Guy checks into the emergency room, a bit grumpy- but he’s in pain, so I can understand a bit of an attitude. I take him back to his room, and get his vitals- trying to get him comfortable for the short time that he’s with us in the emergency room. I head back out to triage (where I’m stationed for the day,) and don’t see him again until he’s discharged.
He ends up with a set of crutches and emerges with his girlfriend- back into the emergency room waiting area.
“Where can I get something to drink?”
I tell duder that I’d be happy to bring him a glass of water (cause I can tell that he’s less than comfortable moving around on the crutches.) He displays his disgust at the idea of mere water, and has me direct him towards the vending machines. He’s quite a sorry sight, trying to get around on these crutches- but the thought of a corn-sugar infused bubble drink motivates him to get on the move.
Fast forward a few minutes and here he is again. He’s been outside with his girlfriend (where he left her) but now he’s halfway back in the waiting room (he has his crutch stuck in the automatic door.) I see him staring at me and sense his desire for me to answer his distress call.
When I approach, the door opens and he informs me that the door was crushing his hand. Hmm…I sense a much different demeanor than when he first checked in and I’m feeling a hint of hostility. He tells me that the ambulance service (that he’s using as a personal taxi,) won’t come get him unless I tell them that he’s been discharged. I’m a bit confused because this isn’t something I’d dealt with before.
“How long you been working here bud?”
“I’ve worked here a while.”
“Really? Cause it doesn’t seem to me like you’ve got your story straight.”
Oh boy…I head outside to see how I can help with his girlfriend and her transportation issue.
As we head out, he starts mumbling about how he’s being harassed because he doesn’t have good health insurance.
“First off sir, I’m not harassing you. Secondly, I don’t care what kind of insurance you do or don’t have.”
His girlfriend is clearly confused and he mutters “F&*#ing tool,” as he hops up on a planter.” I put my hand in his face (on the edge of losing it.)
“Sir, I don’t need to be talked to this way. Ma’am, can I help you with something?”
His girlfriend is clearly confused, as she’s just got off the phone with the ambulance people, saying thank-you, with a smile on her face. She says everything is good, and I head back inside. I can see the guy in the reflection of the glass as I walk off, talking crap and pointing at me.
What I wanted to say was…”sir, I don’t want to have to smash you!” It was worse that I was outside so it somehow felt more appropriate to issue this dude a beat-down. My restraint was for our mutual benefit…