So, it was time. After 20 plus years wearing glasses and contacts, I started to have problems. My eyes started to react to the contact lenses, so I was put on dailies. Those worked for a while, but they dislodged – a lot. I hate wearing glasses day to day, so I pretty much had one option. It was time to have my eyes surgically corrected. My husband had the procedure done years ago and said it was the best thing he’s ever done. He also was pleased with his doctor, so I decided to make an appointment at that office.
It’s never easy being on the patient side of things, but it is such a learning experience! This initial exam was a step by step tutorial in what NOT to do for a new patient. Don’t:
Make things confusing
When I stepped into the foyer, there were two doors. One on the right and the other on the left. The sign indicated to take the right door for Lasik consults and the left door for eye exams. I turned right and went to open the door and it was locked. I checked another time – yep locked. So, I hesitated and went into the eye exam waiting room and meekly wrote down my name on the sign in sheet hoping I was in the right place.
Make people wait forever in the waiting room
I filled out my paperwork and waited and waited and waited. And although I like the movie, “Maleficent”, I had no desire to watch as much as I was required to as I waited to be taken back. And when it was finally my turn, I didn’t like my first and last name yelled out into the vast waiting room. I mean HIPPAA??
Get really technical when describing the procedure
I was escorted by the “TC” to the consult room and she proceeded to tell me all the gory details about the Lasik procedure. She explained how my eye currently takes in images and then how the laser would slice my eye open to correct my vision. I did not need to know this and I certainly didn’t care. She knew my husband had the procedure and was happy with his results. She probably should have asked if I cared to know the details (as some people probably do). All I wanted to know is if I was a candidate, how much it would cost and when I could schedule. I patiently sat there as she wasted her breath on the details I didn’t care about.
Make the exam at least an hour – if not longer
After my thorough introduction to the procedure, I was then taken in for all kinds of measurements and exams to see if I was a candidate. It took forever and there was a lot of waiting involved here too. I was getting hungry and I needed my afternoon tea – not a great state to be in when you are trying to make important decisions.
Unfortunately, I was not a candidate for Lasik and my tired, hungry body was dragged back to the TC room to discuss PRK and the TC rushed through the details (wait – what are you going to do to my cornea? – Nope – didn’t need to know that) of that procedure and gave me all kinds of new paperwork because the old paperwork didn’t apply. My brain had completely turned off by then. I was disappointed, but also frustrated. I had been at the office for almost an hour and a half and I felt like running out the door when I should have asked more questions. But, I was worn down and focused on getting some lunch and caffeine. So, I went home, ate a salad and an enormous iced tea and took to the internet to answer my questions. Is this what you want your patients to do?
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