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Use Doctor's Office Masks With Care

I was appalled, disgusted, almost sickened by what I witnessed in a doctor's office this morning. I came back home and could hardly wait to share what I witnesses with all of you. Be forewarned. It is unpleasant.

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I'm currently seeing several doctors. Most are specialists. Last night (Friday), I discovered I needed to see a doctor. My issue was not life threatening, but serious enough I did not want to wait until Monday for treatment. My primary care physician was not available. Neither was my nephrologist. The nephrologist on call suggested I visit an urgent care facility and then get back with my nephrologist Monday morning.

To make this tip more clear, let me tell you what would have happened had I been able to see my regular doctor. I would have entered the reception area. Before approaching the receptionists, I would see a prominent sign. The sign states that if you are experiencing cold or flu like symptoms, to let the receptionists know. You will be provided with a mask to wear during your visit.

Now, compare that with what I witnessed at the urgent care facility I visited this morning. I had made an online appointment last night. This was to ensure I would not have to wait. I did have to wait, a long time.

The waiting area was filled with people who were wearing masks. Most sounded as if they had a cold or flu, or at least sounded very congested. While I was waiting, I was thinking, 'A doctor's office is one of the best places to get sick'. And what I saw confirmed exactly what I was thinking.

During my wait, a man approached the desk. He was accompanied by two young girls, one about six and the other about nine. From his age, I guessed the girls were his granddaughters. The girls played with each other during the long time it took the receptionist to gather information from the man.

Both girls had runny noses and sounded very hoarse and congested. The older girl was constantly wiping her nose with the palm of her hand. A box of tissues was sitting at easy reach on the desk. Apparently, she saw no need to use them. What she did decide to use was a mask from a box beside the tissues.

She reached in with her mucous laden hands and took out a mask. She playfully wore it for a minute or two and then removed it. She then placed it on the face of the younger girl. The younger girl wore the mask for a minute, making faces at the older girl. Then she took the mask off and handed it back to the older girl.

The older girl took the mask into her filthy hand and promptly placed it back into the box. Both receptionists were quite busy and apparently did not notice. Neither did they notice what happened next.

A lady seated in the waiting area approached the reception desk, took that mask from the box, placed it on her face and returned to her seat. To make matters worse, the older girl took another mask from the box, wore it for a minute or two and then placed it back into the box.

I did not see anyone else use this second mask. I'm sure it was just a matter of moments before it was used.

Due to an unrelated matter, I left without seeing a doctor. I'm glad I did. I am not well. The last thing I need is to contract a cold or flu.

If you are contagious and need to be in public, it would be ideal to buy your own masks and put them on before leaving the house. They are cheap enough and available at all dollar stores.

If you are contagious, without a mask, and in a doctor's office, you will find most will provide a mask for you. For reasons described above, I think it best that you only use masks that are kept behind the desk and dispensed by a receptionist.

I wish I could get this tip to every doctor. While most are certainly more responsible than those at this particular urgent care facility, I dread to think how many people could have been made sick by those masks within a child's reach and what they actually did with them.

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March 21, 20190 found this helpful

Good advice. Hope you are feeling better.

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March 22, 20194 found this helpful

It would have been nice if you as a witness had let the poor lady know what the girls did before she put the mask on. They are young and probably do not know better yet. Sounds like the guardian was distracted it would have been nice for you to let him know as well so he could have properly taught the girls. And finally the receptionists as they could prevent another patient from getting sick. One mention of this from you would have prevented the spread of their illness immediately. One comment from you and 3 people could have been notified.

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March 22, 20192 found this helpful

I agree with forgottenwares. I think you missed out for sure.

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March 22, 20192 found this helpful

I thought the lady went to the desk to speak with a receptionist. She had the mask on before I could say anything.

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This particular urgent care facility is partnered with a large medical care conglomerate in my state and a few surrounding states. Rest assured, this entity has been made aware of what I witnessed. It has received a copy of this article. A representative has called me to set up a time to discuss this issue with me.

Actually, there's nothing to discuss with me. They simply need to clean up their act.

The children are blameless, here.

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March 22, 20190 found this helpful

I do feel badly that I did not speak up, even after the fact. I needed medicine and was already afraid I might not be seen by a doctor (due to the unrelated matter I mentioned). Because of this, i did not want to create a scene related to another matter.

As it turns out, I was refused treatment. This matter too, is being taken up with the parent company. I wont mention here what it's about as I plan to do an article on it, as well. I will say it is a right to privacy issue.

