I don't think a shift goes by where I don't shake my head and think "what is wrong with people??"
Here are some gems I've heard recently from patients' families:
While I'm meeting/vitaling a new ED pt, pt's 50-something son says:
"Hey are you into music?"
Me: "um, sure"
Son: "So you like Amy Winehouse?"
Me: "uh, no, that's not really my thing, why do you ask?"
Son: "Oh I just love turning people on to music."
oookay, so this would be a perfect time to do that, with your sick dad right here, and someone you just met 5 seconds ago...
In triage, a clearly manic patient comes in and starts spewing out a litany of complaints, including how he has been off his psych meds for a while (shocker). The woman accompanying him interrupts him and says to me
"Do I gotta stay here? Cuz I don't wanna stay here"
Me: "umm I don't even know who you are, how would you like me to answer that question??"
While precepting a new RN, I hear screaming and yelling coming from the room where she has just gone to start an IV. I quickly run in to see the elderly patients daughter screaming "Yeah! Stick her hard! Stick her good!" ?!?! How do people like this even exist???
A young girl is brought to an exam room and the first thing her boyfriend says "she needs something to eat. She has not eaten all day"
My verbal response: " I'm sorry, she cannot eat until she is seen by a doctor."
In my head I'm thinking "who has been stopping this young and healthy woman from eating all day, and why is that now my problem? And if that has anything to do with why she is here, i.e. nausea/vomiting etc, then why on earth is THIS the very moment that she MUST eat?!?"
A young guy marches up to triage and yells: Robert Smith!! (name has been changed)
Me: Umm, what about him? Is there something I can help you with?
Guy: Yes! We are here to pick him up!
My verbal response: "Okay he is in spot 12, make a right and a left..."
In my head: Did you really expect me to know what you wanted by his name alone????