Monday, December 27, 2010


You know what really, really chaps my ass? When you come to the ER at 9:30 pm, for a chronic pain issue which has "just been nagging at me for a while now," on the 911 cabulance, for the sixth time this month, IN THE MIDDLE OF A FRICKIN BLIZZARD, and you get pissed at me when I tell you the hospital can't provide you a way home.

But they gave me a cab voucher last time! Well in case you hadn't noticed, there are nine inches of icy white stuff on the ground. No cab runs in that.

But I only live half a mile from the hospital! Trust me, if I could throw you that far I would do it gladly.

But can't someone drive me home? Yes. Let me call the national guard, just for you. Or maybe I should abandon the rest of my patients and drive you there myself. Yes, that seems like a winning idea.

But can't I be admitted? For bullshit back pain? I'd like to see you try.

But I have to work in the morning! And....? I'm at work right now, so obviously I found a way to make it happen.

But what am I supposed to do...this is YOUR fault for not being able to get me home, I want to speak to your charge nurse and I'm going to write a letter to the CEO telling them how you're mistreating me and how you shouldn't be a nurse because you don't care about people.

One charge nurse coming right up, buddy. And security, and a goodbye wave from me while I document the hell out of this. Feel free to sit in the waiting room for 9 hours. And no, I won't get you a blanket or ginger ale. Because you know what? You're right. I don't care about your complaints. You are angry at me for not bending over backwards to make the impossible happen. But really, you shouldn't even be here. You have a non emergent complaint, and you wasted valuable resources by requiring that EMS pick you up.

And the saddest part? When you're angry because the charge nurse hasn't come to you soon enough, and when you're angry that EMS didn't give you enough blankets for the ride, and when you're angry that I'm not in your room every three minutes to give you the dilaudid you demanded...I'm angry too.

I'm angry that EMS was dropping you off and weren't closer to the cardiac arrest call they needed to bring in. I'm angry that you're wailing for the charge nurse when she is comforting the wife of the sweet man that dropped dead of the big one tonight. I'm angry that you suck down pain meds like they are candy, while nothing will fix the pain of the newly widowed woman's holiday season gone to hell. I'm angry that you think you can manipulate me by threatening, pleading, and insulting. I'm angry that I wasted time arguing with you when I could have been doing something, anything for the arrest patient's family.

And deep down, that makes me cringe. Because you're right - I don't care about you and your BS complaints. And maybe that is the saddest of all. Instead of feeling compassion for you, I feel nothing but anger.


AtYourCervix said...

I'm so sorry that you had to deal with this. Such bull$hit.

newnurseinthehood said...

I wish the hospitals would just let us set up an official policy that you are immediately disqualified from getting a cab voucher if 1- you know to ask for one, or 2- you've been here more than three times in a month ever without being admitted. It would make life so much easier.
Also, we should be able to say eff the waiting room. If you wanna cut up, secur-itee will throw your ass out in the snowstorm, sans warm blanket.
See how man frequent fliers we get then.

Zazzy Episodes said...

Isn't it patients like this that make insurance so imposibily high for the rest of us? Goodness.

Anonymous said...

Six times in one month? I've called an ambulance twice in two decades! (Technically I didn't called the second one, they sent it along 'cause I attempted to drive through a concrete divider.)

Chronic pain? Sounds more like a drug seeker with entitlement disorder, but that's just me..

Estelle Darling said...

Geez. One of my girlfriends is a paramedic and she says she sees this all the time. Usually there are 3 working cars in the driveway and about 5 adults in the house that are able to drive but they insist on calling EMS because they think coming in by an ambulance will help them bypass the waiting room and triage. Not a chance.

Nurse J said...

you know i love your blog right? okay, just making sure. ER nurse blogs in general are my frave-its. anyways, with all the talk of healthcare reform floating around, i kinda feel like ER abuse and end if life issues, in that order, would solve the majority of our health associated cost overuns. call me crazy, but, i think i may be onto something. i feel you wrath, by the way, even way up here on my ICU cloud......