I had the unfortunate experience of going to Spectrum's Wendover Medical Lab with my six year old.
My daughter had just come from a visit with her specialist, who had sent us right over to the lab for blood work. When the woman at the front desk finally appeared, I explained that my daughter was very anxious about the impending “procedure”, hoping she would acknowledge that this could be scary for a child. Her blank stare, with thinly veiled “so what” apathy, was just a precursor for the deplorable events that were to unfold minutes later.
When we were called to the back some time later, the door opened, and from behind the door a voice called out a name. A person never appeared. Once we got through the door, and could see the person who called my daughter, we were met by the same receptionist who was still maintaining her blasé, ‘whatever’ attitude. She informed us we were to report to “room two”, and then handed us our paperwork. I had to figure out where that was, and we, alone, escorted ourselves to that room. Upon entering, we were greeted with row after row of blood vials, red “contaminated material” trash cans, and a scary looking chair. Over the next ten to fifteen minutes, as the three employees ambled around the office in no particular hurry, chatting among themselves as if they had nothing better to do, my daughter’s anxiety level increased exponentially, as she had plenty of time to think about what was going to happen and to look at all of the equipment. Because there were not any tissues in the room with which I could dry her tears, I stepped across the hall to the restroom. I met the same apathetic receptionist in the hall. She curtly informed me they would be with us shortly. I told her I hoped so, because my little girl was becoming more and more anxious. Her belligerent, sarcastic reply was neither sympathetic nor professional. I then stated that my daughter was only six years old, and this was frightening for her, hoping she would realize how confrontational she was acting. She stormed down the hall. Nice.
Eventually the phlebotomist entered the room. She did not identify herself to us. She did not greet my daughter. She did not acknowledge that we were even present in the room. She went about her business silently, setting up for the procedure. As my daughter was whimpering softly, this woman coldly barked out “What are you crying for?” -- apparently trying to shame her in to stopping. Impressive tactic – an adult intimidating a kindergartener.
Then the “prize” of a receptionist/lab tech came into the room to assist. These two women begrudgingly wore latex free gloves when I asked them to, as I have an allergy. Apparently, judging by their actions, they are unfamiliar with the dangers a latex allergy presents. Obviously angry that I would dare ask them to do something (or perhaps they were irate that they had to do their job), they snapped off the latex gloves, and with unwashed hands, still covered with latex residue, put on the vinyl gloves. The same tourniquet was used (made of latex?) on my daughter, whom I was holding. The arm of the chair was not wiped down, nor were the two boxes of latex gloves moved from directly beside me. Yet another example of their blatant short-comings, but a wonderful opportunity for a teachable moment by their supervisor. Hopefully, this will be addressed before an unsuspecting latex-sensitive patient is exposed to their reckless behavior and has an anaphylactic reaction.
They went about their work without once offering a word of comfort or sympathy to her. My child was so frightened, her whole body was quaking uncontrollably. When they finished, one of them said “that’s it” and walked out of the room without further adieu. I do not believe they even looked either one of us in the face throughout the whole experience. My daughter was not addressed by her name throughout the whole visit, nor acknowledged. We showed ourselves out, as we had showed ourselves to the room. I should not have expected their work ethic to change, but I was yet again mortified by their behavior. This was the worst experience we have ever had in a medical facility, and we have had PLENTY of exposure, from other lab facilities, to PICU, and everything in between. Their patient was a six year old child who was not treated with dignity, but rather the contempt one may feel for a mangy dog. Despicable. Deplorable. Unforgivable.