Saturday’s mix-up has knock-on effect


Last Saturday there was total mix-up over my dialysis due to some miscommunication. This morning everything was further compounded.

Every morning that I come to dialysis, the taxi driver arrives by 07:15 to bring me on the half-an-hour journey between Portarlington and Tullamore. This morning, Andrew and I were ready to leave the house at 07:15 but there was no taxi. On this occasion, I had to leave at the same time as Andrew as I have misplaced my house keys — that’s a separate story. By 07:30, there was still no taxi, so I sent a message to my regular driver:

Are you coming this morning?

I got the one word answer back,

No.

Imagine my shock at seeing that one word answer. But just as I was letting Andrew know that this had been said to me, the driver telephoned. He told me that he had been told on Saturday that I had been kept in and, not having been told that I was out, reckoned that I did not need transport this morning.

Andrew and I went back into the house and waited. Then I got a telephone call from another of the drivers who explained that my usual driver was on another job but would come and collect me as well and get me in as soon as possible. So, I was in for half-past-eight instead of a quarter-to-eight.

My suspicion is that two miscommunications happened.

  1. On Saturday when I asked the nurse to let the taxi driver know that I didn’t need transport home (as Andrew and I were having a fun afternoon exploring Tullamore) the message got garbled and misunderstood. I suspect that it is rare for a dialysis patient just to go off and do their own thing and get home themselves on occasions that do not involve a stay in hospital. But, as we all know, I am not a typical patient in any setting.
  2. When the taxi company telephoned yesterday to ask what was needed, they asked if there was any update on me. What, I think, would be better is if they had asked if I needed transport – not if there was any update. That would make it a lot clearer.

As I always say, communication is key. Think about what information you need: and then ask the right question. Assume nothing is often best.

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