Healthcare Workers Are Sharing The Most Entitled Things Patients Have Ever Done, And It's Absolutely Brutal

    "I was in the middle of a code when another patient's family member stopped to remind me I hadn't brought them their coffee."

    Advocacy and entitlement are vastly different things. While patients seeking medical attention should advocate for themselves and have their concerns seriously addressed, it's also important to note the abuse many healthcare professionals face regularly while on the clock.

    Brightly lit hallway in a hospital

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community who work in healthcare to reveal the most entitled things their patients have ever done. Here are their shocking stories:

    Warning: Some submissions contain mentions of racism, body-shaming, and physical violence.

    1. "We were coding a patient in a three-patient ER room. One of the other patients moved the curtain and yelled to us that we could spare one person to get her her pain medication. 'NOW! That person is already dead!' We got the patient back, and when the ICU doctor came to assess the coded patient, the demanding patient stopped him to complain about her 'horrible' care and how no one was paying attention to her and 'she'd have to die to get attention.'"

    —Paul P., Facebook

    2. "I'm a nurse at a large hospital, and I had a patient with a PEG tube (a tube that goes into your stomach for meds and food). I crushed his meds and put them into the syringe to put in his PEG tube. He said I had taken too long to see him, so he grabbed the giant syringe out of my hand and squirted me in the face with his meds. Then, he picked up the phone and called 911 to tell them I was trying to murder him."


    Hand holding a syringe

    3. "I once had a patient who had to do bowel prep for surgery the following day. He also had to be hooked up to an IV all night because he wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything, but he needed hydration. I gave him the option of sleeping in his own pajamas with an early wake-up time to change into his hospital gown, or sleeping in his hospital gown and having a later wake-up time. He chose the latter. As I hooked him up to his IV, he asked how he would be able to have a bowel movement. I didn’t understand the question because he had just had two bottles of magnesium citrate, so I knew the bowel movements would be fast and furious soon enough. He was like, 'How do I do this with this hospital gown and IV?' I showed him how to roll his IV pole with him and demonstrated how he could lift his gown to use the bathroom. He said, 'But how do I do all that standing up?'"

    "I looked at him, utterly confused. He said, 'My proctologist has told me it is unnatural to sit while pooping. I always stand. I have for years. Really, everyone should.' I encouraged him to sit on the toilet because he would be experiencing diarrhea, but he absolutely refused. Fast forward to hours later when he was hitting the call bell because he literally shit all over the wall, mirror, and sink —basically everywhere but in the toilet — because he refused to sit on the toilet. I mopped up as much as I could with towels before calling the housekeeper because I didn’t want to leave all that mess for her."


    4. "Hospital employee here. During the height of the pandemic, only two people were allowed in labor and delivery. No children were allowed to visit. This entitled father thought it’d be a great idea to put his 2-year-old daughter in a suitcase and sneak her up to his wife’s room because 'she just wanted to meet her brother so badly,' all while filming it for TikTok to show how 'ridiculous' the rule was. Keep in mind his wife was discharging in two hours, and he could've waited and done this outside of the hospital. He put his 2-year-old in danger (Hello? You put your child in a closed up suitcase??) and so many others a risk because he was above the policy at the hospital. Yep, legal at the hospital got involved. The guy couldn't deny it because it was all over social media. He also included the name of the hospital in his video and multiple staff members' badges!"

    —Jordan D., Facebook

    A pink suitcase

    5. "I am a larger woman, and I work as an X-ray tech. There are two unbelievable comments I received that stick out in my mind. They left me completely shocked, and I give up my family, my time, and my other dreams to help my patients. The first comment was: 'You're too fat to work in healthcare.' The second comment came on a day I was assigned to the OR and was required to wear the provided OR scrubs, which OF COURSE are not a proper fit on my body. A woman stopped me in the public waiting room to tell me my scrubs did not fit and I looked disgusting. These are only two instances, but I could fill a book."


    6. "A patient cussed me out just yesterday because his call light was on (for 2 minutes and 13 seconds) and he needed ice. We literally had a rapid response going on IN THE HALLWAY because a dementia patient fell and cracked his head open and was unresponsive. He said, 'So I'm just supposed to die of thirst? No wonder this place has such a bad fucking reputation. You guys don't give a damn about anything! I've been trying to get someone in here for two minutes!'"


    Hospital call button

    7. "In my 12-hour night shift that just ended, I was called a bitch for something that happened on the shift before I even started, got blamed for 'spilling water' on someone who had urinated on themselves, and screamed at for 'not being on someone’s level' when I asked him to stop swearing at my poor 19-year-old nursing assistant. This is every day and every night. It doesn’t stop. Verbal assaults are the norm. It’s physical assaults that are the biggest problem. Many of the patients who physically assault healthcare professionals are confused, which leads us to not report them because it isn't their fault. But that doesn’t change the fact that last week I got kicked in the throat. I also got scratched. And the week before, I got pushed into a wall trying to stop a very confused man from running down the stairs trying to leave."

    "People grab, swat, kick, spit, and dig nails into us on a very regular basis. Yet we keep going to work day after day, just to get yelled at for only bringing two sugars instead of three for someone’s coffee we just took the time to brew for them."


