When patients decide they are sick enough to visit the hospital, they kind of know they would spend the whole day at the hospital. Or better put, they should expect they will spend the whole day   especially when it is a Government-owned hospital where there are hundreds of people to be attended to. What I do not understand, however, is why they come hurriedly and want to leave as soon as possible. A typical patient’s routine is as follows;
-You go to the medical records section and present your card if you are a pre-registered patient. And if you are not, you open a new one and told to sit in a line.
-The cards are used to bring out your case note.
-The case notes are placed on the Doctor’s table according to the way you arrived but if you know the record officer, he may put yours first irrespective of your position (life is all about connections after all, isn’t it?).
-The Doctor consults and writes a prescription for you to take to the pharmacy
– But God help you and you are referred to the laboratory or diagnostic centre for various tests or scans then you are going to spend a longer time at the hospital.
-When the results are out, you are then attended to and referred to the pharmacy where another protocol of purchase, payment and counselling starts.
An average patient knows this already but I get varying responses from people. I would share ten categories of people I met within the last two years at the Pharmacy.
1 GRUMPYAND ANNOYING: these people are all full of complains, touchy and don’t want to be told to wait or stay in the queue. You don’t want them to be your first set of patients on a Monday morning if you are a firm believer of “the morning shows the day”. And if they are the last set of patients, be sure to take some pain killer at the end of the day.
2 PREGNANT AND IRRITABLE: these ones are pregnant and all hissing. They make it look like you are the one who impregnated them and you feel sorry for their husbands during this “trying” period. Some are in their first trimester and you cannot easily detect they are pregnant unless  you look at  their prescription so initially you are wondering if they were forced to come to the hospital at gun-point.
3 HASTY AND RUDE: these people think the hospital is like a market where you just get to a stall, pick your item, pay and breeze out. So after waiting at almost every unit, they are in a hurry to leave and expect you to have picked their drugs before they even arrive. They don’t even want to listen to any explanation on usage.
4 EDUCATED AND PROUD: this category of people are educated and want to assume every other person they meet did not smell the walls of higher institution. They want you to know they can read and write, so they  want you to tell them the drugs on their prescription. But the thing is, even when they are told, they do not know them and what they are used for. Some end up embarrassing themselves before succumbing to advice.
5 COURTEOUS AND ATTENTIVE: they range from the educated to the uneducated. These are the people that make you conclude that education does not affect a person’s personality. They are willing to learn and they ask questions. Sometimes, it is at the end of the discussion that you discover you were advising a knowledgeable person. These are the people that would  make you want to do some extra-time (who does not like good people?)
6 ELDERLY AND THANKFUL: these are aged men and women who continue to thank you for going all the way out to advise them. They follow instructions, stay on the queue and are calm. Sometimes they want to tip you but you insist that you are doing your work.
7 CLUELESS: they don’t seem to understand simple instructions. They look confused and you have to explain over and over again. They leave you fearing if they would not take the drugs wrongly and be readmitted for drug mis-use reaction.
8 OLD AND UNAPPRECIATIVE: old patients that feel you should scamper at their sight. They have been used to people doing things for them and they expect that from strangers. They complain and almost want to smack you for telling them to pay. Some even pretend they do not have money and expect you to pay for them, “After all, I have your age-mate at home” they say.
9 POOR AND PITIABLE: these people are obviously poor. They may have as low one-tenth of their bill or even nothing. Some resort to going back home and borrowing money, some ask you to assist them while others accept their fate and decide to believe in a miracle for a cure of their illness. You find yourself helping some and pitifully looking at others (salary must not finish on charity, you know!).
10 LOVELY AND CHEERFUL: these ones give you that smile that sends some glucose shots into your blood stream no matter how tired you are. They are cheerful, cooperative and almost want to offer to help you.  They are the type you almost want to pay to stay with you because irrespective of their illness, they liven up your spirit.
The list is in-exhaustive but I will stop here. I am sure you most likely fall into one of these categories. In all, it was fun meeting and dealing with a large variety of people. Sometimes I get back home and just laugh on my own when I remember the drama of the day.