First appointment with my primary doctor at Bay Pines was today at 10am. I arrived a half hour early so I could observe and make notes. Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to do much observation, less than 5 minutes after I checked in, the nurse called me back to get vitals and prepare for the doctor. Blood pressure, and temp normal, Joanne, my nurse was pleasant and nice to talk to.
As we were going over some questions, an odd thing happened. A knock came at the examination room door, and I noticed that the nurse did not even flinch and at the same time I noticed that the room had two doors. Then, a few seconds later, another knock, and no flinch. So, I being the curious sort, asked her, " Are they knocking on that door or is that from another room?". She replied, " No, they are knocking at that door, but we are not allowed to answer it, as you can see," she pointed to the door, "their is no way to tell who is out there, no peephole, so we are not allowed to answer the door in case someone is standing there with a gun." Did she just say that?!? I just stammered something like, Oh I wouldn't want that! I didn't know what else to say, I couldn't imagine that possibility, but I suppose they have to have security measures in case one of us vets goes postal. She wraps up and tells me the doctor is in the next room with a patient and when it is my turn, she'll come get me. I hope that the guy with the gun isn't standing there waiting for me when I go out that door!!! Just a short wait and then I am in with the doctor, hallway was empty, thank goodness.
Met with the doctor, of course my cell phone goes off right as I start to introduce myself, I quickly make a point to shut it off and say so as not to interrupt us again.
A wise Veteran told me once that the majority of us Vets go into the VA with a bad attitude of entitlement and most wont or don't listen to the doctors and give them a hard time. The advice was to be courteous and respectful, make mention of what you do to manage your health and listen to what they say. Most importantly, be thankful. Don't buy into the hype that your entitled, and they will treat you like you want to be treated. Pretty good advice for life period, I wont have a hard time following those sage words.
I think I like having a female doctor, she reminds me of a much older version of my cousin, who is also a Doctor, although not a Doctor of Veterans, she is a Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine.
Immediately we get started, and go over my health history and blood work they took during my entry visit. I am generally healthy, all my blood is normal, except cholesterol which was high. She listened to my breathing and heart and she said she wanted to get xrays of the areas I have orthapedic problems, shoulder, neck and low back. Also she is going to get me into a sleep clinic for evaluation for a sleep study, my wife swears I have sleep apnea, and if I am honest with myself, I have more symptoms than I don't. All in all, pretty straightforward, very businesslike, and fast. Back to the front desk after the appropriate pleasantries, and the clerk who is a former Coastie, made my appointments for xrays later that day. Might as well get them over with and keep things moving.
So far the I have had experiences with the Prosthetics Department (professionally), VA Eligibility , MOD D clinic, and the new patient clinic and processing department. Bay Pines has lived up to its sterling reputation as a world class facility with excellent staff. I will keep observing and posting and inviting my brothers to join me here and talk about their experiences good and bad.
Be well and take care,