New feature: Confidential?

// 26 October 2008

We don’t expect our reason for seeing a nurse or doctor to be broadcast to the waiting room. But that’s exactly what happened to Karen James, when she wanted to get hold of emergency contraception

I live in Nottingham, and today I had to go to the local walk-in health centre for emergency contraception.

Everybody was very non-judgmental on the phone and at the centre. That is until I was called for my turn with the nurse.

I was in a waiting area with about 40 other patients and a water dispenser in the room, and when the nurse called for me she then said “Hello Rachael, so would you like to just get yourself some water from the dispenser over there and then we can go in”.

Everyone in the waiting room heard and saw this. I was shocked, humiliated and stunned!!

I didn’t know what to say and I could feel all eyes boring into me so I dutifully went to the dispenser. I dare not look up because I knew what every person was thinking… and this was confirmed clearly to me by a man to my left, who muttered: “That’s the morning-after pill she’s getting then.”

I virtually ran into the private room directed to me by the nurse!! As I went in, I also got the feeling that she would have left the door ajar had I not shut it firmly behind me!

Otherwise, she was very nice and I took the pill. It really did not hit me what had just happened until I was half-way home… and then I was livid.

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