Medical Assembly Line

In Order to get my residency permit and foreign teacher card, I had to get a physical done at the Chinese office of travel health or something like that. It is a government facility that does physical exams for all nationals wishing to leave the country for work or school and for foreigners who will be applying for any kind of extended stay permits.

So if there were an office like this in America almost anywhere else I know of, it would be like a doctor’s office where you go into a room privately and have some tests done by a nurse or doctor. For special tests you may be taken to another room but generally it is a private room behind closed doors. Well, it’s not like that here at all.

After checking in at the counter and paying, you’re given a form with several stickers and told to go get everything done. At this particular office, everything except the chest x-rays was done on the second floor. You basically go from test to test in no particular order until you have them all done. This means you can look for rooms with fewer people waiting. When you are be examined say for blood pressure, someone else is standing there waiting and the person who just got checked is lying on the bed in the corner waiting to be prodded by the nurse.

Other tests include blood tests (where they use the stickers to label the vials), chest x-rays, ECG, ultrasound, urine analysis and more. The room to get your blood drawn is like a bank counter with many windows and when one is open you go up and stick out your arm. Thankfully, they use new needles each time and that I’m not allergic to iodine because they didn’t ask. It’s also the first time I’ve gotten an x-ray without a protective shield on the rest of my body not getting scanned.

I feel like we got everything done that we needed to get done very quickly but in such an unorganized and public way. But even in this assembly line manner, I did not feel compromised in my safety or privacy. In a couple of days they will have all the tests done and my liaison can apply for my residency permit. I can’t wait to get that because then I can travel more freely without getting a visa to visit places like Hong Kong and maybe a bordering country or two while I’m here.

One response to “Medical Assembly Line

  1. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been laughing if I were there but for some reason this part made me laugh: “the person who just got checked is lying on the bed in the corner waiting to be prodded by the nurse.”

    How come you had to do another physical? Is that to make sure the American doctors weren’t lying when you did your physical for your visa?

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