Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Observations From A Walk-In Clinic Waiting Room

Our church has been working through a series on the afterlife. You know... heaven... hell... zombies. I'm pretty sure the waiting room at the walk-in clinic is pretty close to what hell will be like.

I had the pleasure of spending three and a half hours in said waiting room yesterday. I asked for a time estimate when I checked in and the lady behind the glass told me "just have a seat and we'll call you when it's your turn." (Note to self: future blog topic - Customer Service Lessons From The Walk-In Clinic).

Armed with only 40% battery on my iphone and half a bottle of water I hunkered down amongst the infected and patiently waited my turn.

The room was pretty much filled to capacity, so personal space was at a premium. I managed to find a seat at the end of a row with my back against the wall. Premium seating.

Over the next 3+ hours I observed the following:
5 kids, 3 adults, 1 Nintendo DS.
Why would you bring grandma, your spouse and FIVE kids to the walk-in? Nevermind the fact you only have one 5 inch screen to entertain them all.

Hyper-Active Children with Apathetic Parents
One kid managed to cover his head with surgical masks and called it his "Zombie Helmet". He then proceeded to do his best special-ops impression and crawl underneath the chairs shooting the rest of the patients/zombies in the waiting room.
Another child ran through the infected crowd slapping knees playing duck-duck-goose. No one was interested in chasing the little rapscallion.
One girl stole the hand sanitizer off the front desk and started to squirt her brother with it. He screamed "I'm meeellllttttiiiinnnnngggggg!"
One more kid climbed up the bookcase and onto the ledge at the check-in counter. He then tried to climb through the window onto the lap of customer-service lady on the other side.

I Became A Germophobe
Just about everyone in the waiting room was wearing a surgical mask, which some people removed to cough/sneeze. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of the mask? You've removed the one barrier between me and the parasites that currently reside in your body. Thanks for becoming the waiting room sprinkler.

The story does have a happy ending (sort of). After 3+ hours in waiting room hell, the doctor tells me I have gastroenteritis and they can't do anything for me. "Just take it easy and drink lots of water".


Three and a half hours to ask my a couple questions and give me a non-treatment. I thought that's what Telehealth was for?


  1. oh yes .. I work in the pharmacy in said clinic, and the things that go on are crazy!

  2. Straight from Wikipedia ..."Gastroenteritis primarily affects children and those in the developing world." Which category are you in? ;)

    1. I have a child...

      Some (snobby) people consider Angus to be a 3rd World country.

  3. I still think you should go to your family doctor... at least s/he should know you, and since you have an ongoing relationship of sorts, perhaps care enough to be more helpful.

    Also from Wikipedia...

    If due to a viral agent, the condition usually resolves within one week.

    Some bacterial infections may be associated with severe abdominal pain and may persist for several weeks. --> can't they prescribe antibiotics?

  4. I waited 4 1/2 hours in a waiting room at my walk in clinic with 2 kids under 3! :(

  5. Not really! We have no family around so the kids go everywhere with me, it's gonna be a challenge when the 3rd comes lol

  6. I have that too and have been to emergency minimum 22 times over the past years. Once I went up in an ambulance as I could not sit in a car. The paramedics told me I better get dressed before I go because it woul d be a long wait. I did not as I was in too much pain. When I got to the hospital they told me to get off the gurney and walk over to the girl and have a seat and check in. I almost died. When the girl did my triage she told me to go sit in a skinny hard chair and wait. They had no where to ly down so I lay on the floor of emerg waiting room for 4 hours in the middle of tne night waiting. When I finally got in they hooked me up to IV containing demerol and gravol for four hours in because of the pain. Love the system

  7. Hi there! this is such an informative post. Thank you for sharing. Cheers!

    - The urgent care norwell