the ED. But the key syllable here should be ~ONE!
Ok, so I'll make an exception for kids so both parents can be at the
bedside. But you don't need both parents, all the siblings, both sets
of grandparents and the next-door neighbor at the bedside in our tiny,
eight-bed pediatric ER. Also, having all of you stalk me and
individually ask me the same questions is going to drive me batty.
Also, all of you are freaking LOUD, and the parents with the septic
infant in the next bed do not appreciate the party atmosphere.
Speaking of a party atmosphere, there is a large community of people
in the neighborhood of the hospital who ALL show up when one of their
number is hospitalized. I'm not talking about ten people here. I'm
talking at least 50 that I can recognize, and that doesn't include the
various children they drag along with them. Whenever a relative is in
the ED, the chaos starts: there is a constant parade of relatives in
and out of the ED; the relatives in the waiting room monopolize the
TVs and eat food that some one of their group has cooked out on the
street in the back of their car. It would be just like a tailgate
party, except that the people with migraines and nausea and vomiting
don't need to be exposed to the noise of the partygoers and the smell
of their food as they wait to be called back to a bed.
The party crowd are an emotional and dramatic bunch, and it's not
unusual for fights to break out that require security to intervene.
Once a husband and wife had such a knock-down-drag-out fight, I had to
triage them both: him for "chest pain" and anxiety, and her for
screaming, "I want to die and kill you too!" as the police dragged her
out (because of course this is homicidal AND suicidal ideation and the
cops wanted her to get checked out by a psychiatrist first). And I
ended up triaging one of the cops, too, because she bit him.
Look, the ED Is not the place for your family reunion. Go rent a hall
or go to a park, or whatever.