This might seem like an age old question, but until someone answers it, I am going to keep asking it! Why work in a hospital if you hate people?? I understand that hospitals can be busy places and staff run off their feet, not to mention the constant flow of annoying drug seeking losers who seem to spend more time in hospital emergency rooms that they do with their own dealers. But sometimes (oftentimes) there is nastiness where it is uncalled for.
Allow me to provide you with one of my many unpleasant experiences (more unpleasantness here), which is just one of millions of similarly unpleasant experiences endured by honest patients in hospitals throughout the country.
Iris jumped off a low wall and crumbled to the floor in our local dog park. Unable to get up and with ankle swelling rapidly, I whisked her to our nearest emergency room. After grabbing the only available wheelchair in the parking lot (with no foot supports), we burst into the reception area. Thankfully, on this Tuesday morning the place was very quiet, with just two other patients waiting to be seen.
Whilst a woman behind a glass window took down Iris’s details, I dragged over a chair for her to rest the injured foot. “You can’t do that,” barked the woman.“Well there's no other wheelchair and she can’t just sit with her leg in the air,” I said.“You can’t block the area,” she snapped. “I’ll move it as soon as we move,” I pleaded. “You can’t block the area,” she repeated like a robot. So I ran around and eventually located a wheelchair with foot supports and painfully transferred Iris.
We were then directed through a door with another window and another administrative person asking all the same questions again, name, insurance card etc. Iris's ankle was now the size of her head and her toes so swollen that they made me think of little black sausages ready to burst out of their casings. Wincing, she mumbled, "may I please have some ice?" “Not until we're done here,” spat the man behind the glass window. At which Iris bursts into tears. In a most unusual reaction to someone crying, this nasty little man leaned forward, pressed his nose against the glass, such that he now had a clear view of Iris’s gangrenous foot and yelled, “hey why are you being so aggressive towards me?” Completely taken aback, I jumped in and yelled back, “she's crying! How is that the same as being aggressive? Is there something wrong with the way you process human behavior?” To which he slumped back down in a huff.
With Iris now bawling from pain, we were eventually shown to a bed, whereupon a nurse entered, took the history and then left. Ten minutes later another nurse appeared and asked for the history all over again. “We just gave it to a previous nurse,” I said.“Oh she's finished her shift,” was the reply. So, through pain and gritted teeth, Iris repeated her story. Ten minutes after that a third nurse approached requesting Iris’s history, apparently the second nurse had also just finished her shift.
Thinking this might last a while, I asked nurse number three if I might nip out and buy some lunch for my friend.“No food or drink,” she boomed.“How about just water?” I said. Perhaps this was not one of my smarter moments, and I certainly felt like a silly schoolgirl when she snapped back, “What do you think water is?” before storming out of the room. After what seemed like an eternity, Iris had her x-ray and met the doctor for an impressive total of twenty five seconds. The injury was set and stabilized in a boot and she was eventually discharged.“If I am ever injured, just leave me to die on the street,” I said as I drove her home. “It’s better than dealing with that lineup of pointless nastiness.”
Which brings me back to my burning question. Why choose a job that involves high people traffic if people are what you hate most in the world?
I wish you would all just die!