I know it is cynical, uncaring, and abrasive to say these things.... and I would never actually say them. I really do love my job, I just had a day where everything was wrong... I guess I'm just venting. Feel free to add to the list.
1. The world of ER does not revolve around you. There are sick people here, and you aren't one of them.
2. Our definition of sick is not your definition of sick. If a member of the ER staff says that someone is sick, it means that they are in the process of DYING. They have had a massive stroke, are bleeding out, having a heart attack, or shot. We don't consider a tooth injury sick. Painful, yes. Sick, no.
2. At any given time, one nurse has four patients. One doctor has up to 15. There is a law (similar to Murphy's) in the ER. If you have four patients:
One of them will be sick (see #2 for definition)
One of them will be whining constantly
One of them will be homeless
and one of them will be the delightful patient.
Don't be the whiner. Please.
3. Physicians and nurses are not waiters. We are not customer service representatives. This is not McDonalds, and you very well may NOT have it your way. Our job is to save your life, or at least make you feel better. If you want a pillow, two blankets, the lights dimmed, and the TV on channel 14, go to the Ramada.
4. If you have one of the three, go to your own doctor in the morning:
A stomach virus
5. If your child has a fever, you had better give him tylenol before coming in. Do NOT let the fever remain high just so I will believe the child has a fever. Do you want your child to have a seizure? Do you?
6. We have priorities. We understand that you have been waiting for two hours in the waiting room. If you don't want to wait, make an appointment with a doctor. The little old lady that just walked in looking OK to you is probably having a massive heart attack. That's why she goes first.
7. Do not ask us how long it will be. We don't know. I don't know what's coming through my door 30 seconds from now... so I surely don't know when you'll be getting a room upstairs.
8. We are not for primary care. Get a family doctor, and go see them.
9. If you have diabetes and do not control it, you are committing slow suicide.
10. We know how many times you've been to an ER. We can usually tell if you are faking it on the first 5 seconds of talking to you. Do not lie to us. If you lie about one thing, we will assume you are lying about everything. You don't want that.
11. If you are well enough to complain about the wait, you are well enough to go home.
12. If your mother is a patient and we ask her a question, let her answer it.
13. If you see someone pushing a big cart down the hall at full speed and you hear bells going off.... do not ask for a cup of coffee. Someone is dying, you inconsiderate %#@^. In the ER, bells don't ring for nothing. Sit down, shut up, and let us work.
14. If you have any sort of stomach pain and you ask for something to eat, you are not that sick.
15. If you can complain about the blood pressure cuff being too tight, or the IV needle hurting, you are not in that much pain.
16. If you want to get something, be nice. I will go out of my way to tick off rude people.
17. Do not talk badly about the other members of staff I work with. The doctor that you hate? I work with him every day, and I know that he knows what he is doing. I trust him a lot more than I trust you. I am not here to be your friend, and neither is he. I will tell him what you said, and we will laugh about it. If you want a buddy, go somewhere else.
18. Every time I ask you a question, I learn more about what is wrong with you. I don't care if I ask you what day it is four different times. Each time I ask, it is for a reason. Just answer the questions, regardless of if you have answered them before.
19. Do not utter the words "It's in my chart." I don't have your chart, and I don't have the time to call and get it. Just tell me.
20. Do not bring your entire posse with you. One person at the bedside is all you need. It is really difficult to get around seven people in the event that you are really sick.