Impoliteness strategies at a Jordanian hospital Emergency Room
Impoliteness as a natural phenomenon is observed in many face-to-face encounters. It is employed to cause offense and attack the face of the hearer and sometimes over-hearers. One of the researchers who was working at the University of Jordan Hospital noticed that patients and/or their relatives use verbal and nonverbal impolite behaviour when addressing the hospital staff and doctors. In order to investigate the various strategies utilised by Arabic speaking patients and/or their relatives to express impoliteness towards the Emergency Room (ER) staff at a Jordanian hospital, observation and note-taking were used to collect the impolite instances for a period of 30 days during April 2014. A total of 100 face-to-face interactions, which included impolite expressions were collected. The results of the study showed that the patients and their relatives used 208 impoliteness instances while interacting with the admin staff, nurses and doctors. The most used strategy of impoliteness was ‘bald on record impoliteness’ followed by ‘negative impoliteness’, ‘positive impoliteness’, ‘sarcasm or mock politeness’ and ‘withhold politeness’. The study concludes that the various types and strategies of impoliteness used by the patients and/or their relatives were aiming at offending and threatening the face of the hospital staff and doctors, and this behaviour, as observed in the various interactions that took place, could be attributed to their dissatisfaction of the health care services provided.