Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Getting a Covid jab

yesterday was an interesting experience. 

I actually managed to get to the venue without getting wet. As it had been raining steadily for some time this was an achievement in itself.

I was booked in to have mine at the state's "showground". There is a very large building there and the state's health service has taken over most of it. Yes, it's a massive operation. 

You need an appointment - and you still need to queue. I prowled in cautiously and was met with someone wielding a clipboard, a form and a pen. Other people in the queue were holding more clipboards and happily filling in their forms as they stood in the queue. There was no chance of me doing that. I looked at the form. Oh, little squares to fill in with your Medicare number and not just once but many times over and tiny boxes to tick or cross...not a hope if they wanted it to be legible. Help!

I explained the problem and asked - nicely - for some help. The person I asked responded equally nicely and told me she would fill out the form for me. I passed over my Medicare card and we embarked on filling the form out. There were the usual things, name, address, age, contact details and more. 

Then there was the long list of questions. This was mostly to do with allergies and medical conditions. Mmm....interesting. There were some medical terms in there. The girl writing in the answers for me did not know what these terms meant. I explained. 

"Oh, I'm so glad you asked me to help because I wouldn't have known and if someone else asked I'd have to try and find out."

Someone should have explained these terms to her before she started working there. I only knew because I've seen a lot of medical forms in my life and had to look these things up for myself.

Then there was the inevitable wait before I was called to a booth. The booths are large enough to fit a stretcher in. They are taking no chances there. The nurse who introduced herself was also pleasant and friendly. We went through the form again and agreed that the non-medical staff need to have more explained to them.

"I'll talk to my supervisor about that. Thanks for alerting us."

She gave me the jab - all I felt was a quick prick. It was so brief it was almost not there. 

Then I prowled out to sit and wait for the regulation fifteen minutes. While I was sitting there the supervisor came over and spoke to me. She asked about my experience and what I had said to the nurse.

"You may be right," she told me, "But how did you know what it meant?" 

I explained about my job and that I have seen a great many medical terms as a result. I need to know what many of them mean if I am going to be "translate" them into symbols that people will not just understand but understand accurately. It doesn't mean I have any idea how to treat those conditions. I don't. I am not a doctor. 

And in the normal way I would have no more idea than the vast majority of people. It is the vast majority of people they are supposed to be communicating with in those circumstances. I hope they do something about it.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A friend went last year for a covid swab test. After it, she was given several pages of directions about what do if she had a reaction, etc. Only on the last page was there a minimal amount of information about languages other than English, and the English used was not simple and clear.

If the gist of what you want someone to read is longer than one page, in small print, uses difficult words, and does not clearly explain what you want the reader to do, many people will not read it.

There is a reason advertising slogans are so short!


PS. I saw but did not feel my injection and had minimal side effects (felt a bit tired the next day).