My Quest with Quest, part II

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You can read part I of my rant about Quest Diagnostics here.

The next day, I had dog training, in Northwest Portland, then drove back to my house, dropped the dog off, and went back. Because 84 East is always busy, I decided to drive down Burnside street, which of course was full of construction, so that it took me 30 minutes to get to the lab (inside safeway) instead of 20.  I get in, prepared to wait, as I didn’t get an appointment on their website.

Instead of someone to check in, I had to enter my dates into an Ipad that was on top of a super wobbly stand, so whenever I typed in, the stand started to shake.

In the waiting area was a man who reeked of weed, a man in a pajama, plastic slippers and a knitted green octopus hat (including the tentacles), and his girlfriend. A normal Wednesday in Portland, OR.

The nurse (same as the day before), calls for him, and because the door is not closed, I hear EVERYTHING they are talking about, why he is there etc. I won’t repeat it, because PRIVACY. What I will say however, is how sweet, friendly, and charming the phlebotomist was with him. After the blood drawing was done, they even compared dog pictures on their phone. How sweet.

Then, she calls my name, sees me and says, “oh, it’s you again.” I try to smile, and say, yes, I just took my chances. I hand her the kit, she checks for the necessary paperwork, and then proceeds on telling me that she hates administering this test. Well, lady, it’s not exactly on top of my list of fun things to do either. But really, all you need to do is draw blood, and send it off to the lab. Which, as a phlebotomist, is your JOB. I notice how she is not joking around with me, asking about my pets, or anything. I get to sign a waiver that she did everything in my presence BEFORE she did anything, but, never mind. She puts the tourniquet on way too tight, it hurts. When I tell her so, she says, “that’s how it’s supposed to feel”. No, it isn’t. This isn’t my first rodeo either.

I breathe in, thinking, come on Verena, only a few more minutes, you’ll walk out of here and get yourself a nice cup of coffee. She then looks at my arm and says “Oh, I can’t guarantee that I won’t miss the first time”. EXCUSE ME? Yes, my veins aren’t amazing. But no self-respecting nurse EVER said this very sentence. Yes, it happens that you miss, and while I am not thrilled by it, it happens. But to say out loud that you may miss the vein the first time? At this point, I was tempted to do it myself. She then repeated that she hates this test. I ignored her. It was literally one vial of blood she needed. How much more can you kvetch? And what, pray tell did I do to you? you were nice to octopus man, why not me?

As I walked out, a woman pushed a man in a wheelchair in, both legs were in a cast, with an appointment by the way- they were told to wait for an hour, because the dear phlebotomist was on lunch break, and there was nobody else to do the test. I overheard him telling his wife to go back to work and just pick him up after work, as she shouldn’t lose her job over this.

I haven’t been so upset and angry in a while, and I did send quest diagnostics a complaint. Aside from the phlebotomist’s rudeness and incompetence, it is a systemic problem- most people will stop by during lunch break, so why do you go to lunch between noon and one? and why do you not have someone else there to cover ?

Let’s cross our fingers that at least the test results are good.

apparently quest thinks the right spot for a painting of Marie Curie is next to the toilet.

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