Communication Studies Reflection “It Shouldn’t Hurt To Be A Child” The scene takes place in a doctor’s office. David and Sarah Thompson have brought in their 10-year-old son Michael because of an ankle sprain. As the doctor enters the room, Michael is sitting on the examination table in shorts and a T-shirt with a bare right foot and ankle. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson are sitting in chairs close to him. Doctor: So, you are Michael. I am Dr. Gupta. Nice to meet you Michael. [shakes Michael’s hand] How are you doing today? Michael: Okay. Doctor: [turning to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson] And are you Michael’s parents, Mr. and Mrs.

Thompson? Nice to meet you. [extends hand to shake] Mrs. Thompson: Nice to meet you also. [shakes hands with doctor] Mr. Thompson: Charmed I’m sure [shakes hands with doctor] Doctor: Ok.. [turning back to Michael] So what brings you in today, Michael? Michael: I hurt my ankle. Doctor: How did this happen? Michael: I was skateboarding and, I don’t know [pauses and looks over to his parents] I guess I just slipped or something? Doctor: When did this hap….? [Mrs. Thompson intrudes] Mrs. Thompson: He did it about three days ago but last night I noticed he was still limping and I thought I ought to bring him in.

I don’t think it’s broken, do you? Doctor: Well, let me take a look first. [begins to examine ankle] I’m just going to take a look at your foot. Is that sore? Michael: Ouch! Yes it hurts! Mr. Thompson: Stop being ah fool an leh de docta check yuh foot fuh meh please! Mrs. Thompson: [at Mr. Thompson] Oh gosh.. yuh doh hadda talk to him so.. [Mr. Thompson eyebrows frown together] Mr. Thompson: I ask yuh anything! [Mrs. Thompson remains quiet] Doctor: That’s okay. Let me just do one more thing. I’m going to raise your foot. [raises ankle] Michael: Owwww! Mr. Thompson: MICHAEL! Behave yuh self boy! pinches Michael on the arm] How much times I hadda talk tuh yuh. [Michael begins to cry] Doctor: [looks at Mr. Thompson in disgust] It’s okay, Michael.. [notices bruise in proximal fibular area] What happened here? Michael: I don’t know [pauses] I guess I fell another time. Mr. Thompson: He’s a really clumsy kid. I keep telling him to stay off that skateboard, but he just doesn’t listen. Doctor: [scanning both of Michael’s legs, stopping over left femur] And here? Another fall? Michael: Yeah, sure… Mr. Thompson: I told you, he’s clumsy, but could you please get back to his ankle?

Doctor: [continuing to examine Michael’s arms] Michael, can you take your shirt off for me please? Mr. Thompson: [getting a bit edgy] Doctor, we came in for his ankle. Could you please get back to his ankle? Michael takes off his shirt at the Doctor’s insistence. Doctor: [examines Michael, pausing over several spots on arms and back] Michael, you have a lot of bruises. Some are older than others. What’s been going on? Mr. Thompson: [getting more agitated] Steups, Doctor I rel eh understand wah is de purpose of dis non-sense. I payin my money fuh you to check he foot we could get back to his ankle please. Doctor: I have some concerns.

Michael has a lot of injuries and some of them seem to have occurred at different times. When we see that in a child we worry that perhaps the injuries were not all accidental. Mr. Thompson: [rolls eyes] So wah yuh gettin at? Doctor: I’m not getting at anything. I am just saying that for Michael’s safety, we need to check a few things beyond his ankle. For this reason, I am going to have one of our social workers come and talk to you, your husband and Michael. Mr. Thompson: [getting more upset] I rel nuh in de mood fuh dis, yu eh have de right tuh do dat. Doctor: Actually, I do have the right. It’s the law.

The main reason I’m doing it is to be sure that Michael is safe at home and I’m sure that is what you want, too. Raising kids can be very tough, sometimes we can all use a little help. Mr. Thompson: look! docta wah nonsense yu tellin mi bout help and how tuh raise mi son, I look like I need any help? If he harden I go beat some manners in tuh he. I is ah big man nobodi gwine tell mi wah and wah nuh tuh do, suck salt eh! I gwine from here! Mr. Thompson storms out the office Doctor: [shouts] Mr. Thompson where are you going? [Looks at Mrs. Thompson as she bursts into tears] Mrs. Thompson: [crying] Doctor please help me! Scene fades