I had to go to one of those medical labs today to give some blood. (Don’t worry, routine blood tests for a physical.)
So, the phlebotomist (lady who takes my blood) brings me back to her room. It’s huge, it’s got a golf course view (this is Scottsdale), and it’s got one of those chairs with the elevated padded arms. You’re to sit here, and nowhere else, in order to get blood drawn. So naturally, I sit here.
I don’t like getting my blood drawn. I’m not a fan of the needle, the concept of it, or the lightheadedness associated with having 6 vials of the stuff sucked out of your body. But, I digress.
There is a bulletin board located directly across from where I am sitting. About 6 or 7 pieces of paper posted up there. You know, homemade flyers. Two of the more eye-catching ones are about avoiding a “needlestick“. I don’t even know what that means, but I agree, we should avoid them! (Just looked them up. It’s when the person drawing your blood gets stuck with the needle. Something to be avoided!)
Anyway, there was a list of things on this particular poster. Something along the lines of:
Are you in a hurry? Are you rushing to get blood drawn? Don’t be in a hurry, avoid a needlestick! Are you:
- Paying too much attention to the patient? (this is a bad thing?)
- Are you looking at the vials?
- Are you looking at the arm?
- Are you talking?
- You should ONLY LOOK AT THE NEEDLE when drawing blood.
At this point, I’m thinking that this is not the right sort of material for a patient to be reading. While I can intellectually understand why they should avoid paying attention to the patient, as the patient, I’d like to think they’re paying attention to me. I can admit it. I am an attention hog when someone is coming at me with a needle!
The poster next to this reiterated the same points in a more visual way. Think IKEA bookshelf instructions. I’ll leave that comment to your own imagination. Really. It just makes me sigh.
Now, I should mention that the phlebotomist is located to my right, signing all her paperwork, making sure she’s got the proper colored vials (Why are they colored? Why can’t they use words? Why are there diagrams on an obviously important flyer?). So the wall directly in front of her, in her line of vision, is opposite the wall with the “How Not To Hurt Yourself” flyers.
Does this make any sense? Shouldn’t these flyers be directly above her workspace? She has absolutely no reason to ever look at the wall that they are on, ever. Even the clock is located above the patient’s chair.
After she’s taken my blood I mention this to her. She says “Wow, you’re right. I’ve never thought about that before.” I also mention that for the extra queasy folk, reading this might make them even more nervous. She agrees.
I mention this to the manager/receptionist on the way out. I think it’s a good thing to tell her. She tells me that by law they have to have these posters up there. I don’t disagree with that, I just think they should be in a place where the person that should be reading them might actually read them.