Lab Orders: The Struggle is Real

It’s been over a decade where being poked with needles is normal. Although I’ll admit that I still look away right as the needle pierces my skin, the process is anything but unusual.

I know this procedure is necessary, but it will always be annoying. And honestly, the hardest part of getting your blood drawn, or any other procedure for that matter, isn’t the fact that someone is making a small cut to your skin and removing what is supposed to stay inside your body.

The most difficult part comes down to paper work.

What should be a ten, maybe 15 minute, visit can sometimes turn into a one, two and eventually three hour visit.

Why does this happen? This happens because those important pieces of paper which detail the labs your doctor ordered were…

…never faxed to the lab.
….lost in a pile of other pieces of paper.
…were sent to the wrong lab.
…were sent with the wrong name.

There are handfuls of more reasons for this to happen, but these are the ones I can relate to.

As I made my way to the lab today, I didn’t feel like anything could go wrong. It was the usual routine. In and out. No big deal.

The new touchless check-in was a breeze. There was only one other person in the waiting area. I was going to be out of there in no time. I should have kept that thought to myself.

When the phlebotomist called me in, she said she had no lab orders for me, and I told her my clinic said they had faxed them in.

She assured me they weren’t there and told me to call my doctor to have them sent over again. “Sometimes they forget,” she said as she escorted me back to the waiting room.

I called the neurology clinic. The lady there said, “They should have them, but sometimes they lose them.” I could sense an annoyed ‘not this again’ tone in her voice.

“Are you already at the clinic?” she asked. I replied, “Yes.” She said she would send a high-alert message to the nurse so the labs could be faxed. “Okay,” I replied.

And the waiting game began! Ten, twenty, thirty and infinity minutes passed.

With each minute, I grew more restless. Every time I saw the lab door open, I could feel myself slightly jump. I was like a kid waiting for their turn to get on the ride.

But as I saw person after person walk in and out, I got a little more disheartened. I was going to be here forever! It was NEVER going to be my turn!

And then, I heard my name. “Veronica” I jumped out of my chair and walked toward the reception desk window. “You should call the clinic again. I keep getting faxes but none for you,” the phlebotomist said.

“Okay,” I sadly replied.

It took several calls, transfers and messages to get my inquiry through until I was finally able to get my blood drawn.

The cause for today’s long visit was because my maiden name was on my lab orders instead of my married name.

So my orders were there all along! The phlebotomist just couldn’t find mine because she couldn’t find the right Veronica.

Today’s lab struggle was real.

Dealing with all the medical nuisances reminds me that my neurological disorder, epilepsy, will always be with me. The physical and mental problems that go along with it are taxing, and it’s something I will unfortunately always have to deal with.

But I’m all right, and I know it could have been so much worse. I just need to keep reminding myself of that from time to time.

Here’s hoping next time isn’t so bad.


Published by Vero

About me? I’m never good at these things, but here are the basics. I’m a journalism and film graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a dedicated digital content nerd with over eight years of experience in digital content management, content writing, copy editing, and project management. Currently, I'm a staff writer for The American Genius, and I manage my personal blog that advocates for epilepsy awareness. I LOVE to bake! I like to challenge myself to learn new decorating and baking techniques. And although I’d love to say I’ve mastered everything and have never burnt a dessert, it simply isn’t true.

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