That does not sound normal! 1 to 1.5 hrs depending on whether I'm going from work or home and how long my appt is for. 15-20 min wait at most, then the appointment. What's taking you the time? The commute?
The commute is a lot of it, but it's also "allow 15-30 extra minutes in case traffic is bad," "allow 15 minutes to park," etc.
2018-01-04 7:04 AM
Shouldn't be waiting more than 15 -20 minutes for appointment to start - I'm one of those who will ask to reschedule if the doctor is running so far behind s/he misses my appointment time by more than 30 minutes.
Most of my appointments last less than 90 minutes, though some specialists take longer if there are tests / lab work involved.
2 hours, sometimes 3, anything more I'm shocked.
It’s normal for around here. Even a generic orthodontist appointment takes me 3 hours out of work, but that includes checking the kid out of school. Nothing here is further than 10 min though.
Taking the commute out of the equation... With an appointment for any normal doctor, it is very rare to be in and out in under an hour. I’d say 1:30-2:00 is typical. 3 hours is not abnormal either. If you do to a doc in the box with no appointment, 3 hours is typical. I don’t go to specialists very often, but the more tests and procedures they need to do, that increases the total time by a lot.
And the frustrating thing is that the total time spent talking to the doctor is under 10 min.
what takes that long?
I rarely wait more than 15 minutes, and then as you say, the appointment is about 15 min, then 10 minutes to check out, get the paperwork, etc. Done.
Easily wait 30-45 min in the waiting room - that’s with the appointment- without its 1-2+ hours, then the weight check/blood pressure, then sit in the patient room for another 30-45min waiting by yourself. Then if they want to do a strep/flu test, easily 30 more minutes. I’ve waited 45 min just waiting for the stupid result and often go out in the hallway trying to track down a nurse to give us the result so you can check out.
Also some places like the ENT double/triple book appointments. 3 hours is the norm there. But we don’t have that many options. You can go out of town, and many people do especially for specialists, but then you also add 2-5 hours to your commute.
Yep, exactly. You're supposed to arrive 15 minutes before you appointment, then they call you back 15 minutes after your appointment time. A nurse takes your vitals and puts you in a room, then you wait. Another nurse comes in and goes over your medical history/medications, then you wait some more. Eventually the doctor comes in. Once you're done with that, you have to check out, which may well involve more waiting. And that's assuming there's no labs/tests involved...
not fair to look at commute - because that varies so wildly, but I budget an hour and a half for appointments, just in case, but they *rarely* take that long, usually more like 45.
I know it's not fair to look at commute time, but in terms of general disruption to one's day, it does matter so I'm wondering what people consider "normal."
4-6 hours is crazy! The only time I had something close to that was my first prenatal visit and that was bc the Dr office was a 35-40 min drive away and the appointment was 2.5-3 hours because it was the first one. Otherwise I'd say 1-1.5 hours depending on commute.
It varies, obviously, but the most variable part is actually the commute. Some of my doctors are very close by, some a bit more of a trip. Traffic is unpredictable, but I usually allow 30-45 minutes to make it to the appointment.
Actually in the office:
Intake: My doctors all are electronically situated, so I check in online/on their app. Any forms needed are filled out in advance and emailed/done online, so I just go in and nod to the receptionist.
Wait time: 10-15 minutes. Specialists tend to be more punctual; GPs lag a bit. Hardly ever more than 20 minutes even for a GP.
Preliminary: With the RN/LNP, vitals etc. take about 5 minutes, then the MD comes in right behind that.
Appointment: My GP usually spends 40-45 minutes with me, longer if there are questions, if we need to discuss something, etc. He always makes time for me and I've never felt rushed. Specialists vary, but again, I've never been rushed out. Appointments with specialists can vary, but usually 45-60 minutes. Information is entered electronically for records/notes, etc. I've always felt that the doctor gives me his full attention, not distracted by the screen.
Checkout: Electronic; the MD sends the information to the front desk, they know I'm there, check me out, and have the next appointment if needed sent to my calendar. All notes from the appointment, results, etc. are available to me immediately at the secure patient portal, and an email to my inbox provides a link (or I just log in directly).
Average total: 60-70 minutes at the office.
Tests: If labs are needed, doctors ask that they be done before the appointment. I go to the outpatient post of the hospital in MyTown, and I'm in and out for blood draws in 15-20 minutes, unless there is an unusual rush. One can make appointments too. More involved tests like MRIs, EKGs, etc. are also done ahead of time. The time for those tests naturally varies depending on how complex, but wait time is not more than 20 minutes before being taken back, and once back things start right away. The results are uploaded to the hospital system, which is accessible to all of my doctors and specialists since they are all part of the same health group associated with the hospital. No one has to send information to anyone, and the MD can discuss with me easily at the appointment without having to take time to do the test.
