Hospital adventure

Today’s adventure was going to the hospital for the first time. Nothing serious: I needed the third dose of the rabies vaccine I had started taking in the States. Even though I had heard good things about Indian hospitals, I had no idea what to expect. But everything they say is true – it was really a great experience.

  • I called the doctor I wanted to see on her cell phone the night before. She was the one who had come to our Fulbright orientation. She herself answered, gave me directions to the hospital, and then was there to see me when I arrived. She was very kind and efficient, and took me right to the nurse who needed to give me the shot.
  • The hospital was completely clean and looked as modern as any hospital I’ve been to in the states. It was a little smaller, and there were more people, but they had a great system for getting patients the care they needed, and also an efficient system for billing.
  • They don’t make you fill out nearly as much paperwork as they do in the states. I just needed a few essentials to identify me.
  • The waits were not long at all, especially for the amount of people that were there.
  • The nurse who gave me the shot was very friendly and helpful, and wrote down all the information about the shot for me in case I needed it later.
  • The best part: the shot was only 396 rupees. That’s about $8. Guess how much the same shot costs in the US? $200. It was exactly the same shot I got in the US.

A nice side note that has been making me really happy lately: everyone pronounces my last name correctly here. In the states, people mispronouncing or stumbling over my last name was so common that I never even thought about it. I, myself, mispronounced my last name, since the phonetic ess’-mail just seemed easiest. But here, everyone says iss-ma’-yal. It actually sounds pretty to me now. I know it’s just a little thing, but it makes me so happy.

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