This post strikes a chord in me as I just came off an exhausting shift at the hospital where I work as a ward clerk on a med-surg floor. It is an extremely heavy floor (neurosurg and spinal) and today we were short one nurse and you really feel it when you have 30 patients on the floor.
A 32 year old woman was there to be discharged and taken home by her mother - both rude and snottty in attitude. They wanted to leave but we explained they had to wait until the doctors' did rounds that morning and wrote the D/C order. After the order was written, the nurse did not even know it was there as she was extremely busy with her six patients. When the women was told she was free to go home, she and her mother came to the front desk and demanded from me to see the nurse. I was in a flying frenzy - three phone lines were ringing for me to answer, four patients were buzzing on the patient call centre, nurses were asking me to do this and that and the relatives of two patients were waiting to speak to me - no word of a lie, it was INSANE.
So, as I am trying to field and cue all the demands and requests that were being fired at me I tried to explain to them that the nurse would come over to see them as soon as she finished with the patient she was attending to. These women were oblivious to everything but their own wants. They glared at me and stood aside, checking their watches and huffing.
When the nurse (within 10 minutes) came over to go through their follow up info with them they were rude to her as well. But.....
(This final part of my story is petty but I could not help myself.)
A 1/2 hour after the mother and daughter left I got a call from a pharmacy stating that the two women were there with a prescription that did not have the hospital stamp on it (they left before I could stamp it) and the pharmacist wanted me to verify that the daughter had indeed been a patient at the hospital. I could have said yes, but I found myself asking the pharmacist to call me back in 15 minutes so I could check the chart. I heard the mother and daughter freaking out in the background when there were told they would have to wait 15 minutes for verification of their story...I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a big grin on my face when I hung up that phone.