PWD Register

XXXXXVIII Medical: Going to the Doctor and Vocabulary

In the United States, if you feel ill, you can go to the emergency room of a hospital. Most hospitals, however, will refuse admittance unless you are under a doctor’s care and sometimes it must be a doctor who is 'affiliated’ with that hospital.
If you see someone who has fallen, or been in a car accident (i.e. Princess Diana), you called for 911. The operator will ask, “Is this a medical emergency or do you want the police?” “You answer, “Medical emergency, please.” Upon connecting you with a medical emergency response operator, she will ask, “What is your location?” You reply, “The World Trade Center.” Operator: “What is the condition of the victim?” (conscious or unconscious, breathing or not breathing). “A medical response team is on the way,” the medical response team will probably call you next or the operator will switch you to the paramedics who are coming and you will be talking to then. They will ask you the condition of the victim, “Is the victim bleeding? Is the victim breathing (unconsciousness, conscious, in trauma/ shock. The will tell you what to do and what not to do, i.e. “Don’t move the victim as there might be injury to the spine which could break if moved. Paramedics usually work out of a hospital or a local fire department.
In New York City about ten years ago, a man came to the aid of another man who was being attacked by a man with a knife. The would-be rescuer received a deep cut across his chest, which opened up his heart. A nearby taxi stopped and the man was put into the taxi. The driver called the nearest hospital for a medical team to be ready. The man died in the taxi from the loss of blood. The hospital response was waiting and when the taxi arrived at the hospital, and quickly wheeled the man into the operating team where his heart and chest were sewn up quickly and he was given transfusions, and he was revived and brought back to life so quickly that it was a miracle.
But if you are merely feeling ill and can wait for a doctor’s appointment, you can call your family doctor or a doctor of your choice. Or you can go to the “Yellow Pages” of the telephone book and look under “Physician”. Your family doctor could also refer you to a specialist if he feels such is needed. The specialists are also listed in the yellow pages under these categories:
Eye, ear, nose, and Throat Specialist Cardiovascular (heart and blood system)
Gastro-internalist (intestinal, liver, etc) Podiatrist (foot doctor)
Serologist (blood) Urologist (kidneys, bladder, etc)
Ophthalmologist Optician (eye doctor
Optometrist Gerontologist (for older people)
Gynecologist (for women) Pediatrician (for children)
Chiropractor Surgeon (operates/cuts)
Dermatologist (skin care) Oncologist (pain control)

You may have to stay several days after getting an appointment to see the doctor. The doctor’s offices in the United States are all organized the same way so the doctor can see as many patients as possible.
On the day and hour of the appointment, you will enter the doctor’s office and go to the reception desk, which will be closed off, by a sliding glass window. If the window is frosted glass, there will be a bell, which you ring. The receptionist will ask: “Is this your first visit?” If you say yes, she will hand you a clipboard with forms to fill out. The receptionist may ask, “Do you have medical insurance?” or “How are you going to pay for this bill?” On the clipboard will be forms such as your name, address, work place, telephone numbers, and who is to be contacted in case of emergency. On the clipboard, there will be two items that are essential. One is a “history of health problems” (diabetes, bronchitis, appendicitis, etc) and another form asks if you are allergic to any shots (mostly penicillin or immunization shots).
You fill out the forms and go to the reception desk, ring the bell and return the clipboard to the receptionist. If she says anything it will be “Take a seat and the doctor will call you.” You take a seat and there will be all kinds of magazines (usually quite old) for you to read.
Although you called for an appointment and came on time or before the time of your appointment, you will have to wait. Filling out the forms will about ten minutes. One or more other people will be there before you, waiting to see the doctor. A nurse will come to door and call each person in order of arrival. So you may wait another twenty or thirty minutes before being called.
All doctors in USA organize their offices this way to relieve them of these small routines and from doing paper work. The doctor’s nurse opens the door to call you. You follow her through the door to a weighing scale. She will weigh you and take your height. It doesn’t matter to her if you are wearing shoes or heavy clothing. She will then lead you to a small room and ask you to sit while she takes your temperature and blood pressure. All of this she writes down and puts into a folder that had been created just for you. In the folder will be the form you filled out concerning your past medical problems and concerning causes of death in your family (diabetes, heart attack, cancer, etc.
The nurse or doctor’s assistant doing this work is always a patient and laconic (non-talking) woman or young girl. They will not be over-weight but will look healthy and wholesome. She will not listen to you heartbeat. If you have indicated that you have had kidney problems in the past or diabetes, she take you to the toilet and give you a plastic cup and ask you to fill it with a urine sample. She will then close the door and leave while you fill it.
Upon leaving the bathroom, the nurse will escorted you back to the first room and will tell you the doctor will soon be there. You wait for another five to twenty minutes until the doctor arrives.
Doctor comes through the door with your file in his hand.
“Well, how are you today?” says the doctor.
You answer, “Not too well.”
“What seems to be the matter?” asks the doctor, who wants you to describe your symptoms (problems) to him.
“I feel weak and tired all the time.” (indicates a blood problem).
In the old days, a doctor would look at your fingernails and into the eyeballs of a patient. He will take his stethoscope and listen to your heartbeat, and then he will say,
“Stick out your tongue.” He will then take a tongue depressor (flat smooth stick and hold down your tongue while you gag and feel like throwing up) and look at the back of your throat. He will tell you, “Say ahhh,” and then have you sit down/lie down on an examining table covered with white paper. After each visit, this paper will be thrown away and replaced which fresh and unused paper.
The doctor says, “I think I’ll send you to have a blood sample taken.” This will show hemoglobin (red blood cells) or an over-abundance of white blood cells, which will indicate anemia or the worst case, leukemia. The doctor will then feel your neck close to the jawbone.
“I feel feverish and sweaty.”
“Did you take your temperature during the times you had fever?”
Doctor will look at your folder to see if you have checked malaria. If there was a urine sample to be tested and the results are known, the doctor may look into it for clues as to what ails you. Most doctors are quick to order a battery of tests and X-rays. These can be quite expensive, especially if it requires a stay in the hospital. Just one day in a hospital will cost one thousand dollars for the room and all tests and medicines are extra.
Although you may have seen the doctor for less than ten minutes, your bill will be at least $50 and maybe even higher. Medical insurance usually pays everything but $5 of the cost of the visit, which is called “co-payment” and paid by you.
In case of an emergency, there is a different set of rules and guidelines. The emergency telephone number is 911. An operator will answer and ask:
“Do you want medical help, the police, or report a fire?”
“I need medical help.”
“What is your address?” This will tell the operator which ambulance and paramedics are closest to you. You give your address and then you will be connected to emergency. They will say,
“They’re on their way. They should be there in five minutes. Are you alone? Is anyone there with you? What are your symptoms? (pain, bleeding, blackouts, paralyzed or paralysis of any kind, fever, chills, headaches, nausea,


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Paramedics ambulance laxative itch constipated emergency
B.M. Bowel movement hiccups sneezing nausea poisonous
Hazardous cardiovascular healthy toxic senile perspiration
Nose is running rash symptoms sore lab test gastro-internal
Thermometer side effects sore throat stress tension feel tired
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Unhealthy sniffles sensitive stroke feel a chill feel lousy
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Hepatitis (liver disease) cholesterol catch a cold
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