Just got back from my 2nd visit to the Emergency Room since supper, and neither was in a professional role. #1 Daughter was very feverish and very lethargic at suppertime so we decided that daddy would take her to get checked.
One of the joys of small town living is that when making such a trip is you have a high probablilty of knowing the people who are working when you get there. Which is exactly what happened. 2 nurses in ER and I have baptised both of their children, they know me and know my daughter. The Dr. on call is our family Dr. All these things mean that it is much easier to be taken at face value--I have made similar trips to clinics in the city to see staff I did not know and not been treated like I know what I am doing.
So anyway they did an exam and took a throat swab (what fun that is when the child doesn't even open her mouth to let you count teeth, much less get something in there). Then we went home and put her to bed. An hour later phone rings. Child has strepthroat, back to hospital to pick up meds to last until the pharmacy opens tomorrow.
Say what you will about the faults in the medical system. It does work. In the city I would very likely still be waiting from the first visit, not even having seen a Dr. yet. Small town life definitely has its benefits.