Son no 3 hurt his finger playing basketball at school yesterday. It is rather sore and he flinches when it is touched. So, being a mother of 4 boys, I know the drill….
- Drive to Doc (15 minutes)
- Wait for Doc to see the injury and write out an X-ray form (30-60 minutes depending on how busy he is)
- Drive to Hospital for X-rays (15 minutes)
- Have X-Rays taken and wait for the report (60-90 minutes)
- Drive back to Doc (15 minutes)
- Wait for Doc to see you and access injury and possibly put a cast on or strap it up (30-60 minutes)
Total time spent: Approx 3 hours (if you are lucky)
Over the last few years, I have managed to cut out no’s 1 & 2 above – I go straight to the hospital for X-rays and then take them to the Doc – saves loads of time and hassle.
So today I went off to the hospital. Radiology department won’t do the X-Rays – They will only do them if referred by a doctor or by the casualty department. Rules have changed.
Seeing as though I am already at the hospital, and I don’t really want to drive all the way to my Doc for an X-ray form, I decide that casualty is probably the fastest route.
So I put my name down at casualty and give them a brief description of the problem “my son hurt his finger playing basketball and needs an X-Ray”. I am told to take a seat and wait to be called. We wait and we are called about 5 minutes later. A nurse then takes all my sons vitals – blood pressure / pulse / oxygen / temperature and even his blood glucose (all this for a sore finger!).
I then ask her why she is doing all this – his finger is sore – he has been to school this morning – there are no other issues other than his finger being sore – I would like an X-ray done purely as a precautionary measure. She says she has to do the vitals for the report. We are then asked to go to the waiting room. So I ask if we can’t have the X-rays done in the mean time – she says NO – a doctor has to see him first. I express my annoyance – why waste everyone’s time – I am sure the casualty doctors have far more serious issues to attend to – their time could be better spent actually treating emergency cases. This of course gets me nowhere.
So whilst in the waiting room (again), I call through to my Doc and ask his receptionist to please get him to fax through an X-ray form. She calls me back 5 minutes later to say it is on its way.
We go back to the X-ray department and have the X-rays taken. Wait the 60 minutes while they are developed and proceed through points 5 & 6 as well.
Doc looks at the X-ray – no broken bones – just damaged cartilage. Doesn’t need to be strapped up – just needs some rest.
Why do the hospitals complicate things so much? Why can they not have a minor injury section that deals with these sort of minor injuries that can be sorted out quickly without having to spend a fortune on doctors bills, time off work, petrol etc.