Why can't people just be sick at home!? (RANT!)

Specialties Emergency


I have taken care of so many people the last few days that were just plain sick! Vomiting for 12 hours or less, fever for less than a day, coughs, abdominal pain without N/V/D. I want to scream at them "you've got the the flu! go home, drink plenty of fluids and rest!"

In this day and age of instant gratification it seems like NO ONE wants to feel bad one minute longer than they feel they have to and ER doctors across the country carry magic wands that can cure all ails.

Sorry if I am ranting. I really love my job, but I just had too many people today that didn't need to be there. With insurance, without insurance, on medicaid.

I had one girl show up in my quad that had been in twice previously in less than a week! The triage nurse kindly chatised her about getting a family doctor like she had already been told twice and about how much more it was going to cost her than going to a doctor would have.

I am just so tired of people using the ER as their family doctor. I get so tired of people abusing the ER and EMS. I get so tired of people coming in with fevers that can't afford tylenol, but reek of cigarettes, or the patient that comes in hacking and coughing from COPD and still smokes. I get so tired of people moaning and groaning like they are going to die. (those are usually the ones that are the least sick) I wanted to tell one girl that even though she felt terrible, she wasn't going to die so get dressed and get out of my ER....I didn't though.

Again, sorry for the rant, but this has been a really long day and one of my patients kindly shared their flu with me so I feel horrible otherwise I probably wouldn't be as testy.

I'm going to bed now, please forgive my attitude. Just had to let off some steam.



gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Feel your pain - got pooled (floated) to ED the other night and one patient nearly got told "Oh! Diddums have a Boo Boo Diddums?" the problem was so minor.

Feel for us the way our Goverment is set up at the moment it costs money to be seen by the local GP but nothing to be seen by a doctor in ED - so guess what we are flooded with??? My favourite or rather least favourite is patient who arrives with 5 packed bags and when you go to discharge them start wailing about having nowhere to go (right so you spent the rent money on cigs and now you figure you can get free stay in hospital still claiming unemployment with no outgoings like food or rent???

We have news for you and it is alll bad..................

China Doll

14 Posts

Or how about females that come in especially for vaginal d/c or males for penile d/c? Does the ER look like the freaking health dept??? This really erks (?sp) me. I had one female who had vaginal d/c for one month before she finally came to the ER to be evaluated. When asked if she had an ob/gyn she replied no, yet she has had a month to find one; obviously the problem wasn't going to go away on its own. But, oh yeah, I forgot an ob/gyn would expect payment at time of service and the ER is "free". I just feel like telling these individuals to go to the health dept for problems such as these because the ER is not the appropriate place for such problems IMHO. Whew, I'm glad to verbalize my frustrations over this. Thanks to all that read this.

China Doll

Specializes in Emergency room, med/surg, UR/CSR.

That is another one of my pet peeves. I hate doing pelvics! I just don't think ER should even do them unless the patients are hemorraging. Like you said, we're not the health department!

I'm glad we have this forum cause I can rant and not get flamed!

I just have to repeat to myself "I love my job. I love my job! I love my job."

Thanks for listening all!




1 Article; 1,327 Posts

The ones that irk me the most are the ones who were seen in their clinic earlier in the day but still aren't feeling better.

"I saw Dr. Jones in his office today and I stilll have a sore throat!"

"What did Dr. Jones recommend?"

"He gave me some pills and some purple medicine."

"How many doses have you taken?"

"I haven't take either one yet?"

"And you're not feeling better? Simply being in Dr. Jones presence didn't cure you? You weren't healed the moment he placed his stethoscope on your chest?"

It makes it even worse when the ER doc will prescribe something else to make the patient happy...make Dr. Jones look like he left something out.

We saw over 100 cases of the flu this weekend (normally our ER sees less than 100 patients in a week). Now guess who is sick? All four nurses who worked that weekend and the doctor who was on are all sitting home hacking and coughing and sniffling and sneezing! Sigh...

As far as pelvics...I haven't done one in ages...our doctors refuse unless the patient is hemorrhaging...they'll prescribe one or two days of something for symptoms and that's it!

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,880 Posts

Specializes in ER.

There are going to be a lot more flu patients this winter because of the scare when 4 kids died. People won't wait to see if they get better, just come on in.


814 Posts

This is such a shame. Leaves the nurses and docs with less time to care for the very ill patients. And with the overblown focus on customer service - you might as well as hire a greeter to meet them at the door and a complimentary mint on the way out.


18 Posts

Reading all of this makes me very happy I chose an inpatient Oncology unit...GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU ER NURSES!!! I'm so thankful you are there for the ones that really need you.

Specializes in ER, ICU, L&D, OR.

But they are so easy to care for, large bore IVs, zofran, phenergan, dilaudid for the aches and pains. Life is simple.

and smile smile smile


1,093 Posts

i agree completely!!! as nurses we go to work aching and sick - and the people we have to treat are less ill than we are....

not to mention - all of us that worked this past wkend are sick - even though we implemented the mask (for anyone c/o flu sx or cough) -----i feel like $hit today!!

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,880 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Excuse me, but if we are giving out mints I vote for one on the way IN. Along with soap and a washcloth.


125 Posts

I especially love the ones that scream "I'm bleeding really bad and have cramps" and you ask where they are bleeding, "from down there" and when was your last period? "last month" well then go home and take your advil like I did this morning as my cramps make me feel like I want to double over yet I am here at work.

How about the patient/family member that comes bursting through the curtain of a trauma patient/pt having MI and demands more ice because their ice chips have melted and then go away in a disgusted huff demanding the supervisor because "they are paying good money to be here and Im not getting good service" meanwhile I want to scream, "NO I am paying for your visit" as the majority of them are on Medicaid.

The holiday dumps. "Well, how can I be expected to take care of gran when I have to cook and visit with family and she does not walk or eat that great, can't you just diagnose her with something so she can stay here for a few days?"

The 16 year old that has had her 4th live birth with the 4th father, will not take her free prescribed BC or use condoms, "the BC makes me fat and my boyfriend won't wear a condom" demands we dispense the Tylenol because "my monthly check is already spent"

The patient on Medicaid that comes in with abd pain and 'asks' for a pregnancy test "just to be sure" then runs out the ER before being examined after getting her preg test results.

It sickens me to my core, I have seen people come in at the last minute with life threatening infection, crushing CP because they can not afford to be out of work or do not have insurance and have too much pride to not pay for their hospital bill and yet the majority of my time is spent catoring to the masses of self-induced 'victims' that are on government assistance and want attention ASAP. The ones that need verification that they can "never work again" and want total SS disability. Excuse me when in this country was it written into the constitution that if you are a citizen of this nation you are entitled to a free ride. I especially love the scum bags that come in and are on total assistance and state that they are "considering becoming a nurse" I say go for it, just do it already. I give you one shift in my shoes!

I'm not burnt out or bitter in the least, lol!

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