Don’t touch those magazines in the waiting room

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Several years ago while sitting in a management team meeting, I was suddenly stricken with symptoms of a particularly hideous strain of an outbreak of  norovirus that had been spreading through the hospital where I worked. Because those infected with a norovirus illness shed billions of the dreaded virus particles in their stool and vomit, the hospital protocol during this outbreak was to immediately call in a specially-trained housekeeping team wearing what looked like Hazmat suits to scrub down the staff washroom I’d just used.  Even the calendar and paper posters pinned up on the washroom’s little bulletin board were removed and destroyed.

Until then, I thought I was the only one who felt creeped out by touching paper in any public waiting room. These rooms – particularly in hospitals and doctors’ offices – are jam-packed with sick people, people!  At the best of times, I don’t like sitting in a patient waiting room, never mind voluntarily picking up any reading material while I’m there. Even people who are not coughing, hacking, snorting, sneezing or wiping dripping mucous from their inflamed noses with unwashed bare fingers can still be transmitting bacteria and viruses onto every page of those waiting room magazines.  Continue reading “Don’t touch those magazines in the waiting room”

Why doctors shouldn’t call it the “waiting” room

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

At least once a year, my family heads out to the world-famous Butchart Gardens, about a half hour drive from our home here in Victoria. We spend a magical Saturday evening enjoying the summer gardens, a picnic supper on the lawn, live entertainment and especially the eye-popping summer fireworks extravaganza at dusk.  We are joined by approximately a zillion other visitors from around the globe, and the minute those last fireworks have fizzled, the zillions stand up and shuffle en masse to the vast parking lot to exit.

A little secret that our family has learned over the years, however, has saved us a lot of late night aggravation trying to get out of that tour bus-clogged  traffic jam – and it also confirms social scientists’ theory that Occupied Waiting Time feels far shorter than Unoccupied Waiting Time – a profound lesson for those of us who spend way too much time cooling our heels in doctors’ waiting rooms.  Continue reading “Why doctors shouldn’t call it the “waiting” room”