My Most Recent Frustration with Seeking Medical Assistance

Submitted by Miss Danielle on Thu, 05/26/2005 - 8:02am.

I have to have a bone scan done before I can move forward with any diagnosis or see another specialist. My doctor gave me the requisition so that I could book the appointment locally (he is actually located an hour and a half away. 'Have decent doctor, will travel').

I looked in the phone book as instructed to find a lab that does nuclear medicine procedures. None of the places stated they had this in their write-up, but the one place I've gone to in the past have a staff I like so I call them to ask.

I specifically ask if they do nuclear medicine bone scans. The receptionist asked "Is that for testing bone density?". I said I didn't know. "I do know that I am supposed to find a place that specifically does nuclear medicine for a full body bone scan." She told me, "We do those. I'll book an appointment for you for next month".

A month? *Sigh*. Fine. I can wait another month before moving forward. As long as I am actually getting the scan and the x-rays, I can live with that.

The morning of the appointment I realize that you have to wait approx 3 hours after getting the injection before they can do the actual scan. The receptionist hadn't mentioned this, which I thought was odd. I call the office to confirm.

The woman (a different woman from the original receptionist) told me "Oh no. We don't do those here. In fact, you can't even book those appointments at all. It must be the doctor who talks to the lab."

I'm not one to lose my temper with people. I state that I waited a whole month for this, and had stressed on the phone that I was looking for that specific test. The woman only offered "Well, you didn't speak to me."


I call my doctor's office to clarify whether or not I can actually make this appointment."Yes, you can make the appointment as long as you have a requisition". The lady was kind enough to say that if I had any more trouble, to call her back.

I call the main hospital in the city and am able to make an appointment for a week later.

And here's where I rant.

Why didn't the first woman double check with someone that they did the procedure?

What if I was a patient who had an undetected serious or even terminal illness? That mistake cost me a month. How much more detrimental could this scenario have been for someone whose health hinged on catching something quickly?

I went in to have the basic x-rays done there that afternoon anyway. The receptionist asks to see me after I have finished. I think maybe she is going to apologize for the mix up. Instead, she asks me where my other requisition is for the other test! I can hardly speak for fear that I will burst into tears because I am so mad and frustrated. I manage a simple "No, that was a mistake".

A woman further back in the office says "Ah yes. The bone scan. (to the receptionist) You have to make sure it's a bone density test and not a bone scan when they call".

That's it. The receptionist hadn't even stopped what she was doing to listen. Outrageous!

How many more times will this happen there? And to what consequence?


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