We accidentally irritated a patient who had to wait forever for a prescription. It was our fault and I apologized. See, there was a pesky little drug interaction between something she was already taking and the antibiotic her doctor prescribed her this beautiful wintry morning. We diligently phoned her physician and explained to the patient why it was taking so long and that we had to wait to hear back from the doctor. It could save your life, we said. Patient continued to call us all day for it. I politely suggested she contact the office herself if it was such a great emergency. I explained the doctor may want to change it...then again, she may not.
Irritated Patient: "I don't know why you're keeping my medicine from me."
Me: "WE are not. WE are trying to prevent your untimely demise from a serious drug interaction."
IP: "I have been going to that doctor for over 10 years now. My doctor knows me and would certainly not give me anything I couldn't have!"
Me: "You would be surprised."
IP: "What is the medication she prescribed, then?"
Me: "She wrote for this antibiotic."
IP: "What? She knows I can't take that!"
Me: "As I said. You'd be surprised. Now can you have a seat and wait for her to call back with something else?"
IP: "I'm just going to call her again. She was in a hurry. I'm sure she just didn't notice it..."
Me: "Right. But we did. So you're welcome. Oh, and thanks for yelling at my staff all day. Thanks for calling us 14 times over the last 3 or 4 hours. Thanks for taking us away from helping other people. Perhaps other doctors were rushed and we needed to call them for other patients. Thanks for thinking your prescription is more important. Thanks for absolutely absolving your doctor of any blame in your irritated situation today. Thanks for laying it all squarely on us. Yep, your doctor did no wrong, but we made you wait by actually doing our jobs. Again, you are welcome. Come again.