Friday, November 13, 2009

Excuse me Ma'am? You tested positive for gonorrhea...I mean chlamydia.

So, I was at the clinic late on Wednesday, about an hour after closing. I was the only patient there. I was sitting in that room they always put you in to take your vitals (vitals are things like blood pressure, temperature, weight, height, medical history, etc.). I overheard the following conversation of a woman talking on the phone:

Person: Hi, Ms. Doe? This is Ms. Clinic Worker at ABC Clinic. I was calling to tell you that we received your test results back and you tested positive for gonorrhea.


Person: Oh, wait, I'm sorry. I meant chlamydia, not gonorrhea. Sorry about that.

(Me, rolling my eyes: OK, this is REALLY not happening while I'm sitting here at this clinic...)

Person: Ms. Doe? Are you okay? Well, you'll have to get a prescription for some pills. You take the pills over a period of time and it will clear it right up. And your partner will have to get tested and take the pills as well.

(Me: Ok, this IS happening.)

Person: What was that? Ok, well, I'll call the pharmacy and submit the prescription for you.

(silence. I hear the phone hang up, then numbers dialed)

Person: Hi. This is Ms. Clinic Worker at ABC Clinic. I'm calling on behalf of Ms. Jane Doe. She needs a prescription for chlamydia. Her full name is Jane R. Doe. Her address is 1234 S. I'm-really-hearing-ALL-this-girl's-business Street, in Wow, I'm-really-hearing-this-at-the-clinic City, of This-is-crazy State. And her phone number is 123-456-7890. Her date of birth is 01-01-01.

(Me: clinic is in my area, which means I could possibly know this girl by face. Thank God I don't know her by name...I don't think this nurse lady knows I'm still here...Please God don't let her be this stupid.'

Me: Excuse me, Ms? I was sitting in the other room and I overheard both of your phone conversations. I'm not sure what the confidentiality rules are here at the clinic but I think it's important that you know I'm here.

Naturally, she looked horrified and apologized profusely while explaining that she only makes those types of calls this late at night because all the patients are gone. She thanked me for telling her and I told her I'm a student and we talk about these kinds of things all the time in class so I understand it's confidential.

But still, I was horrified.

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