Remembering My Hat

2nd September 2009

The changing nature of health advice-seeking behaviours

Filed under: Uncategorized — rememberingmyhat @ 12:42
Tags: , , , , ,

My pre-schooler is very partial to the counting rhyme Five Little Monkeys. For those not privileged enough to have encountered this little gem, it goes:

Five little monkeys bouncing on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said:
‘No more monkey business, bouncing on the bed!’

And so on, counting downwards until there are no little monkeys left.

Thankfully, no head-injuries have been sustained yet, but it always makes me think about the changed ways in which we interact with the NHS and health advice nowadays.  I don’t know when this ditty dates from, so I don’t know whether ‘called’ means ‘telephoned’ or ‘called in for a house-visit’ but neither is terribly likely to happen in my experience (although Swine Flu does seem to be mean that GPs are spending more time telephoning  patients rather than seeing them in person).

Here, instead, is my version of the health-advice seeking behaviours of the modern parent:

Five little monkeys bouncing on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mummy called the doctors’ and the receptionist said:
Well, if it’s really urgent, you can see this trainee doctor with bad breath that nobody ever wants to see tomorrow, or you can wait a fortnight to see your own doctor.

Four little monkeys bouncing on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mummy called the doctors’ and the practice nurse said:
Has he got asthma or diabetes and did you know you’re overdue a cervical smear?

Three little monkeys bouncing on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mummy called the Health Visitor and the Health Visitor said:
You’re rewarding him for bad beahaviour, you have to do controlled crying.

Two little monkeys bouncing on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mummy called NHSDirect and the nurse there said:
Better take him to A&E just to be on the safe side.

One little monkey bouncing on the bed
He fell off and bumped his head
Mummy looked it up on the internet and the internet said:
If he seems fine and his pupils are the same size as each other, he’s probably fine.

ETA:  With thanks to Sara and Ina May’s Pinard, and in the light of my next post about social workers taking your children away (and with apologies to my social worker friends and colleagues):

No little monkeys bouncing on the bed
They’d all fallen off and bumped their heads.
Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said:
A clear case of neglectful parenting, we need an interagency referral to social services who will take them into care immediately, you’re an unfit mother.

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6 Comments »

  1. I think you missed out the one about concerns being raised that the child was in a neglectful household, a CAF form and an Interagency referral and a meeting.

    Comment by Ina May's Pinard — 14th September 2009 @ 19:04 | Reply

    • Oh yes! Thank you, will amend accordingly.

      Comment by rememberingmyhat — 16th September 2009 @ 10:11 | Reply

  2. Assuming you know about this: http://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/userpage1.cfm?item_id=2881

    Comment by Kriss — 14th September 2009 @ 23:08 | Reply

    • No I didn’t, thanks.

      Comment by rememberingmyhat — 16th September 2009 @ 10:10 | Reply

  3. ROFL! I loved this! And what about a final verse to reflect your next posting:

    No little monkeys bouncing on the bed
    They’d all fallen off and bumped their heads.
    Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said
    Social services will be round to collect them immedately, you’re clearly an unfit mother!

    Comment by Sara — 15th September 2009 @ 10:02 | Reply

    • Fantastic! Thank you, will amend accordingly.

      Comment by rememberingmyhat — 16th September 2009 @ 10:10 | Reply


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