I was at the grocery store a few days ago. There was one cashier and a long line of people. One person told the cashier what she already knew, "There's a line going out the door." I stood silent waiting my turn. The guy behind me seemed impatient and was making grunting noises while holding a case of beer. Clearly he had somewhere important to go.
Then it occurred to me, the same people who are so impatient at the grocery store will stand in those long airport lines, saying nothing for fear of being denied access to flight service. They also sit and wait in an MD's office reading a magazine awaiting their turn, sometimes for over an hour. Why are people suddenly impatient when they have to wait for certain services and not for others?
Some of the patients I see get tired of waiting for me to show up for therapy. I explain to them we want to see people at different times of the day to better assess how they move. For instance, if I come in at 7 a.m. and have a patient walk to breakfast, I'm assessing balance and mobility in the morning versus seeing that person at 4 p.m. after he's been up all day. I tell patients that when they get home, they'll need to be able to get up and move any time of the day.
I further explain that it's normal for them to get up out of bed in the morning, get dressed and walk to the kitchen for breakfast. If I see patients in the late afternoon, I explain that we're assessing energy level and mobility to ensure they're safe in their home if they need to get up and move at that time. I go on to tell them if they have an MD appointment in the late afternoon, they'll need to be able to safely navigate out of their house, into a car, to the doctor's office and back home without getting too fatigued.
Perhaps the people who complain about waiting for services should be denied access to them. The airlines and TSA agents can deny access to flight services without warning because there's a perceived threat. Why shouldn't other service providers have that same right when a person becomes angry about slow service? If I complain about the two-hour delay in an emergency room, should they be able to deny me access to their care? If I complain about the same time delay at the airport, I might not be able to fly to my destination.
People who complain are strange. There are other modes of transportation, there are other MDs, and there are certainly other grocery stores they can go to. Yet people will complain about the services, the time wasted, and of course how much everything costs. But, before I forget, there are other therapy providers who'd love to evaluate your patients if your wait time is too long, so try not to let the patients wait because there are other SNFs and outpatient facilities that will get the person seen that same day.