Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Excuse Me?


I've been spending a lot of time at the vet's office lately. Between Emma the Tailless Wonder Cat's diabetes getting all out of whack again and one of the pads on Seka's toes not healing properly after her corn surgery at the end of May, one might get the impression that I could have Munchhausen Syndrome the number of times I've been in the vet's office in the past two weeks.

It made me realize the profound difference of waiting room etiquette at the vet and when you are at your regular doctor's office. First off, people tend to want to talk to you when you are waiting to see the vet. Even people who just stop in off the street to pick up cat food or meds. People want to ask you about your sick cat that you are holding in your lap while all you can think about is why there are 25 people in the waiting area all who signed in claiming they had an appointment at 3:00 - just like you did.

So, I figure I can be somewhat polite and answer a few of the questions as vaguely as possible - "Her name is Emma... She's 12... Yes, she's a very good cat... She isn't feeling well... I hope she doesn't die either."

As the other waiting patients talk about their overweight cattle dogs and the screaming children who are there with their new 8 week old puppy, attempt to pet every cranky animal in sight, I started thinking about what if I started a similar conversation while waiting to see a human doctor. Just think about it. You're waiting to see your physician, feeling like garbage, and someone in the waiting room strikes up a conversation with you asking about what you were in for, how you felt, what kind of fever you were running, if the food was coming out of one end or both, if you were worried about dying when you walked in today.

It sounds absurd doesn't it? But it really isn't any different. It is polite to tell someone that you think their animal is cute, ask their name/age/breed, but that's really about it. When Seka and Roxy are at the vet I always get a lot of questions about their former lives as racers, and I'm happy to talk up the breed, but to me that's totally different than discussing medical history and/or issues.

There are veterinary privacy practices that prevents your vet from discussing your pet's medical history or problems with another patient. This is a lot like HIPAA laws for humans. But this doesn't prevent people from having bad manners, it just stops the vets from telling everyone how "Billy Smith" let his cattle dog become 25 lbs overweight and it caused him to have 2 slipped disks in his back.

So, maybe vets should have a sign in the lobby reminding people of what good manners in the veterinary waiting room look like. My suggestion for number one on the list would be "do not discuss death with other waiting patients."

7 comments:

Jeanna said...

At your Dr's. office, you may not have anything in common with the person next to you. In the vet's office what you have in commmon is love for your animals.

rebecca said...

i think we must have the best vet ever - my co-workers were just talking about crowded vets and we have never encountered more than 2 or 3 other patients waiting. and once when they were running behind they called AND emailed me to let me know. pretty cool....

but i agree with you. animal ailments are no one else's business!

i love it when you post to your blog! :D

BTW - did you see the awesome tag giveaway at www.phetched.com !!!?

IHateToast said...

just drop the word "vagina" into the conversation. it'd stop conversations in either office. "I'm here because X has vaginitis."

honestly, that word has power. why yell stop? yell vagina.

BrittBeah said...

Amen!
I work at a pet ER and I'm constantly dealing with the rude clients waiting vs. the upset client that can't get away from them. We try desperatly to get waiting patients in the exam rooms and shut the door so the rude ones will stop worring them to death. I can't tell you how many times a rude person tries to strike up a convo with a owner of a dying pet. Poor etiquette indeed.

gyeong said...

Maybe if we put a mask on ourselves and our dogs like they do in other countries for the flu, people will be afaid to ask us what the problem is :)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Hope your animals are feeling better soon.

Jen

VIVI 情趣精品 said...

vivi情趣商品

vivi情趣精品

情趣用品vivi

情趣精品vivi

vivi雜誌款情趣用品

水噹噹vivi情趣用品

情人趣味vivi

愛情公寓vivi

情趣vivi

情色vivi

色情寫真vivi

vivi歡愉用品

交友愛情vivi精品

色情遊戲vivi

愛戀情人vivi精品

情人趣味用品vivi

愛情配對vivi

股票行情vivi

msn表情符號vivi

一夜情貼圖vivi

情人節vivi調情用品

情色自拍vivi

性愛用品vivi

一夜情vivi用品

調情高手vivi用品

色遊戲vivi精品

情色自拍vivi精品

色情網站vivi精品

性交補給vivi

性行為補給vivi

愛愛補給vivi

性趣十足vivi

vivi情趣用品專賣

交友戀愛vivi

愛戀情人vivi

做愛vivi情趣用品

作愛vivi情趣用品

網愛vivi情趣用品

視訊做愛vivi情趣用品

性愛vivi情趣用品

聯誼vivi情趣用品

正妹vivi情趣精品

走光vivi情趣精品

自拍vivi情趣精品