Don't spit on me!

These are instructions I never thought I'd have to seriously use with another adult, but it happens on nearly a daily basis in the ER. Spitting is up there with the very worst of the worst of my peeves. It's disgusting, and there is something belittling about it and it infurates me even more than being kicked or hit.

But even spitting can be topped as a way to demean a nurse. I and another nurse were wrestling with a drunk teenager whose sibling had brought her in because now being drunk is an emergency (it's not; it is what happens when you consume alcohol, as is puking when you're drunk) necessitating fluids and Zofran so sweetie pie doesn't have a hangover in the morning. The sibling was freaking the eff out. "Is she going to be all right? OH MY GOD, I can't believe this is happening!"

The other nurse said, "She's just drunk. There's nothing wrong with her. She'll be fine."

Nothing doing. "OH MY GOD, sweetie, please be OK, please be OK!"

The patient was repeatedly spitting at me, crouched on the floor to start her (totally unnecessary) IV, and my coworker finally turned her face away and said "STOP SPITTING."

Sibling: "OH MY GOD, is that bad????"

Coworker: "It is for the nurse being spit on."

Sibling: "Huh?"

She never considered that.

What is wrong with people?