Friday, December 16, 2011

the ER waiting room is a jungle....

An ER waiting room is a cesspool of pain, anguish, resignation. Many people populate such a place. Here are few of the standouts:

1) The Martyr - this person will drag themselves back to the waiting room and lay down on an available bench usually with a hospital blanket and look forlorn. Lots of heavy sighing here.

2) The Enforcer - this is usually the indignant relative or friend of a mildly ill person who stalks up to the desk, hands on hips, and states in a loud voice that the person they are with is
a) in a lotta pain
b) can't sit there much longer
c) that they cannot believe they are being treated this way.

3)Nervous Nelly/Ned - They sit in the far corner away from the other patients and visitors looking like a deer in the headlights, glancing around nervously hoping none of the homies in the waiting room pull a gun before they get in to be seen.

4) The Instigator - this person comes in with a chip on their shoulder and when they don't get in right away, they go back and start talking loudly about, "what crap this hospital is", getting others to join in, creating a mob like atmosphere.

5) Disappearing Dan/Diane - these are the people who either come up to the desk (or not) to tell you they are going to a) McDonald's b) the pop machine c) outside d) to have a cigarette e)to use their cellphone. Sometimes they disappear all together.

6) Mom of the year - these are the women who come in trailed by 3-4 kids who of course are out of control. She and the brood go back to the waiting room to eat their big mac and fries that they purchased on the way to the ER. Then the kids run wild through the waiting room while mom sits and watches TV. Then she gets annoyed and yells, "Peter get your mo'f---ing butt over here boy, I told you 'bout that shit!".

7) The unknown patient - these are the people who are still there after everyone else has left. You don't know who they are. Often they are sitting in a chair sleeping. They don't want to be seen. They just wandered in looking for a place to catch a few winks and use the facilities.

8) The skipping record - this is the person, who like a bad CD that keeps skipping, keeps coming up to the window and saying the same thing over and over, "how much longer will it be? Where am I in the line? Why did those people go in before me?" This type of patient can replicate itself at will, and does, throughout the waiting room.

9) The drama king/queen this person loudly vomits (the whole ER will know they are losing their lunch), seems like they are coughing up a lung, moans loudly, often presenting back at the window requesting to lay down in the hall in back of triage where there is more traffic to witness their performance.

10) Emotional exiter - this person presents to the window after usually waiting an excruciatingly long half an hour or less, proclaiming their unhappiness at their plight for all to hear. They accuse you of being
a) prejudiced
b) a bad hospital
c) lazy
d) uncaring.
They demand the supervisors name, the patient representatives number, anyone with more authority than your lowly self. They state they are, "going to another hospital". Oh please don't....


Mark p.s.2 said...

Great list! I did a number 7 one time, to try to get some rest from my noisy neighbors.
At night as I was the only person in the room, the triage nurse called the police, I wasn't doing anything illegal sitting there, so they left. In my overnight stay in the waiting room, I got to witness a no 10) "Emotional exiter" complaining about the waiting time (that didn't exist) and a drug seeker put on an epileptic seizure performance with a no 2)"The Enforcer" to support them. The performance worked.

They changed the waiting room policy shortly afterwards so that everybody has to make a complaint at the entry. No number 7's allowed anymore at my hospital.

rnraquel said...

I know...don't you just hate it when they up and leave to go to another hospital? Tragic!

Christin_Ehh said...

Tis the season to be drama queens.....