It was confirmed tonight that my youngest child broke his thumb at his first Boy Scout meeting. We just thought it was sprained and he said it didn’t hurt much, but 10 days later it was still swollen so DH figured it was time to go see the doctor. So, I spent over 2 hours in UrgentCare today. I didn’t mind getting bumped for the guy with broken ribs or the man pissing blood (he has a kidney stone) but I did mind that the woman sneezing who came in a 1/2 hour after we did displaced us. After they took Madam Sniffles (no, it wasn’t an allergy attack, she stopped sneezing once the doctor made her blow her nose) I had no compunction about letting my very bored boy ask the clerk at the counter if he could have either glue or tape so he could make some toy men out of the “popsicle sticks” on the counter. She gave him medical tape and he proceeded to turn tongue depressors into toy soldiers. The nice nurse, even gave him a pen to make faces and suggested he use some of the cotton balls for hair. Yes, I realize I will be billed for these supplies but when I call to argue them, I can’t wait to see how they justified it in the chart notes –
As I see it,
After making an 11 year old with a swollen thumb sit in the waiting room for 40 minutes, we moved him to an exam room and made him leave any magazines of his age range in the waiting room. He had a book with him but finished it quickly. He then began examining the examining table. He discovered many drawers, levers, buttons and his mother who was studying for a finance quiz let him “discover” them all. She did refer him to the nurses station when he asked what the stirrups were for. At that point, they did let him go get magazines from the waiting room to take to the exam room as long as he promised to put them back. Following another 30 minutes in the exam room, the x-ray tech discovered that the chart for Room 1 was in her “waiting for x-rays” box and had been for the last 20 minutes during which she had been saying. “I love you more.” into her cell phone. She only discovered this after the desk nurse picked up the chart and shoved it at her after being asked for the 4th time, “When do I get to see the x-ray machine?” Exam Room 1 was quiet for about 15 minutes after the patient returned from radiology but then the sound of the doctor’s exam chair rolling across the floor and tennis shoes rebounding off the wall could be heard. The nurse poked her head in and asked if the patient could stop it and find something else to do. That’s when the patient asked for glue or tape. The tape did keep him occupied for approx. 15 to 20 minutes and he was still occupied with Mr. Smiley and Mr. Frowny battling and flying when the doctor realized that Exam Room #1 had an occupant but no chart. The mother retrieved the chart and the x-rays from the radiology room and made some rather rude comments to the tech about where in her anatomy her cell phone should be put.
The mother and the doctor agreed that the patient had a healing chip fracture of the right thumb and that correct treatment would be a splint, ibuprofen, and ice for swelling as needed. The doctor apologized for the delay in treatment and asked if patient had been examined for ADD. Mother glared at the doctor and said, “I was bored out of my mind after 90 minutes, I can just imagine what it was like for him with only 4 magazines in his reading range. At least I had a textbook and finished all 30 pages of my assignment while waiting.” Doctor then double checked the arrival time on the chart, blanched, and excused herself.
Yes, I know it won’t go down in the chart that way and I’m usually not that rude nor do I let my kids be that out of control. I was just ticked off that 6 people who came in after us were seen and left before us. I can understand two of the three that I mentioned before but I was always taught that, in triage, blood or breathing came first and everyone else went in order. I finally reached the point where I figured letting him be an obnoxious child would get us seen in order to get rid of him. I just wish it had worked.