Really Classy

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I went with the wife to the Urgent Care today.  Nothing like a bit of sinusitis to brighten your day (her, not me).  Originally she was going to go solo, but I’m glad I went, because what we saw was so typical of how entitled some people are.

Dude comes blustering in the door, snuffling and coughing up to the window, “I need to see a doctor, I’m sick.” as he proceeds to cough all over the receptionist.  She politely asks him   to cover his cough as she gets a mask for him, but polite isn’t going to cut it.  “Don’t you see I’m f*cking sick?!  And I’m in a crappy mood”  He bellows at her.

“You need to watch your language!”  she says.  He mumbles more profanity under his breath.  “Do you have insurance?”  she asks.

“I don’t have time for this, just bill my ass!”  he says as he throws his ID at her.  “I better get to see him f*cking quick, I’m sick.”

“You need to wear the mask if you’re coughing,”  she says as he had it covering his chin only and had been spraying the room as he coughed.  She finishes her paperwork and asks him to have a seat.

“F*cking bitches,”  he mumbles as he struts to where his significant other, who has been holding her head absolutely mortified over his behavior is sitting.  He then proceeds to throw his mask on the floor.  Continuing his rants over how this sucks, how he’s SO sick, how he needs to get in fast to see the doctor, how this is all bullshit and what the f*ck was taking so long. He did everything but jump up and down and stomp his feet.

I’m glad that by this time my wife was done and we could leave as I could hardly hold the laughter in.  I walk out the doors and start busting a gut.  Here he was totally hysterical that he was sick, acting like a 3-year old child having a tantrum.  Frankly I’m surprised they didn’t 86 him.  It was as hysterical as it was uncalled for and plain wrong.  It has been awhile since I have seen an adult throw a temper tantrum.

But here’s the thing that really pissed me off:  so many people act like this towards health care workers.  Entitled?  You bet.  As he said, “I”m sick” as if that was supposed to condone bad behavior.  It’s not like these people walk into Safeway and throw a fit that there is a line at the registers (OK, as my wife pointed out, they probably do…), but get them into a medical situation all decency, restraint and class disappears.

I’ve seen this in EDs and on the floors.  It’s sad that according to the ENA, “finds that more than half of emergency nurses report experiencing physical violence on the job…”  I can’t find statistics for floor nurses and while it is not as high, it happens enough.  I’ve read some commentators that say dealing with this is a part of the job, that we should have known about it before signing up, and while I do agree that we see people at their worst, I didn’t sign up to be verbally or physically assaulted on the job. But some people think that because we are in health care we should just take it and that’s bullshit.

So here was jerkwad yelling at some poor woman just doing her job, trying to help him out.  She should have given him a warning and as he continued to berate her, 86’ed him and called the cops.  But thanks to EMTALA (at least what I could find relating to urgent care centers associated with a hospital) they could not.  As home-skillet was complaining about the time it was taking, literally mere minutes, I wanted to say, “Hey, go the ED – you might get seen by the doc in an hour, maybe, ’cause any triage nurse worth their salt can tell you’re just full of shit and while you may feel like shit, there is nothing life-threatening about you being “sick”.  Plus they won’t stand for your histrionics.  You’re not that sick:  you walked in the door, are still breathing and are well enough to bitch about this place.  So suck it up and deal with it, act like a grown-up.”  And I’m not even an ED nurse…

Got to love what our society has transformed some into – a need it now, instant gratification, mass of no respect or class.  I hope they made him wait and then double charged him.  Or called the cops.


One Comment

  1. When I worked as an EMT “back in the day”, we would have said of this person that a “neck tourniquet” was clearly indicated. Stat.


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