I usually expect to wait about 15 minutes in the waiting room and then maybe 20 minutes total in the exam room, including the time spent taking vitals and having me get ready to see the doctor if clothing needs to be removed.
Travel time can vary a lot and that is major disruption -- especially if I'm at work the first part of the day and then have to catch the first bus, or a train and then a bus, to get to the doctor's office.
2018-01-04 11:29 AM
For a non specialized appointment, I expect to be gone from the office for 2 hours or less. For a procedure that will take more time, I add that in. Even my therapy appts, which are an hour, only have me gone from the office for 90 min.
My opinion is a little biased since I am on the other side but I can say that for simple acute visit you should be done in 45 min maybe 1 hour from time you get to clinic, see provider, tests, and done. Physical or complex chronic visit would be 1-2 hours depending on tests needed, complexity and questions. Now this time that providers are "allowed" for these visits is not what is typically needed and the reason for the long waits, back ups etc.
Thanks everyone. I know my experience is not normal, but I was wondering what people consider to be normal. There are a lot of doctors around, but live 35-40 miles from major medical centers, so that's where you go for the "best doctors." ...Except that a lot of the good specialists are in various outlying areas. A lives two miles from Emory University Hospital but ends up traveling to doctors that are 30 miles away from her, which can easily be an hour or more. If I go to her house and take her places that's a solid 2-2.5 hours round trip but, even discounting that, if she has an appointment 2 miles from home she'll leave 45 minutes before her appointment time because it could be a 10-minute drive, then you allow 15 minutes to park in a parking deck then wander through a maze of hallways and elevators to get where you're going 15 minutes early, like they ask.
Or today Mom went to the cardiologist. He was an hour away, except maybe you want to allow 1:15 and get there 15 minutes early, so a 10:15 appointment means leaving at 8:45. They were "fairly efficient," but we didn't leave there until 11:45. If you subtract a stop for groceries on the way home, that's four hours gone.
2018-01-04 11:02 AM
I ordered a new part for 2.0's biathlon rifle last night from a small company in Nova Scotia, and woke up this morning to a shipment notification from Canada Post.
That's a new speed record for order fulfilment on an online order - even Amazon doesn't work that fast!
Helps me out, because this is a part I was supposed to order prior to the start of racing season and forgot about. Fortunately it's not crucial to the functioning of the rifle, just a small flap that can be pulled down to protect the barrel if the biathlete is racing/training during a snowfall, which hasn't been an issue yet for 2.0 this season. Her next race is coming up soon so now she's set - of course, now that I've ordered the piece I've guaranteed she won't need it for at least the rest of this winter.
DH never let the kids walk to or from school, and we're a block from the elementary. I probably would have thought about 9 would be old enough.
That's also when I started leaving them home alone, DS was about 8. Bear in mind that DD and DS are 2.5 years apart (3 years apart by grade), so he was 8 and DD would have been coming up to 11. I wouldn't have left an 8 year old alone with her 5.5 year old sibling, too much room for mayhem if they got to fighting or egging each other on into mischief.
2018-01-04 2:57 PM
I think Roolet started going to the bus stop by himself in 5th or 6th grade. It is 4 houses away with a road crossing. He went to daycare after school until the last couple months of 5th grade, then he would come home on the bus and let himself into the house. I would try to get home as soon as possible, but he was home for about an hour. I guess that is a little older than O (10, not 8). The neighbor girl went to and from the bus stop by herself from 2nd grade. Her older sister was supposed to meet the bus, but she could never be bothered. I thought that was too young to be unsupervised, but it turned out ok for them. I did mention this once to the mom, but she assured me that the older sister was an excellent caretaker. You know, the one we fired as a babysitter.
You know your kid. I don't think that things are different now, except for nosy-neighbors (maybe like me?). Be sure that O understands the plan--where the key is, to call you when she is home, what she can do on her own. And don't forget the backup plan--what if she forgets/loses/drops the key or the power is off or the dog barfs on the couch or whatever. In the case of the neighbor kid, she came over once in tears because she couldn't get inside and the phone wasn't working and school had let out early because of a blizzard. I made sure she knew that she could come to our house anytime she needed help. Her backup plan was to walk to the library. 4 miles away.
I guess I should have specified the days she walks home I am usually working from home so she doesn't come home alone. Plus the buss app alerts when the bus gets to the stop so I know to expect her. The rare times she gets home alone after school she has a plan, calls me, knows what she needs to do.
2018-01-04 5:25 PM
She's fine. Which you already knew.
