Houseman Survivor Guide (Monkey Edition)
II. Hospital Hierarchy
III. A Typical Day
V. Meet The F*ckers
This chapter will be about meeting family members of the patient. Communication with family members is a tricky business especially in these modern times. Do not expect them to come with chickens and eggs like in those period dramas to thank you. Be prepared for an onslaught as these days, the public view doctors with much animosity.
Remember that you are the host here and there are many things you can do to put yourself at an advantage. For eg, prepare the interview room by turning the air-con to the max. In our hot weather, it is unlikely that they will come in sweaters. But of course you have one ready in the locker. No one will ask too many questions when they are freezing.
Do Not Be Intimidated
The most common mistake a newbie can make is to speak to a whole kumpung of relatives. With each one shooting a question at you like machine gun, no wonder you feel intimidated!! Identify the Indian Chief, make him the representative and turn the tables on him. Have you not notice why the senior consultant always has to have the HO and MO around when he speaks to family? It is not so that the HO can record minutes of what conspired in the meeting but to intimidate the representative with numbers!
Beware Of Handphones
These days, the mobile phones can be easily used as a voice recorder. On many occasions, family members had recorded conversations with Drs and they usually do so on the sly. Any evidence is usually beneficial to Drs since we have nothing to hide. But because this is such a rude act, it is mandatory for us to foil their evil plans, just for the kick of it.
Unless you have thousands of dollars to spare for an anti-spy device, my advice will be to speak in a soft and low tone. The recording will just turn out muffled! hahahaha!
Beware Who You Speak To
Never never speak to family members over the phone unless you already know them well. You can never positively identify the person on the other side of the line. It can be the company checking on the employee pretending to be family, it can be insurance agents investigating the patient's claims and sometimes it is just some kaypoh friends. Whatever the reason, the above mentioned have no rights whatsoever to access patient's info without his/her consent.
Be careful even when the relative is there in person! This really happened:
Relative: Lokun ar, how is Bed 10 ar?
Doc: Sorry m'aam, how are you related?
Relative: I'm the sister la.
Kiasu and Kiasi Doc: ok, can I just see your I/C to make a record..... hmmmm how come you have a different surname huh?
Relative: errrr, I'm the god sister lah!
Doc: In that case I think you better go ask her personally, I have told her about her condition.
Relative: Ya Lah! I ask her already, she don't want to say, thats why I ask you mah!
Sometimes we Singaporeans just don't know how to respect other people's privacy......