Healthspan Blog

Long healthspans mean happy lives

How to get treated faster in the emergency room

5th April 2008

WAYS TO BE SEEN QUICKER IN THE ER (No particular order)

1- Arrive by ambulance. They can’t take a patient from an ambulance and put them in the waiting room in most states. This is also why you can wait in the waiting room forever… if a steady stream of meatwagons keep pulling up, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been sitting, they have to come first.

2- Speak English. if your medical professionals can’t understand you, you’re less likely to receive quick treatment b/c it’s harder to prove you need quick treatment.

3- Be bloody. If there’s one thing hospital staffs hate, it’s the potential for cross contamination. The more blood, the more likely they are to get you in the back.

4- Be polite. Accusing the staff of not giving you the treatment you deserve guarantees you’re not going to get it.

5- Be attractive. Hotties get all the percs.

6- Know your stuff. If you know your medical history, know your symptoms, and have records/samples of all your medications, you’re an easy paperwork case. Medical professionals hate paperwork, that’s why they’re medical and not financial.

7- Bring a child that’s not yelling. Yelling children negate #4. Tearful children invoke sympathetic responses. “Is my mommy/daddy gonna be okay soon?” advances you to the head of the line automatically.

8- Actually need medical attention. If you can reasonably wait until morning to go to a doctor, chances are you’ll be waiting until morning anyway in the waiting room. If you have a steak-knife sticking through your hand, that gets in quicker.

9- Onset time. Ties to #8. When someone asks you “When did these symptoms first occur?” If you answer “Oh, sometime last month” there’s no REASON for them to see you now that couldn’t wait until the next guy’s shift. The informed answer is “Sometime last month, but the severity drastically changed 2 hours ago.” This way you’re not misinforming that about onset (which can be key in diagnosing non-traumatic events) but also giving them a reason you should get into the ER as soon as possible.

10- NEVER threaten to leave. This guarantees you’re not getting back. It’s the medical version of holding one’s breath until someone else does what you want them to. You’re daring the Attending Physician to call your bluff, and I promise you they will every time. Also, never order food to the waiting room, or leave the waiting room to go get food…. if you’e with it enough to eat, it’s not an emergency, and you’ll be sitting there until the next shift comes in.

Comments are closed.