Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A Pandemic Hospital Visit

Thinking that every hospital would be the same in these silly times, I did not intend to post about last week's visit to the hospital to see the foot surgeon. However, when I saw an American hospital visit described on a blog, I realized that not all hospitals everywhere are dealing with the pandemic in the same way. That blogger found themselves sitting in a crowded waiting room next to an unmasked person.

The following is how it went for me.

Sue came with me to assist with hearing. We had to get special permission for this. It turned out that I heard the surgeon fine, but getting to him without a thousand "Ehs" and "Pardons" would have been problematic.

We were met at the door where we were instructed to remove our masks, don theirs, and sanitize our hands. These protocols were overseen by a masked and face-shielded young lady. She sent us along to the person in the glassed booth just behind here. He informed us that I couldn't be accompanied, but he then gave Sue a special arm band when we revealed that we had been granted permission due to my impairment. We were then directed us to the second stop, or actually the third, I guess.

There, I finally registered by presenting my health card to another person behind glass who spoke through a microphone. That's where I needed Sue because that was tough on my ears; even Sue had to strain. I was given paperwork to take to the next stage.

Once at stage 3 (or 4 depending on how you are counting) , in a well-spaced waiting room, we presented ourselves to yet another enclosed and difficult-to-hear interviewer who then sent us onto my first actual appointment – radiology. 

At radiology, we were instructed by signage to wait in the background until waved forward to the next shielded booth in the process. Then, within a moment or two, we were sent along to a waiting room where there was plexiglass between seats. Here, as everywhere during the whole visit, every person was masked.

The wait was very short until the radiologist came to collect me. The x-rays didn't take long, and she soon took us into the hall to point the way to the foot clinic. In my initial, pre-pandemic appointment last year, it had been easy to lose our way, but signs were now clear and abundant. We followed #7 signs until we arrived at the next waiting room where we checked in with yet another well-barricaded receptionist.

We only had to wait a few minutes before we were collected by a masked lady who guided us to the doctor's consulting room. He was not only masked but also wore a face shield.

He already had my x-ray onscreen and took me through his findings very efficiently. I could hear him well despite his mask and shield, but I had needed Sue's well-attuned ears to help navigate me to him. 

The surgeon's report can wait for another day, for this is simply to describe my first personal, medical appointment since the pandemic engulfed us.

I felt completely safe through the whole process. I don't think a hospital could possibly be any more careful or any more safe than this one was.


Marie Smith said...

I went to the hospital one day to visit my friend during cancer treatment. I had to be signed into the unit and the masking etc was the same as you experienced. This was during a time when lockdowns were over. It felt extra safe.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Next week, I will go to the local hospital for Xrays as well and expect to find similar protocols. Masking up with provided paper masks is already required to visit a medical office.

Marcia said...

Every time I've been to doctor's office during pandemic I've had to be masked and had temp taken upon entering. Every staff person is masked and with a face shield.
I think the difference is in places that don't take Covid seriously and as we see in the news they are paying for it too.

Ed said...

At the clinic where my wife is medical director, everyone is masked, temperatures are taken, and in a few weeks, everyone who works there is required to be fully vaccinated. They also isolate anybody who has any kind of respiratory issue through a separate entrance and wing of the building so they don't come in contact with those seeking other medical treatments.

Barbara R. said...

Good to hear of a positive hospital visit...where treatment was aimed at your foot rather than other parts! Hope all will go well with follow up. My cardiologist's office is separate from the hospital, but first I'll have an echo test of my heart (visit scheduled in 2 weeks).

Christina said...

That's pretty amazing and efficient. It is good to feel as safe as possible while at the same time having your non-Covid related needs assessed and sorted.

gigi-hawaii said...

I am glad that the visit to the clinic went well. I don't have to go through so many check points, but I feel safe at the clinic anyway.

Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

Hurray for your medical community ... although ours here in the US is "adequate" it certainly could learn from yours !

Margaret said...

There are good ones here too--but depending on where you are in the States, some awful places too. I bet you can guess in which states!

Celia said...

I'm really impressed with your hospital's caution. Ours here is not so well done as that. Both the cardiologist and the pulmonary departments are in our hospital, side by side, and while all are masked the waiting room is too cozy for me. Since I can stand I wait in the hallway. I wouldn't be surprised if one the of main reasons is money as we have a small, rural hospital. The staff really does the best job possible with what they have and I am greatful for them all.

Blondi Blathers said...

Sorry about your foot troubles. Not fun, are they. My sister Karen has them and as she is one to be on the go all the time ... there is lots of discomfort and so far, no solution. I hope you have better luck. -Kate

Jenn Jilks said...

That doesn't sound too bad at all.
We've gotta go to Ottawa Hospital next month. I have to wait in the parking lot.
I feel really safe. I had a massage today, too, for my wicked bursitis.

Red said...

Good to hear that a working protocol had been set up. At the beginning of covid our local hospital was a disaster with poor or no rules set up.

William Kendall said...

Some time last fall I was in an incident where in normal times I'd have gone to a hospital to verify I didn't have a deeper injury. But these are not normal times, and in the end it was nothing.

MARY G said...

I had a very similar experience in Smith's Falls, minus one step. The person behind the glass had a list, checked off my name and I did not have to hand her my card or receive it back. The only non-plexiglassed contact I had was with the assessment physiotherapist.
Having said that, the Perth pool is now accepting swimmers again. A total, I think, of 12 in the pool at a time, in sections divided by ropes. We are masked in the dressing room, can take our masks off to do the swimming, then put them back on to go to the dressing room. They spray down these change rooms between sessions, so are running every second hour instead of hourly. I think it is pretty safe, given the low number of cases in our area.
We also had dinner out (!!!!). Very distanced but oh, so lovely.