Patient X, a teenager, was waiting in middle waiting area. She was next.
But there was a child who was feeling ‘sick’ in the front waiting area. As I was calling her name she was wailing and vomiting (into vomit bag).
While I walked the child and her family into my room, patient X’s mom asked if X wasn’t my next patient?
I apologized and said since the child is vomiting, I’ll see her first and attend to X right after. Thanking them for understanding, I was starting to walk away when
X’s mom : We would like to be seen in a different room.
Me : oh…if you can’t wait, its okay…please tell receptionist. If any other doctor become available earlier, you can see them.
X’s mom : No we can wait for you. But see us in a different room. We don’t want to catch what she (glancing at the child) has.
Me : She vomited in the front area. You don’t catch vomit.
X’s mom : You don’t?
Me : shook my heads
(internally rolling my eyes big time)
As we (the little child, family & I) walked down to my room, I apologized to the child’s mom & asked that she ignores X’s mom’s comments.
I have no words to express my shock & disgust.
Lol…what about us doctors, who gets coughed on, by sharing that small space in consultation room with all sick patient? Maybe we should start consulting in open area, to protect ourselves