Eye See What You’re Doing

, , , , , | Healthy | January 9, 2020

(I work in a fairly busy eye clinic. Despite having eleven doctors, spots for our regular eye exams are booked out months in advance. However, we keep emergency spots open for any patients that need to be seen immediately. Note that it’s also Christmas time, one of our busiest times of year because people have met their deductibles and want to be seen before the end of the year. I’m looking at the schedule one day and see a name I recognize. It’s a woman who’s called in several times wanting a regular eye exam with one and only one particular doctor, who happens to be the most popular doctor at our practice, whose schedule is the hardest to get into. But I see she’s coming in for an emergency situation, while said doctor is in the office, which should only take maybe half an hour — our regular eye exam patients are usually there for an hour and a half. Lucky me, I get her chart when she comes in. I walk her back to the exam room.)

Me: “So, what brings you in today? My note line states you’re having some new flashes and floaters?”

(We take these very seriously as they can mean a retinal detachment.)

Patient: “Oh, no, nothing like that. I just told them that because I knew I could get in. I just want my regular eye exam. You have to help me now that I’m here.”

Me: *dumbfounded* “One moment, ma’am.”

(I walk out of the room to talk to my doctor. She already has a completely booked schedule for the day and adding the extra testing would set her behind for all the other patients who had a legitimate appointment. Unfortunately, my doctor is also a super nice woman who tells me to go ahead and do the exam. I do the exam but inform the patient it will be a long wait due to the change in exam type because we now have different things we have to do and she’ll be placed in the wait box behind other patients who are already there — there were about three people in front of her. She says it’s fine and goes to wait in the waiting area. Ten minutes into waiting, she comes up to me complaining she still hasn’t seen the doctor yet. I tell her she will be seen as soon as it’s her turn. Apparently, that’s not good enough for her.)

Patient: “You dumb b****! I’m here for an emergency! I should be seen before all these people!”

Me: “Ma’am? You told me earlier you’re here for a regular eye exam, not the emergency you told them so you could be seen. My doctor was kind enough to let you stay in the schedule despite this. She will get to you as soon as she can.”

Patient: “That’s not my f****** problem. She needs to see me now!”

(My doctor heard the commotion as she was stepping out of her current exam room. She told me to just bring the patient in and she’d see her so she’d stop bothering everyone. The lady gave me a smug smile as she walked into the exam room. I hate when they reward bad behavior. Of course, that left me in a room with other patients who had actually been waiting their turns, glaring at me.)

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