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The Patient Was Angry. It Was Intimidating.

Please don’t scream at me, I want to keep you safe. An anonymous story.

It was Thursday at my freestanding ambulatory surgery center. I arrived to the preoperative area to do my evaluation of my first anesthesia patient, a prostate biopsy.

The physician assistant and nurse warned me. The patient was angry.

He had coffee with milk just before he arrived, which would delay his surgery. He also arrived too early to the facility and was unable to reach a bathroom before he soiled himself. So he was angry.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists considers coffee a clear but not the milk to be a clear, requiring him to have to wait six hours from the time he had his beverage.

I politely introduced myself and confirmed the coffee with milk. Finished at 6am.

I tried to offer him options of what we could do: delay surgery, reschedule for another day, or do the procedure without anesthesia.

But I couldn’t finish my sentence.

He just kept yelling at me: this hospital is the worst, I was fine during my colonoscopy, I can’t wait, etc.

And he kept screaming.

And screaming.

 

He just kept yelling at me: this hospital is the worst, I was fine during my colonoscopy, I can’t wait, etc. And he kept screaming. And screaming. Click To Tweet

 

And then he started egging me on saying I was going to yell at him. But I didn’t.

And I wasn’t going to. I just wanted to finish my sentences.

But I realized I wasn’t going to get through to him.

That he wasn’t going to listen to me tell him that I wasn’t going to risk him aspirating.

As I left his preoperative room, he got up and was screaming at me as I left. It was intimidating.

The charge nurse suggested we call security to escort him out. Yes! I told the patient he would be escorted out.

 

As I left his preoperative room, he got up and was screaming at me as I left. It was intimidating.

 

He stopped screaming, closed the door and got dressed.

Please don’t scream at me. I want to keep you safe. I want to send you home and not to another hospital.

Please be understanding. I am a human too.

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