Wait times in the emergency room (ER) can be very long, especially if your chief complaint is for something like a runny nose that is not an actual emergency. So if you do go to the ER for all your health needs without a second thought, follow these helpful tips to show the ER staff you are really sick and need to be taken to a room immediately:
- Ask for a vomit bag. Repeatedly dry heave and spit into it in the waiting room. Create a scene. Make the staff know you could vomit at any moment. After you spit two or three times in it, ask for a new bag.
- Tell the triage nurse “I typically have a high tolerance for pain.” They’ve never heard anyone say that. Ever. If you are in pain and have a high pain tolerance, it must be bad. Report pain level greater than 10/10 to let them know you’re serious.
- Report going to 3 other ERs in the past few days for the same complaint without successful management of pain. Tell them you need their best doctor to properly treat you.
- Tell them your primary care doctor advised they report to the ER immediately. ER staff roll out the red carpet when they hear that. If your doctor said you need admission, tell them right away. Just ignore the fact that your primary care doctor was too lazy to do a direct admit and dumped you on the ER staff.
- Tell them you need to leave by a certain time today for other life obligations. Your true medical emergency is not as important as taking kids to practice. ER staff understands and will whisk you to a room and personally see to it your deadlines are met. Patient satisfaction after all!
- Report your complaint as developing over several months. This way you prove you can handle it when it is not a big deal, so you showing up at 2 AM means it is getting serious.