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Frustrations That I Found in (Some) Waiting Rooms

Updated on June 8, 2017
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

First, Let's Talk About

the hospital waiting room. Interesting sector of any public hospital. This "interesting" sector has only one title: waiting room. And at the same time, you might want to examine the concept of "The Matrix," starring Keneau Reeves and Laurence Fishburne.

Why? Is this an untapped source of controversy that CNN has managed to overlook? Not close. A waiting room is designed for doing just that: waiting. Nothing else. In any waiting room there cannot be any square dancing, facial painting, poker playing, or estate auctions. None, I repeat, none of these activities are allowed. So if you are planning to make an appointment with your doctor, you will have have to spend some time in the waiting room. Hey, in emergency situations, patients will even be made to wait until a doctor (who's on call) sees them.

Cute little hospital thinking, right? Can you imagine the very first blueprints that the very first architect presented to the very first hospital and when the trustees were reviewing the plans, one of them just had to ask, "hey, see this little area? What's this?" The sharp-thinking architect most assuredly replied,"Wy', that, my kind sirs, is the waiting room?" Of course the trustee who asked the question didn't want to come off looking stupid by admitting that he had never been in a waiting room, so he just let this lie. Probably saved himself a lot of face by doing this.

Modern hospital waiting room.
Modern hospital waiting room. | Source

More Thoughts About Waiting Rooms

During the writing of this hub, a vital idea came to me as I was about to hit "publish" and I am so glad that I waited before that happened.

Why not file legislation with known corporate law firms who would listen to me and see why "we" cannot band together and change the name of the old, stagnant, boring waiting room? What do you way?

The name, waiting room, might be changed to:

  • Meditation Room -- for this is about all that you can do in a waiting room.
  • Thinking Room -- see above item.
  • The Planning Room -- this one would work perfect. Many romantic plans along with job-related plans could easily be ironed out while you are waiting for a doctor to see you.
  • The Fantasy Room -- this is making more and more sense. When you see that you will be seated in the Fantasy Room, you are excited and eager to see the doctor and even spend time in this new innovation.
  • The Beauty Room -- besides pretty nurses, the hospital administrators have decided to shell out a few clams and exhibit real paintings by the Masters.

This is only the start.

In my Time

I have been in a few waiting rooms. Some good. Some not so good. And no, I do not have the time, space, or mental capacity to devise a 188-page book on the facts that I could write about the (sometimes) inefficiency and Blue Ribbon Award-winning waiting rooms.

This is going to be my hub title: Frustrations That I Found in (Some) Waiting Rooms.

The Magazines: the patients read are all waiting to see the doctor and these sick people have magazines such as RedBook, McCall's or People for their reading enjoyment. But one thing about these magazines annoy me: None of them are current. A majority of hospital waiting rooms have non-current magazines. You are liable to see an ad (in a hospital waiting room) that reads: "Big News! Electricity Now Comes to Your House!" Walk right up to the waiting room receptionist and ask, "are the doctors (who work here) too cheap to keep these magazine subscriptions current?" That remark will certainly raise some eyebrows.

Every Waiting Room: that I have ever been inside, had one plastic chair that some violent adult or child broke in a fiery rage. But what annoys me the most is none of the trustees or prosperous doctors ever thought about forking out the cash to replace this broken chair. (you can add this gripe to this one (above) about outdated magazines.

Most Times: when I visit a doctor once or twice and then get to be good friends with him or her, you can always count on this happening as you are registering in the waiting room: "Hey, Larry! Good to see you. I am going to see you right now," and that would be great if my name were Larry. Why does the physician not take notes, Memory Boosting books or just say, "Sorry. I forgot your name"? That would make life so easy. Hey, medical doctors went to medical school. You should know my name instantly.

When You: are sitting on hour five of your hospital visit, why is it that this is a hospital, not a children's hospital, and yet, the one child who I am trying to not look at them for being so disruptive always a mom starts hurling wooden building blocks right at my face? I wouldn't mind being hit with wooden building blocks except most enraged children are not equipped with arms like "rockets" who (will) play high school, college and the NFL someday. (was former NFL great, Bret Favre ever an angry child)?

The Waiting Room: receptionist will always think that the name you are hearing is yours, but is not. What a humiliating moment when you jump like a gun--after sitting for five hours and your legs are now numb and get a "oops, sorry. This is not you, sir," from the young inexperienced waiting room receptionist.

A Loud-Mouth: patient, although not a person of bad character, finds himself sharing every detail of his sickness or reason that his boss sent him here and doing all of this talking while sucking air through his teeth.

Just as Sure: as I want to step out of the waiting room to use the restroom, my name is always called and when I do not hear my name (due to me answering "Nature's call" in the nuclear missile-proof bathroom and not hearing my name) the receptionist will always put my name on another list on another day by the young inexperienced waiting room receptionist. Then when you try to reason with the receptionist why she called the wrong name, she squints her eyes, raises her eyebrows and in a cute manner says, "ooooohhhh, soooreeeeeee, but this was definitely your fault." Huhhh? My fault?

And That Same: young inexperienced waiting room receptionist will smile, then before you walk back to the "Check-up Area," she will tell you, "and how are you prepared to pay for this bill of $577.00?" I get stunned and tell this girl that she is mistaken and that this is my third visit to a doctor who works here and referred me to this medical facility, but the bill that she just handed me was not to: "Larry Thomas," of "Lizard Bend, Texas," when my name is clearly seen (via by driver's license and Medicare card) to be Kenny Avery. But after a half-hour, the young, inexperienced waiting room receptionist finally sees the mistake, then amends the bill for "me" to pay the new amount of $354.00. Then I just smile and wait for the doctor to see me, "Larry Thomas." I am now getting accustomed to my new name.

A happy hello and a healthy good night: Rock Island, Illinois.

If you look closely, most magazines found in hospital waiting rooms are out of date or so old that they are considered antiquated.
If you look closely, most magazines found in hospital waiting rooms are out of date or so old that they are considered antiquated. | Source

© 2017 Kenneth Avery


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      16 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Tamara,

      Thanks for the comment. I loved reading your thoughts.

      I hope that you get better.

      Write soon.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      16 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Tomi Smith,

      You are always welcome for the kind comment.

      I was semi-serious about a great number of my ideas on how to improve the waiting room and the drab colors; mundane rules and then I would attack inner-employee-doctor's guidelines that I would design.

      Write anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      16 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Chitrangada Sharan,

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment that I appreciated so much.

      It is so nice to have someone that I have a topic where we can relate to each other and share ideas about it.

      Great to hear from you--write soon.

    • tomsmithnow profile image

      Tomi Smith 

      18 months ago

      Thumbs up! This article gave me some chuckles especially since I have been having a lot of medical appointments lately. I like the different names for the waiting rooms. You had some cute, thoughtful ideas in this article.

    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 

      18 months ago

      Hey...ya. I've been there! Thank you for sharing this, Kenneth. I relate, and more... Been in this situation countless times.

      Hugs from Tamara

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      18 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Interesting perspective and a thought provoking hub!

      I agree with most of your points . Nice hub on a unique topic. Thank You for sharing!


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