Thursday, November 5, 2009

Getting the Jab

This morning my colleagues and I went to get our A(H1N1) flu shot at the company's medical clinic. A coworker offered to take me there as she herself wasn't quite sure where it was.

After she parked the car, we walked around and asked for directions... and asked again... it turned out we made a giant loop in the company compound to find the "hospital" was a non-descript building from the outside.

Earlier we'd been given forms to fill out, asking us if we had a number of ailments and also if we'd had a flu shot before. A bunch of us lined up waiting outside in the cold for about 15 minutes. One young guy thought we were getting the flu shot up our nose which I immediately dismissed and told him it would be in the arm. Where the heck did he get that idea from?

We were then allowed to enter a small room on the ground floor to process these forms. As I ticked that I had had the flu shot before, the nurse asked me when and if I was allergic to it. If I was allergic, would I still get a flu shot? Then she signed her name and told me to go up to the third floor for the shot.

When we got there, our names were then written down next to numbers and then we were shuffled into a room with two sliding doors, one for guys and one for girls... or so it seemed that way.

Each sub-room had one nurse giving the injections, the other preparing the syringes so that they were already lined up on the tray ready to go. The nurse quickly swabbed a large area on my arm, pricked it with the syringe and then it was over. She gave me another cotton bud to press on my arm and we then moved to the observation room with all the other injectees.

We were told to sit in the room for 30 minutes in case there were any adverse reactions. Some people tried to leave early, but another nurse warned that if anything happened to them, the clinic wouldn't be able to help them, so they sat back down and waited their time. There was another sign that said people who have had the flu injections shouldn't take a shower for 24 hours, which was absolutely ludicrous and made no sense. Again I told my colleagues to ignore it. So much for scientific development.

All the hospital doors and the walls from the bottom to about four feet were painted in pistachio green, while the rest of the wall was white. I don't understand why they choose this colour scheme, unless there was some hospital executive who had a craving for pistachio ice cream, or that shade was sold for a discount.

Most people sat around and chatted or texted friends on their cellphones. Luckily the 30-minute wait wasn't too painful and we left when time was up.

While my arm was a bit sore, others freaked out when they started coughing and thought they were having reactions to the injection.

It just goes to show that even Chinese people with university education don't really know much about their health and medicine...


ChopSuey said...

The flu shot is also given through a nasal spray in North America. It's usually reserved for the smaller dosages given to the young.

It sounds like the hospital cheaped out on the green paint, which is used to balance all the red (blood) you normally find in such a setting.

ks said...

it is a good idea to have the shot.there is nasal format in canada.