her precious time.

Desk two had a sliding glass window complete with lock and key. Behind said window was a plump and in no way pleasant looking woman who was furiously typing something into her computer. I smiled as her eyes darted up to meet mine but my smile was not returned as she went back to typing. I shuffled on my feet for a moment wondering if she was going to open the window anytime soon. She must have realised I was not going away so she finally decided to open the window and snap at me “next please” . I turned my head. There was nobody behind me.

My referral made a third appearance and this time the lady snatched it from me and read it with a deep sigh of frustration.

“What is this for”
” my 19 week scan” I replied.
“When do you need it for”
” well when I am 19 weeks pregnant I assume”
( eyes rolling) well how far along are you now”
” 15 weeks so I guess I need it no later than the 10th of may”

A this stage the woman’s eyes rolled so far back in her head I actually became concerned that she was having a seizure. She snapped at me something about being booked out until June so she may not fit me in, I shouldn’t have left it so late.

What the hell! I was given the referral an hour ago, how much sooner could I have gotten there!
Well I had ju st about had enough by this point so my pleasant demeanour quickly morphed into pissed off mama mode.

The following exchange went a little something like this……

” excuse me, the fact that you are booked out until June is neither my problem or my fault. My first booking in appointment was an hour ago, I was given the referral then. The hospital have been aware that I am expecting since I was four weeks pregnant. That was eleven weeks ago. They only decided that they needed to see me today. I appreciate you are busy, I am busy also and I don’t see why I should have to be subjected to rudeness when I am simply following an instruction given to me by my midwife.”

Well, her tune changed a little then and what do you know. Magically an appointment became available on the 10th of may. What a miracle!

Finally I was done, safely in a taxi on my way off of the hospital grounds. My phone rang. It was the midwife. Se had forgotten a blood test. Could I come back and get the referral.

No way, not on your life. She is now posting it to me. I am free. Until Monday for my next appointment. God help me.

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