The rules of the doctors’ waiting room

The following column first appeared in the latest edition of Manx Advertiser.

guinea pig, google images, yahoo image search, doctors waiting roomsAt some stage, we all find ourselves in the waiting room of a GP practice. Happily, on more occasions than not, the visit results in you feeling better.

But the wait before going in to see your friendly doctor could be more enjoyable.

So, as part of an infrequent guide to life supplied to you by those of us here at the Manx Advertiser,  below are some simple rules to make the waiting room experience that little bit better.

Eye contact. This must be avoided at all times, with anyone, including receptionists. If you ever had a pet guinea pig, did you notice they operated a policy that if they weren’t looking at you, you couldn’t see them? Well they learned that in waiting rooms at veterinary surgeries. The same rules apply to doctors’ waiting rooms.

Magazines. Bring your own, don’t read the ones already in the waiting room. You’re in a place full of sick people, so imagine how many germ riddled hands have touched those publications. Alternatively, use your Smartphone to read the online version of the Manx Advertiser. (Is that subtle enough for you, boss?)

Notices.  Pass the time by trying to spot how many notices on the information board either:  (a) are so old they are warning of diseases carried by the dodo; or (b) bear absolutely no relevance to health matters at all. On my last visit, I spotted a poster that was pointing out that if you are putting on a theatre production that features child performers, you have to make sure you comply with children at work regulations, which seemed a little random next to the advice on how to avoid the Black Death.

Play GP Roulette. Let’s be honest, there’s always one GP at a group practice you hope to avoid. Usually it’s for nothing sinister and is more likely to be something as basic as they take longer than anyone else -affecting your waiting time – or they’ve got an unnerving picture of clowns in the corner of their room. Anyway, when someone else gets called in to see that particular doctor, suck in your breath and whistle, then see if there’s any reaction.

This column first appeared in the Manx Advertiser.

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About Paul Speller

Writer, journalist, husband, dad.
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