Guilty, I'm a currently long term unemployed person, no insurance, no money, not elegible for medicaid or anything else. Last weekend I woke up with what I thought might be a serious eye problem...I fretted for hours, wondering how in the world would I pay to go to urgent care...they require $$$ up front and right now I have less than $30. to my name. As my eye got worse and more painful, I bit the bullet and went to the ED at small hospital, I was embarrassed and humiliated that I had to use the ED for this, but it was my only option. I was fortunate that the RN on duty was very empathetic to my plight and I was treated with respect by the understanding staff, on the other hand the Doc was an *******, due to the stress of going in my BP was through the roof and they wouldn't let me go until it went down, I tried to explain to him that I can no longer afford my BP meds and he just didn't get it, I again tried to explain that I don't qualify for anything...sigh. They left me in a darkened room with the lights down low and all that did was add to my stress, when the nurse came in to take my BP I asked him to use the regular cuff as the machine was pumping up so high it hurt and added to my stress and I also asked if someone would just stay with me and talk for awhile because if I was left to my own devices in the darkened room I'd continue to stress over all my problems...he did and guess what the BP went down and I could go home. I will be for ever greatful for that nurse who LISTENED to me...after all I'm now 60 years old and have lived in this body for a long time and know what works and doesn't.
With the economy so bad and millions of people just like me I'm sure the ED is packed with non-emergent patients. I know it is my only option right now and I hate it.
Now I'm trying to fill out all the forms that go with being an indigent patient...more stress.
Until our health care system changes there will be more of the same.