Me again! I shared a story from my experiences as a nurse in a hospital before and it was quite well-received (it was even published! - Thanks editors!), so I thought I would try another one.
So I am in the UK, where we have universal healthcare under the NHS (National Health Service) and honestly it’s pretty brilliant and it should never go away. Sadly, because it’s free healthcare, it does have a tendency to create some entitlement with some patients - a very small minority, mind you, but they do stand out.
My department does dialysis and this can be a long and boring procedure for everyone, but it IS A LIFE-SAVING one and it’s not something you can schedule at your convenience like a spa or salon appointment.
Sadly I get so many patients that do this! They seem to think they can just not turn up, and after we call them (not THEM calling US!) they say something like “Oh, yeah, I couldn’t make it today. I’ll swing by tomorrow, thanks!”
No apologies, and no reasonable excuse, and with the complete expectation that we would be able to accommodate them whenever they felt like coming in - because they know that we HAVE to accommodate them or they pretty much die.
I’m not saying I would ever turn a patient away, I wouldn’t dream of it and it’s not what the NHS is about, but I do wish we could start fining patients or something when they decide not to show up to a procedure that we have put aside time and resources for. The moment it starts hurting their wallet, even just a little bit, and you know most them of them will suddenly be “available”.
That’s my rant, thanks for letting me get it out of my system.