    8. "I was in the middle of a code when another patient's family member stopped in to remind me I hadn't brought them their coffee."

    —Katie E., Facebook

    Coffee cup on a table

    9. "Resident physician here. The amount of entitlement and abuse my colleagues and I experience from patients is outrageous. I have been asked to get the 'real doctor' because I look too young and must not be knowledgeable enough. A patient threatened physical harm against me while also saying it would be on my conscience if they died. During peak COVID rises, a few unvaccinated, COVID-positive patients demanded treatment but vehemently denied they have COVID, even going so far as to continue arguing about treatment while I actively prepared them for intubation. I am a fierce advocate for all my patients. I just wish some patients would realize a little bit of kindness and respect are all we are asking for."


    10. "I’m an RN, and there are so many stories. A recent nightmare patient, who was completely mobile, used her call light every 10 minutes throughout the day, demanding that we hand her things from her table and do other tedious nonsense. She demanded that I call her son-in-law (who was an out-of-state doctor) multiple times throughout the day. She also demanded I give her a medicine that her attending MD would not prescribe. She didn’t care that he wouldn’t prescribe it. I was to get it from the med room and give it to her anyway. She knew I was pregnant and demanded I move her bed out and push a new one in, despite me telling her I needed to wait for help."

    "She knew I was waiting to get a urine sample, so she started telling me she had to pee to get me in the room to trick me into doing other things. The best was when she demanded that I change the background picture on her phone home screen. She went on to tell me at the end of the day that she received the worst care she’s ever had."


    A hospital bed next to a window

    11. "I was doing a consult in the ED when a random older man started screaming at me that he needed to pee and I needed to help him. I handed him the urinal, and suddenly his shoulders 'hurt too bad to hold it.' Guess who had to hold the urinal?"


    12. "I'm a pediatric nurse practitioner who's been in practice for 10 years. Recently, I had a parent ask if I even knew what medications to prescribe for his child, and then he said he DESERVED to see a doctor, not a nurse practitioner 'who doesn't know what she's doing.' Fun fact: I've been practicing longer than the three doctors I work with."


    Doctor writing a prescription

    13. "One of my favorites was when a patient started screaming at me for walking slowly and drinking coffee. They said I didn’t care and I should get a new job. I was walking into work; my shift hadn’t even started yet, and I wasn’t due to clock in for, like, 15 more minutes! But I agreed with him on one thing…I needed to get a new job!"

    —Stella M., Facebook

    14. "I just had a man who had a heart attack complain about having to be attached to the bedside monitor all night long. He would call every time his monitor would make any sort of noise. When you'd go in to see what he needed, he would just start saying 'beep beep beep beep' really loudly. So sorry keeping track of your heart rate/rhythm and blood pressure after a major health event interrupted your sleep. That was just the tip of the iceberg, too."

    —Brianna E., Facebook

    Heart monitor

    15. "I had a young male patient discharging himself because he 'didn’t want to share a hospital room with an Asian person.' We were full, so he couldn’t have another room. He threw a fit and left, despite doctors' advice. Bro, BYE."

    —Camilla N., Facebook

    16. "I had a man yell at me right after we got done doing a code blue because no one answered his call light during the code. He wanted a box of tissues. When I explained the situation to him, he said, 'I don't give a fuck! When I ring my call light, I expect it to be answered.' I told him I would remember that if he coded and I'd be sure to answer any call lights that rang."

    —Debra M., Facebook

    Nurses station

    17. "I once had a man who was complaining about the ER wait loudly announce that he wished his child 'fell and bumped her head' so they would be seen right away. He was sitting less than 10 feet away from a mother whose child was in the trauma bay for a head injury."

    —Sara R., Facebook

    18. "A woman ripped the curtains back on a patient who was being resuscitated to angrily demand the tea she’d missed because she’d gone for a wander at tea time."

    —Mel F., Facebook

    Doctor working behind a hospital curtain

    19. "We had an infant in the ER with foreign body airway obstruction. They had to be held upside down in order to breathe while attempts were made to remove the obstruction. Keep water bottle caps away from babies! A woman in the SAME room would not shut up about her TV remote not working. The charge nurse finally let her have it. It was beautiful to watch him scold her about her behavior."

    —Lisset G., Facebook

    20. "I used to work in the outpatient radiology department of a trauma center. Outpatient services were always second to any kind of emergency treatment. One day there had been a major accident, so outpatients were delayed. One woman came to the desk screaming that she would be late picking up her child. We offered to get her paperwork back so she could come another time and also offered a cordless phone so she could contact someone else to get her child. She took the phone and threw it at us. The manager came in to see what the ruckus was. Instead of siding with us, she took the lady and did the X-ray herself. We were later asked what WE could have done to prevent the situation. The manager hated the non-clinical staff. Needless to say, I don't work there anymore."


    X-ray machine in a hospital room

    21. Finally: "I once had a male patient involved in a motor vehicle accident who refused to be seen by a female or someone not of his race. He ignored all the female doctors who tried to assist him and only spoke to one doctor who he felt was capable (male and of the same race). Little did he know that the doctor he was speaking to was a junior and still in training, and the women doctors were all fully qualified residents in training!"


    If you've ever worked in healthcare and dealt with entitled patients, tell us your story in the comments below.

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.