Sometimes people don't grasp the concept of the word "EMERGENCY."
You know, like all the folks who come in with complaints of "vomited twice today" and "my toe is really sore" and "diarrhea four times."
And then there are the folks who just don't grasp that what is happening to them is a REAL EMERGENCY.
Like the young guy with chest pain radiating to the back and slight shortness of breath. Who had an aortic dissection. A big one. It was a miracle that he was feeling so well. The surgeons gathered around and told him and his wife what was going on and that he was going to go the OR within the hour. They agreed, but minutes later I heard the guy saying to his wife, "I really feel OK now. Why don't we go home and just make an appointment with Dr. So and So?"
I poked my head in and reiterated that the patient's life was in danger, and that they were coming to take him to the OR in about fifteen minutes. The couple was just not grasping what was going on with the situation. They wanted a second opinion. The wife actually asked if the man would be back at work on Monday. (Keep in mind that English was these people's only language!) It was all I could do to not say, "Your aorta is busting open. They need to fillet you like a fish and fix it. You will NOT be back at work on Monday." I ended up calling the docs to come back and re-explain everything with a patient rep standing there. We drew pictures. Finally they seemed to understand, and off to surgery he went.