This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Things Unknown: a rant.

I was given a questionnaire on the way out of the doctor's room*.

The doctor seemed to be a sensible enough woman, and she was a little sheepish about asking me to fill it in, but, hey, I'm happy to be helpful, and the first few questions weren't at all difficult. Age. Ethnicity. Do you suffer from these illnesses?

Then it got slightly more interesting. 

Was the doctor polite? Comprehensible? Thorough? Did she listen to me?

(The doctor's name was printed on the questionnaire, though my own input was anonymous.)

All fair enough. But then -

Please indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements, it said.

This doctor will keep information about me confidential

Well, as I said, the doctor seemed sensible enough. I mean, she didn't break off my consultation to make a phone call that started hey, there's this woman in the surgery and you'll never guess what!
but she could have been a host of a Radio Show called This Week's Hilarious Diseases for all I could see.

The next statement on the questionnaire was:

This doctor is trustworthy and honest

Again, she wasn't stroking a white cat, and she wasn't wearing a black pointy hat, an electronic tag, or a prison-issue tracksuit - but honest? Trustworthy? How could I possibly tell? 

I drew a circle round the questions, wrote I have no information on either of these points, and despaired slightly that anyone could go to the trouble of writing such questions, in words, on paper, and then print them out and distribute them to all the patients in the practice, and still not think it through.

Word To Use Today: trust. This word comes from the Old Norse traust. It is related to the Old HIgh German trost, which means solace.

*It was just a routine check-up, thank you.

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