Show respect for ER staff
The emergency room is a hectic and unpredictable environment. Before the COVID-19 pandemic ever began, emergency rooms were already flooded with emergencies and the ever so common complaints of long wait times or unsatisfactory “customer service.”
Hopefully, if anything good comes out of our current situation it is that people recognize the ER is not a place to serve “customers.” We are trained professionals who treat very ill patients and patients who are in severe distress. Their lives depend on our care and expertise.
Our true emergent patients do not want to be there. Their unfortunate circumstances led them there. People who frequent the ER with their colds, sniffles, scrapes and mildly upset stomachs cause more stress on our already overwhelmed staff. It leads to even more stress on ER staff when people begin complaining, belittling and become outright rude when they are not handed what they request at the drop of a hat.
Keep in mind that if you have the energy and mental clarity to become rude and obnoxious toward a hospital employee, you may not need to be there in the first place. I can assure you there is someone in the next room fighting for their life.
Healthcare professionals have a duty to provide compassionate care to our patients. We want to be there to help others, even if it means putting our own health at risk.
Whatever your emergency may be, please remember to provide ER staff, or any healthcare worker, for that matter, with compassion and thank them every once in a while. That is all we ask for in return.