Working at triage during a busy Thursday night. Waiting room is packed, with patients languishing for several hours without being seen. Stretchers line the hallways in our treatment areas, the trauma room is full, and everything is backed up. I'm standing at the front desk, trying desperately to slow the constant surge of patients, when a young woman approaches me. She sits in the chair and, over the sounds of crying and screaming, I ask her what brings her to the Emergency Department today.
Patient: "Well, I was wondering if you had those whitening strips, you know, for the teeth?"