A sore finger

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….

  1. Drive to Doc (15 minutes)
  2. Wait for Doc to see the injury and write out an X-ray form (30-60 minutes depending on how busy he is)
  3. Drive to Hospital for X-rays (15 minutes)
  4. Have X-Rays taken and wait for the report (60-90 minutes)
  5. Drive back to Doc (15 minutes)
  6. 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.

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