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March 23, 20191 found this helpful

I do hope you are well Albeit, TMI

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March 24, 20190 found this helpful

I just wanted to add that Im a child born in the mid 50s. Was raised to not be a germaphobic....... it worked 110% we didnt know about that then. It worked! Still feel the same

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If I saw that in a Drs office, I would have said something. I totally get why you didnt.BUT, the staff saw it too, Im so sureThey just didnt acknowledge.
The sisters, no blame, just little girls not feeling very well in a waiting room, and not wanting to be there. I want to hug angel them while gently telling them to use a tissue, not a mask, not a toy.
THEY STAFF SHOULD HAVE GIVEN THE SISTERS ONE EACH.IGNORANT STAFF, NOT THE CHILDREN!

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March 22, 20191 found this helpful

I work in different fields of medicine, in one we will not hesitate to approach the child & guardian & discuss why we dont do certain things & if they cant behave, the kids will have to go to a sitter before the patient (if not the child) is seen. The other is at a dentist & I am shocked by the number of people that come in for fillings or other procedures having the flu or just gotten out of the hospital for something still communicable.

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Sometimes sick children are brought in while the parent is worked on, please understand that if youre sick, your germs are blowing back up into our faces, on our clothes & in our hair, there is no way to prevent this other than please think before getting any dental work done if you are sick. Thank you for reading my rant, be well

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March 22, 20190 found this helpful

I most certainly would have immediately removed that mask from the box then cleansed my hands with my hand sanitizer then held the box until I could explain the problem to the receptionist. We all need to be a team in helping us be healthy

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March 22, 20192 found this helpful

The children must not have been too ill if they can play and it is their guardians responsibility to watch them!!

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March 24, 20191 found this helpful

Yep happens all the time. I once saw lids at Hardees licking all the salt shakers. Parents just dont watch their youngens

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March 24, 20192 found this helpful

Masks do seem like a good idea when used responsibly, but I have never seen them provided or used in any doctor's office that I have been in. I wish more doctor's offices would provide them and encourage sick patients to use them tho.

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At my grandchildren's pediatric doctor, there are separate waiting rooms for sick and well children, which is good.

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March 24, 20190 found this helpful

I hate when parents don't parent. Those kids were old enough to know better. I agree that was disgusting. Great idea to bring your own. Maybe another good idea is to have the staff have the only access to the masks and hand them out themselves. That way, they would hopefully pay attention to that icky situation. I sure hope you feel tons better soon.

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March 25, 20190 found this helpful

first i hope you feel better. second i used to work in a doctors office. we were there to work via answering the phones, making appointments, helping the doctors with whatever they needed. sometimes we would not be busy and would see what was going on in the waiting room. we would tend as best we could to deal with situation. but of course, i think it is the parents responsibility to tend to their own child. we were often telling children to not climb on the play house or play on the fish tank. i had checked a mother and her son to the patient room. mom started sneezing and coughing covering her mouth with her hand. i promptly said to use the crook of her elbow. she responded to that with well yes i do that at work. but she wasnt doing it then.
what i am trying to say is it is OUR responsibility to say something to a child. they are not being guided and taught by responsible people. i am sure the grandfather wouldnt have even noticed but maybe grandmother would be. please dont tell me im sexiest. just take my advise for what i said.

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March 25, 20190 found this helpful

They have face masks at my doctor's office and I never thought of such a thing. Kids are like that though.

Yesterday, I was walking behind a dad and his two young sons. The youngest was lagging behind and whacking loaves of bread as he passed. At first, it was sort of gentle but it got increasingly rougher as he went along. The dad and brother didn't notice and were already at the end of the aisle. I called out, "Hey, don't hit the bread. Other people want to buy that." He stopped for a second and then ran ahead, whacking one last loaf as hard as he could. :(

Hope you are doing well and don't need to have too many visits to the doctor. Take care!

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March 26, 20190 found this helpful

Some years ago, our greengrocer put a small tray of Raspberries for people to sample. i saw one child put one in his mouth and then spit it back in the tray.I told the owner and he removed it. I don't know if his mother didn't see or didn't wish to see. It put me off trying samples that's for sure.
Marg from England.

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March 27, 20190 found this helpful

I can imagine. After writing this article, I went shopping for apples to make a salad using a recipe for apple cabbage congealed salad that litter gitter had submitted. While selecting the apples. I found one that had a bite mark from what looked like a child's teeth.

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March 29, 20190 found this helpful

I hope that didn't discourage you from buying those apples and making that salad!!

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March 29, 20190 found this helpful

Hey!

No, it didn't discourage me. I bought two Koru apples. I'll wash them carefully. I'm sure they will be OK. I'll let you know how I like the salad.

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