Monday, June 28, 2010

Frontal Phlebotomy

Today, I had an appointment to get some blood drawn. When I arrived at the hospital, there was already a very long line waiting to be checked in. After standing in line for fifteen minutes, I got checked in and took my seat in the waiting room. I watched as all of the people ahead of me in line had their names called, anticipating that my name would be next. Seven people later, it was my turn. That's right. Hospitals really will make you wait longer if you don't have insurance.

Finally, it was my turn. At first, I thought I was rather fortunate, because my phlebotomist was a young and fairly attractive woman. I followed her back to the creepy little room and had a seat in the torture chair. She sat at her desk and asked me several questions, inputing my answers into a computer. After thumbing through my paperwork one final time, she slapped on a pair of gloves and said she was ready.

"No you're not," I replied. She never washed her hands! After years of working in the food service industry, I know that a pair of latex gloves is NOT a subsititute for washing your hands. I thought maybe the standards in the medical field would be a little more stringent, but maybe I'm wrong.

I wish you could have seen the look she shot me when I asked her to take off her gloves, wash her hands, and put on a new pair of gloves. It was somewhere between pure hatred and who-the-hell-is-this-guy-telling-me-how-to-do-my-job. "I don't need to wash my hands," she told me. "I just put on clean gloves."

"Did the gloves magically jump out of the box and land on your hands? If not, whatever was on your hands is now on the gloves. It doesn't take a scientist to figure that one out." I wanted to tell her this, but I didn't think it was a good idea to upset her any further. After all, she was about to suck out my life-force with a needle.

Well, she washed her hands, took my blood, and left me a little emptier inside (literally). I don't know where she went to school, but I'd really like to find out. Maybe she failed Handwashing 101 at DeVry.

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