Overheard at Triage:
Male patient, 20ish, vomiting violently (and dramatically) for one hour, arrives via EMS accompanied by his overly distraught girlfriend.
Off to the waiting room they go, the Girlfriend, all silver bangles and dyed black hair, silently crying, the tears streaming down her face and making her mascara run, wailing about the cruelty of a certain triage nurse. Can’t you see he’s seriously ill? And then, the tell:
“Can he have some water? He’s, like, dying!”
That would be a big fat no. Giving water to vomiting patients would cause them, like, to vomit.*
Five minutes later, Girlfriend comes up to Triage, all teary and emotional.
“I have to go now,” she says, her voice breaking just so. “I left him some water.” Then in a whisper that would cause the heavens to weep, she adds, “I hope he doesn’t die.”
She shouldn’t have left: Boyfriend was discharged 20 minutes later.
*I thought the word “like”, used as a filler, was no longer hip. I guess I was wrong.