I worked the night half of a slow station in a more affluent area a couple of days ago. We didn’t do anything until 24 minutes before the shift was over. Of course the only call was a late call. And of course it was, as usual, another bullshit call.
Now, I don’t mind bullshit because I’m fully aware that just about everyone calls for bullshit, affluent or not. The patients who have attitude problems, however, are much more annoying. The whiny ones are almost as bad as the passive-aggressive ones.
This woman and her adult daughter were waiting for us at her car in the parking lot of their apartment complex. I don’t want to speculate why they didn’t just drive the 1.5 miles to the ED after walking to her car; that would be presumptuous.
Her dire emergency was that her throat has been painful and feeling “tight” for the last 8 hours. I don’t see any interior swelling, and I don’t feel anything besides a couple of slightly swollen tonsils. She said it made it difficult for her to breathe, but apparently not difficult enough to keep her from bitching me out the whole way to the hospital.
“Why are you asking me so many questions?”
Ma’am, I’m just warming you up for the 100 questions the ED staff is going to ask you, followed by the same 100 questions the physician is going to ask you. By the way, I’ve heard that cabdrivers don’t ask any questions.
“Didn’t you ask me for my phone number already?”
No, that was the fire department, who, for some reason, sucks at writing stuff down. It may be that they too couldn’t believe that they were here on this call.
“Don’t you have a pillow?”
This isn’t friggin’ jetBlue, and we’re not going to the Plaza Hotel.
“That IV hurts!”
Is there anyone who doesn’t think a sharp metal object hurts? Yes, dead people. Would you rather be dead? I can arrange that… where’s that pillow…