2018-01-04 3:20 PM
Our bus driver did not let the kids off the bus last year (9 & 7) without an adult visible to the driver, we lived at the bus stop. After moving schools, they walk to/from the bus stop alone (about a block away), unless I'm walking the dog & happen to see them come off the bus. I hated that "must be visible" rule and my older kid would occasionally bluff the driver with "I saw the curtain move in my bedroom"
The kids were left home alone probably too young for most people's comfort, 6&8, for ~30 minutes at a time to run an errand. They were left home while I walked a dog about a mile in the neighborhood even younger than that. This year, we are letting them come home from school, walk dog themselves, and make their own dinner on occasion (couple hours alone). Part of it was our acreage in the prior house - I could be in the garden for 2 hours while they play inside & never come out to get me. It depends entirely upon the child, neighborhood, and circumstances, though. My kids have a healthy respect for dangerous things (tools, fire, electricity, cleaning agents) and we practiced various "what-if" scenarios.
I walked home from school with a sibling, about a mile, at 6 or 7 years old, and spent several hours alone/with sibling by the time I was 8. Yay! latchkey generation! I can't recall when I was "allowed" to use the oven by myself to bake cookies with nobody home, but it had to have been before 11 years old.
Not sure if you care, but you also might want to check local/state laws. I know Maryland has a law on letting kids stay home alone, and I feel like most parents I know abide by that. I think it is age 8 alone and 11 if there are any younger siblings there? Something like that.
WI has no state law, save for negligence or endangerment. There is no "age"
Quick Google search tells me MD and IL are the only ones! Not sure if that is accurate though.
County laws here and age is 7 to be alone, 8 for up to 2 hours, 10 up to 12 hours (that seems long!)
2018-01-04 3:50 PM
I don't recall when I started walking to school alone but must've been around 8-9 as I know I used to walk with my best friend (so technically not alone I guess) and used to be late for tea often because we hung around at the road where we separated for waaaay too long. Sometimes my dad would drive home from work & find me still there which has to have been 3 hours after school let out
We did that for years and went to different schools at age 11 so it must have started around that age. I also used to walk my brother from school around the same age (him 3 yrs younger) when my mother was in London doing her degree - that was a shorter walk as we went to a family friend's after school but she went back to college as soon as he started school so I was 8 max. According to google maps that was 0.5 miles with 3 road crossings, the major one with a lollipop lady (crossing guard).
But hey, everyone walked and we all wore uniforms so anyone local knew who we were (the sweet shop we passed - more road crossings to the shopping centre - would only let 2 of us in at once so there was always a crowd there). The biggest concern was the 10 yr old boys mixing it up with boys from other local schools
I walked to school alone by age 6. Couldn't tell you how many blocks cause not all the roads were paved yet. I also remember taking a detour to visit Bedouins who made us sweet tea and let us pet the donkeys. Times have changed...
I was playing outside, on my bike, and going to friends houses on my own from probably age 5. And somewhere between age 6-8 I rode the bus on my own too - my mom put me on and grandmother met me at the other end.
When my older bro was around 10 or 11 - I was 7-8, he fired our babysitter cause she ate his stash of chocolate. From then on he and I babysat our little bros from after school til my mom came home. Which meant he enforced rules and I changed diapers.
My parents would probably be arrested for neglect these days.
2018-01-04 9:55 PM
One of my relatives tells the story of riding a greyhound bus 400 miles when he was 5 years old. The pickup relative wrote down the wrong week, and was ~2 hours away when his bus came in. So he phoned another relative, waiting alone for an hour or so until picked up. Different world.
2018-01-04 4:08 PM
2018-01-04 4:11 PM
I started leaving the kids home alone to walk the dogs in the neighborhood when my daughter was 9 (she's the older one) I think. But I was in the neighborhood and wasn't gone long. I would have done it a lot earlier but J would have not been pleases, he is WAY more over protective than I am. I didn't start running (leaving them alone while i run I mean) until fall of 2016 and stuck to the neighborhood and ran past the house every 15 minutes. I started leaving them alone this past summer so I could go to the gym to swim. This was 2 fold because A HATED going to the gym child care and she was getting to the age where they were going to cut her off anyway. I keep it at 2 hours or slightly over that. It's also only about 10 minutes away. If I have to go further they go with me because my oldest is now only 12. I can't answer the bus question as my kids are cybered. I know the neighborhood kid next door who is a year or so older than A, was left to walk ot the bus alone quite young but with 5 other moms at the bus stop nothing was going to happen to her. IMO, the other kids moms can bugger off as it's none of their business what you and O do.
2018-01-04 4:41 PM
My brother and I walked to school alone together (about half a mile) when I was in kindergarten and he was in 1st grade. We had to cross a creek, a residential street, and a busy street. There was a crossing guard on the busy street.
2018-01-06 6:27 PM
For staying home alone, DS was 4 or 5. We just increased the time gradually. By 9, I stopped using babysitters altogether. Somewhere around then he walked home from school by himself. I think the world is safer than the news would have you believe. The first evening I left him home alone, we got home and he had built a fort in the family room and was listening to Mozart!