Well, now I've heard it all!


I work in a clinic with a strong emphasis on pain management. We currently have a waiting list over 300 people long. We get the usual calls, complaints, haranguing, etc. But what happened this weekend floored me.

I was out to eat with DH, and some random person comes up to me while we were waiting.

"Hey, Angelfire! I saw in the paper where X died. Wasn't he your patient? Say, can I have his spot and get in to see Doc? "

Thankfully, they called our name then, and DH got me away before I strangled the idiot.

Anyone ever have something like this happen? Grrrr.

Specializes in FNP, ONP. Has 25 years experience.

This used to happen in the smaller town I used to live in. There were no PCPs accepting new patients, so they only way to get in and not have to drive 60-90 miles to the next town(s) over, was for someone to moce or die so you could get their spot. The going (morbid) joke was to ask "who was his doctor?" Once a whole van full of people from a church went through a guard rail, plummeted a few hundred feet and they all died. People were actually excited about the number of openings this translated into. When we were moving our family of 9 out of the area, more than one person asked me whom we had been seeing fro primary care so they could try to get in!

Years ago when we lived in NYC, we used to read the obits to see who died so we might get their rent controlled apartment on the Upper East side, lol.

It's pretty much the same thing.

Plus, few of us are willing to see chronic pain patients, so that makes you that much more desirable! You are the Upper East side! ;)

AngelfireRN, MSN, RN, APRN

2 Articles; 1,289 Posts

Specializes in med-surg, psych, ER, school nurse-CRNP. Has 15 years experience.

I know...believe me. It was just so danged macabre. Heck, I have my own coffin and I don't think like that!

Specializes in Med/Surg,Cardiac. Has 1 years experience.

I probably wouldn't have known what to say.

I have run into patients who hug and thank me publicly. Usually it's when I'm in pajamas (close atleast) with messy hair and smeared make up. I'll have to stop going out to buy milk like that. But they've never talked about the death of someone. Creeps out there.


948 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Tele, Dialysis, Hospice. Has 26 years experience.

I haven't had this happen as it relates to another patient's death, but I have had nosy people ask me if their neighbor, John Doe, is in the hospital, etc. I was working a couple of months ago and this obnoxious middle-age male patient had an equally obnoxious middle-age male visitor at his bedside. As soon as I went in the room, they both had to let me know that they were friends with one of the family practice docs in town, we'll call him "Bob". (Big deal!!???) Then the visitor asked me who the patient in the room across the hall was and why he was there. I am always amazed when people still have absolutely zero clue about patient confidentiality, but I simply told him that I don't give out personal information on any patient, ever. He gave me a withering look and replied, "No big deal, I'll just ask "Bob" who it is when he makes rounds," and for the rest of the evening he treated me like a piece of gum on the bottom of his shoe. What a jerk!!!!


1,246 Posts

Has 36 years experience.

Maybe your clinic needs to hire a new doc or two if you have 300 patients on a waiting list. But approaching you in a restaurant? Wow!

I, too, have been hugged by former patients and families, especially in supermarkets!

Best wishes!

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

Yikes! :eek:

Always wear your shades, especially when shopping at Target/Walmart/grocery store. :smokin:

ktwlpn, LPN

3,844 Posts

Specializes in LTC,Hospice/palliative care,acute care. Has 35 years experience.

It just shows how self centered people truly are. In LTC I have been at the bedside many times and witnessed families picking the room clean-even while the loved one was still ON THE BED-everything from open back dresses to half used boxes of tissues,the paper towels in the dispenser and radios and cd players provided by the LTC.Had someone ask for the remaining meds-including the narcs.Had a guy who didn't have transportation to see his loved one during his final days until the very end. Then he ran in and out with the TV-I still wonder if he rolled it down the road?

Bortaz, MSN, RN

1 Article; 2,628 Posts

Specializes in CDI Supervisor; Formerly NICU. Has 14 years experience.

People suck.

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

In places like New York City, where affordable apts are hard to come by, it actually has been known that shortly after a death, people will try to rent the apt, to get a bid in as quickly as possible.To the point, that people see the coroner/morgue van at a building, call their friends and tell them where, so they scope out the situation and get their request in.

BrandonLPN, LPN

3,358 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

When I worked at the hospital, it never ceased to amaze me how self centered patients and their families could be. I could be ambulating a post op pt in the hall and have family ask me to get mom some ice water. And then stand there and glare at me when I say I will as

soon as I'm done here. As if I should just deposit my ambulating pt in a chair and run to fetch the water.

The weird thing is I think these people are perfectly sociable in the real world. There's something about being in a hospital that brings out the selfishness in patients and their visitors. I try to hold my tounge, but there was a few times I snapped back that all these order rooms are full of sick people too.