8. The Small Talker. We want to talk to you; we really do. Actually, the greatest pleasure of my work is getting to know people, and I would love to sit and chat. Unfortunately, there are 20 other patients waiting to see me, and my job is to help you and them. So please tell me about your health, and ask me as much as you want about that. I don't want to be rude, and I appreciate your interest in me, but please help me help you by focusing on your health.
9. The Yeller. You've been waiting for hours. You're in a tiny room; the TV doesn't work. We are sorry about this; we truly are. Our ER may have 50 - 100 - patients in it, and we have to take care of everyone in order of severity. Screaming and shouting doesn't help, nor does threatening to call your lawyer, the hospital CEO, or the local news station. Please be assured that we are working very hard and are trying to take care of you as quickly and as well as possible. If something has changed and you are feeling worse, please let us know. If you want to help the ER improve, there are often opportunities to do so by joining patient advisory committees.
10. The Apologizer. "I'm so sorry to come in for this. You have a lot of other patients who look worse than me." It's possible that other patients may be sicker, but you came because you weren't feeling well. Help us understand what prompted you to come in today. We know it's hard to know when it's necessary to come to the ER and when it's not. And there's no need to feel sorry for us. We chose this job because we want to treat all patients, regardless of who they are and what conditions ail them. We are proud to have the privilege of caring for you.