On the second day of my return to international teaching I got to experience the Chinese medical check. This is something that all foreigners must do in order to complete their visa. Here are the steps:
- Arrive to the dedicated hospital specifically for the purposes of doing medical checks.
- Get a medical questionnaire from the front desk. Yes, the receptionist speaks English.
- Fill out the medical questionnaire and return it to the receptionist. Be sure to attach a copy of your passport photo as well as paste one onto the form. In case you forgot to bring one there’s a photo place next door.
- Take your form to the registration line. Although this is China because it’s the hospital that is used to working with foreigners you shouldn’t have to worry about anyone skipping you in line. Just in case, stand real close to the person ahead of you so no one can jump ahead.
- Turn your forms in and have your info typed into the computer, check your name (unless you read Chinese you won’t be able to confirm that anything else is correct). Have your picture taken and begin.
- You’ll be given your form back and at the very bottom will be the list of rooms that you need to go to for each check:
- Blood and urine sample
- Blood pressure and weight
- Chest x-ray
- Eye, Ears and Nose
- Surgery (she feels your throat and then has you bend over with your knees bent, oh and she listens to your chest with her stethoscope
- As you move through each room you’ll either have to wait in line or walk right in. Most of the staff doesn’t speak much English and their manner is a bit brusque. “Shirt up. Bra off.” “Okay, go!” “Lay down!”
- Once you’ve gone through all the rooms and have everything signed off, take your form back to the registration line. Turn them in and you’re done.
Take everything in stride. Yes, the Chinese who come after you will be put before you if there is no line. Sometimes while standing in line someone will try to step in front of you. Point behind you and step ahead. You may be there for an hour or two and remember that you haven’t eaten anything from since 9pm the night before. Try to maintain a sense of humor and treat yourself to something delicious when you’re done. You’re in China