We have a separate area in our ER for these patients, and we rotate the nurses assigned to it. I actually enjoy working that area every now and then, it's nice to have a day "off," that is, a day where I don't have to worry about my patients coding on me!
I also get annoyed and frustrated with the BS people present with. We get all the toothaches, knee pain x 2 months, and cough/congestion...but we also see an incredible number of "abdominal pains," aka "needs a pregnancy test and is trying to manipulate an ultrasound." I am less annoyed with these than I could be, because of the high number of women who have a hard time getting in to the clinics for prenatal care (Planned Parenthoods, and the like, are far apart and overcrowded here in Texas).
If the doc orders pain medicine, I give it with a smile. I honestly feel better at the end of the day if I don't let this stuff get to me. Showing how I really feel won't change anything, and will just leave me feeling angry and bitter. So, I put it out of my mind! One thing I refuse to do, though, is provide food to them. I'll bring them a blanket, narcotic pain meds, water, or socks...but they are NOT getting a sandwich! The sandwiches are in limited supply, and we reserve them for patients who are being admitted and have to wait in the ER for a room assignment. "But I'm diabetic, you have to feed me." Fine, here are some crackers, peanut butter, and a juice =) And if they throw a fit, we have an excellent social worker, who is more than happy to explain that this is a hospital, not a soup kitchen, and that ER rooms aren't required to provide full meals.
The thing that gets me the most is when people complain about their co-pays, then complain about not being provided snacks. We cut all that stuff down to trim costs!!! I love when they say, "I should have gone to XYZ Hospital, they give me a lunch tray and all my visitors get one, too." I just laugh and tell them it's a free country and they are free to leave and go elsewhere.
Oh, and I can't stand when one of their friends/visitors asks for food! I tell them we have a cafeteria, especially for visitors. One lady, when I told her that, said, "What! I don't want to pay for it! I want some of your free food, I'm diabetic and you have to feed me!" I told her that if she wanted free food then she would need to go up to triage and register as a patient. Unbelievably, she did just that. They assigned her to another room, and when she demanded her free food, her new nurse brought her crackers and juice, lol. We didn't even have sandwiches that day...LOL.
Basically, I just treat everyone the way I would expect to be treated, were I a patient or a visitor. That leaves me feeling generally satisfied and not bitter at the end of the day. Also, our nurses station has a closeable door, and we frequently close it so we can laugh about a situation with each other!