Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The Wonderful World of Kaiser.

I would like to preface this with: We are so very thankful for our insurance. It is a complete blessing.

That said, the advice nurses at Kaiser (generally) are less than stellar. Jon woke up this morning with both of inner and outer ears painin' him. Unsure as to whether it was worth the $25 co-pay he called the advice nurse.

The realm of the advice nurse has changed a wee bit since we were last on Kaiser. There is no waiting on hold to talk to a real live nurse. There is only giving them a number to call you back when they are good and ready. Heaven help you if you don't have a cell phone (we are currently cell phoneless - if you've been trying to get in touch - this is why it's not working out so well. it's not you, it's us. really) and can't be chained to your phone for the morning. Jon gave them my sisters home number, but had to leave to get to work. On his way out the door he asked me to see if they would talk to me. I said sure, but in my head I was totally saying "yeah right! Like they'll talk to me"!

Lo and behold they called about an hour later. A pretty good response time. The following is a pretty accurate recounting of what was said.

Kaiser Nurse Mumbling Mabel*: May I please speak to Jon Blahblahblah? This is the Kaiser nurse.
Me: He had to go to work. I'm his wife. Is it possible for you to speak to me?
KNMM: Uh. Just a minute.
KNMM: I can give him an appointment with Dr. NameICannotPronounce on Friday evening.
Me: Um. I think my husband just called for advice?
KNMM: What's wrong with him?
Me: Um... (Repeat the ear stuff)
KNMM: Well, he can apply heat and take over the counter meds. We have 5 openings with Dr. NameICannotPronounce on Friday.
Me: Well... we're kind of hoping he won't still be having this problem by Friday. I'll have him call if he changes his mind...
Me: Thank you very much.

End that insightful call. 5 minutes later the phone rings again.

Me: Hello?
KNMM: This is the Kaiser nurse again.
Me: Okay?
KNMM: I also forgot to tell you that if he develops a fever, is dizzy or loses his hearing to bring him in.
Me: (gee, ya think?)
We sure will. Uh. Thank you?

End that 2nd very insightful call.

So yeah. This is what I learned today: Inner and outer ear pain can wait 'til Friday. Fever!, dizziness!, and loss of hearing!, after a few moments of thought, might be important reasons to hit urgent care.

* Kaiser Nurse Mumbling Mabel is not her real name. (She never even gave me her name.)

No comments: