Monday, September 8, 2008

How to Get a Tetanus Shot in Puerto Rico

For some reason you decide you need a Tetanus booster, maybe it's because of all the barb wire in your yard... Step 1, go to your doctor (Time & $) and have him give you a prescription. Step 2, find a pharmacy that has the Tetanus vaccine. (It seems to be hard to find) If you had the prescription called in (to save time) you can just go pick it up ($). When you pick it up did they take it from the shelf behind them?
If the answer was yes (like in my case) you need to inform the pharmacist that the vaccine needs to be refrigerated. They might tell you its ok because the store is air conditioned. I told them that 76 degree air conditioning is not the same as being refrigerated and could they please get me one from the refrigerator where it is stored. It might be fine that its not refrigerated but the packaging said it needs to be refrigerated so I wanted it that way. Step 3, Return to your doctor (Time & $) so he can administer the shot.
That's the cost of two Dr visits and the cost of the vaccine. Fortunately I didn't need to pay for the first visit. Seeing a Dr here can be very very time consuming and frustrating but I can also be very easy. We have just about figured it out. I needed an eye exam. I waited till 2pm and then drove to the closest Dr on my list that took my insurance. (It's easier for me to drive in and make the appointment then it is for me to call since my Spanish is very bad). I asked for an appointment and asked how it worked. I was told to come to the office between 5AM and 7AM. Sign up on the list on the door. The office opened at 7AM. Then I would be called to fill out paperwork between 7AM and 9AM. At 9AM the Dr arrives. Some point between 9AM and 5PM I would be called. I said that's CRAZY I cant wait all day. He assured me it wouldn't be all day. He said all the Dr's work this way. I drove to the next Dr on my list and they said they could see me in 20 minutes. No appointment needed right then. Had I come in at 8AM I probably would have had to wait until that afternoon.

3 comments:

Fran and Steve said...

You just reminded me why one of my conditions for returning to PR to live is "In Retirement". Can you imagine having to devote so much time to the basics of life (not to mention heavy-duty gardening) while having to go to a job every day? That's no fun, and Puerto Rico should (and can) be fun! Fran

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

There are some work arounds we have figured out but yes ... how can a place be sooooo disorganized? How can everything come to a standstill when "the system is down"? When the system is down it works out great for us because people can actually help us to figure out what to do about things (CRIM, Drivers License). I'll have more on medical stuff in a different post. The good, bad and ugly! katrina

Summer said...

Ahhhh...Don't make me tell you about our neighbor (a local Puerto Rican), that spent three days being ignored in the hospital, sleeping in the hallway, patiently waiting for medical attention. He ended up losing it and beating up a maintenance guy before they attended to him.