Yesterday as I sat with my daughter in the paediatrician’s waiting room I couldn’t help but to be worried about the number of germs lurking in that environment. There were lots of other kiddies waiting to seen by the doctor too, except many of them had snotty noses and rasping coughs, unlike my toddler who had the (uncatchy) problem of not sleeping at the moment.
As she explored the confines of the waiting room and enjoyed tinkering with the new toys in every corner, I couldn’t help but to imagine how many sick and possibly contagious children had come before her to touch and play with them too. And as the clock ticked on the wall, I wondered if we would leave with more problems than we came with.
There were kids of all ages, ranging from small babies referred for x-rays to toddlers with runny noses clinging to mom’s legs and a young child with a bandaged arm. And as the doctor’s head popped around her room door which had been closed a few moments earlier she said to her receptionist “we’re going to need a clean up crew.”
The little girl who was being seen to had vomited in the room. I suddenly found myself hoping we weren’t next! The doctor was so matter of fact about it that I had the image of being in the grocery store with some spilled milk: “clean up in aisle two, clean up in aisle two” being announced over the loud speaker system.
As it so happened we were next, but it all turned out fine in the end, other than those few germs who probably secretly snuck home with us. I made sure to wash all of our hands twice when we walked in the door.
I wrote this article almost two years ago now, and I’m still nervous about waiting in doctor’s rooms to this day!