Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monster Scales

Our trip to "meet" our new doctor really did turn into a nightmare. Luckily, I only got a little lost once I got to the hospital (the pediatrician office is in the hospital) but that was not bad. What was bad? The office!!

First we checked in at the window, should be no big deal right? WRONG. THIS office has a CERTAIN window for every 2 doctors, and let me tell you, if you are at the wrong window, the nurse/receptionist is NOT going to check you in. You must move over to the correct window. Since I did not know/remember what doctor we were seeing, this immediately got me off on the wrong foot with Drill Sargent Receptionist.

The doctor's office was like a parents nightmare. It was completely sterile, nothing fun, nothing of any entertainment for the kids, no books, no chairs, no fish, NOTHING. The floor was just hard concrete the Chairs were easily tipped over, which my Little Dude was quick to show everyone. And the worst? You had to walk THROUGH the sick kid area to get to the well kid area. So, of course, my WELL son is off and saying hi to all the sick people while I try to grab things out of my bag for him to play with so he will stay in the no fun, unpopulated (besides us) well side.

THEN we went back for the "meeting checkup" whatever that is. As we approched the scales, I knew we might have trouble, as Little Dude does not like hospital environments (he showed that when he came to see JR born) and he does not like for people to mess with JR. I explained this to the nurse, but instead of letting me go through everything first and showing Little Dude how fun it was, she said something like "it will be ok", grabbed JR and stared to weigh and measure. Since Little Dude could not understand that JR was OK and nothing was wrong, he immediately started a tantrum. I tried to lift him up so that he could see JR, but he only used that as a way to grab at JR on the scale. Nice. Then the nurse said:

"We need his weight now"

I said: "Are you kidding me?" "Is it that important right now? Couldn't we do all the measuring either after he is calm or next time we come?"

Drill Sargent nurse said "NO. We need them Now. For records."

So, I tried to calm Little Dude as she placed him on the scales and that became a battle of wills, as I tried to hold him down and she tried to get a weight. Finally she said "He's around 26 lbs, that's fine". What? I could have told her he was around 26 lbs!!! Now I am feeling guilty I made him do something that scared him and I am annoyed the nurse is just estimating something she will get once his records from NC are faxed down anyway.

Well, I now have two screaming kids, one completely terrified, and clinging to my leg.

And she wanted me to take them down a dark hall to where the doctor rooms are. When I asked why the hall was dark, she ROLLED her eyes at me "The light bulb burnt out, we have someone coming to fix it". The dark hall, complete lack of pictures, lack of colors (everything was WHITE or GRAY), and nothing but the sound of crying kids (which you hear at all offices, I know,) and the attitude of the nurses made me really want to leave.

We finally met the doctor, and he was INCREDIBLY nice. He even asked if he could give Little Dude a lollipop before taking a look at him. So, he became Little Dude's best friend, calmed him down, and spend a lot of time talking to him,AND went to his office and got a short book to read to Little Dude. Once Little Dude stopped screaming, JR was easier to calm down as well, so my two terrors were back to their sweet selves. I loved the Doctor, he was very through, very sweet, wonderful with my son, and even got a stool from the nurses desk so Little Dude could help him check JR out. He let Little Dude hold the light! Little Dude was in heaven. And, so was I.

He told me about how important the flu vaccine will be for us this year since JR was a preemie and though he is doing great, he may not have as strong an immune system yet as a full term baby his age would, but he said it was up to me. UP TO ME. No pressure, just information about it and how to make an appointment. What I also liked was that even though this practice had 6 doctors, he would be the primary one to take care of and see us when possible AND they are open 7 days a week, with Sat. and Sun being for sick emergencies only.

So, I have a delima. I hate the office look, hate the nurses, hate the staff, but LOVE the doctor. He is the best doctor we have ever seen. You should have seen him with the kids, and how quickly he was soothing and calming to them to make them comfortable.

So, what do I do?


Stephanie said...

Hey Michelle! Wow, I'm sorry the visit was so bad! Okay, my 2 cents: I would interview one more pediatrician before making a decision. In my experience, the office environment and nurses/receptionists are very important and tell you alot about what your experiences will be like. You need someone nice and helpful when calling with a question, last minute appointment, prescription refill, whatever. Anyway, good luck! Finding a pediatrician is so hard. I just switched to a new one two months ago after being completely frustrated. I love the new doctor! I hope everything else is going well for you!

Caitlin said...

Wow, sounds like you had a crazy day!!

I agree that you should interview one more physician, as the staff is such and important part of making the whole doctor experience.

However, I wouldn't write off this office immediately. From experience, I can tell you that sometimes Drs offices have bad days. I worked in one for three and a half years, and some days you just get stuck with terrible patients who are so irritating, and it ruins your mood for the rest of the day. There were a few times I was short with patients who didn't deserve it, just because we were backed up, someone had gotten an attitude on the phone, etc. While it's not an excuse, it does happen!