Boo

Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The boys may not like this post so much

At risk of sounding sexist, this is mainly for the ladies. You'll soon see why.
In my lifetime I have had the dubious privilege of visiting gynaecologists in the UK, Germany, and Belgium. It's surprising how varied these experiences have been considering there are a limited number of ways you can remove clothes from the lower half of your body and sit with your legs spread while trying to look and feel nonchalant.
My experiences may be out of date but from what I remember each had it's own particular negative points.
The UK was weird because you were put on a normal bed, flat and without any particular feature to make it easy for the gynaecologist to do his or her job. Coupled with the sheet of paper placed over your lap, presumably to try and persuade you that you aren't reeeally naked from the waist down, it didn't give the impression of being totally well thought out.
Germany was uncomfortable because (I swear!) there was a nurse who just wandered in and out as you sat in that execution-like chair, legs akimbo. The gynaecologist also seemed to enjoy the fact she hadn't warmed that awful metal contraption beforehand and would look at you witheringly if you reacted to the cold metal.
Belgium was strange because a screen was provided behind which you could remove your clothes, but then you just had to step out into the large open room half naked and settle yourself on the chair, which kind of made me question the necessity of the screen. Also, once my appointment was in a room which had huge windows onto the street. There were additional screens by the windows but I wasn't convinced it wasn't possible for passers by to see through the gaps, and as a result I wasn't too relaxed...
Anyway, this may be sharing far too much, and my experiences are far from scientifically valid, but the reason I've given you all that background is because last week I added to my wealth of gynaecological experience. This time in Poland.
Now, I admit I was a little apprehensive. I recently visited a Polish hospital and was not too pleasantly surprised, and I wasn't expecting luxury as it is, after all, hardly a glamourous process. I kept reminding myself that although Poland is now EU, many things are of a different standard to the vast majority of EU countries. I was expecting the worst.
How I love it when my fears prove unfounded. I was amazed. The gynaecologist was friendly and straight forward. The room was warm and unintimidating. There was a BATHROOM in which you were expected to undress and put on your single-use paper robe and slippers. Yes, SLIPPERS. They care so much they don't want you to get cold feet. Then at the end of the room there was a bed, rather than the expected execution chair, with a thick, wide curtain to shut off the rest of the room. Ok, the stirrups were still there but no horrible cold metal speculum, warm plastic. Plastic! Now there's an idea.
Even the fact that the appointment was carried out in a mixture of French, Polish and English coutesy of my live-in translator didn't make it awkward. Seriously, they deserve a medal. I was mightily impressed.
By Polish standards it cost a fortune but at the equivalent of 25 euros I have yet to see anyone provide a better service in Belgium, Germany or the UK.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous claire said...

ok - again some may not like this but...- in the interests of fairness they now use plasic spatula type things in the UK too, but still no dignity with the bed/stirrups/fact its horrendously uncomfortable and they expect you to breath and talk side of things. sharing...sharing :)

5:40 pm  
Blogger Becca said...

yeah at least she knew my polish was minimal so she didn't expect a chat :-)

10:30 am  

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