Patients with interesting occupations (or not)

  1. Since we have a thread going on patients who are dependant on the government for healthcare due to their dire straits, I thought I would start one on patients with interesting or colorful occupations.

    I find that asking a patient about their jobs is often a great icebreaker. Sometimes I'm very surprised to find a patient whom I initially judge to be a needy 'loser' ends up having an 'important' occupation. Someone who seems relatively 'highbrow' might end up having been an underachiever who has not acheived worldly success in life.

    Sometimes I'll really get treated to a facinating conversation with a retired gentleman who has had an illustrious or colorful career. I love finding out about patients, and most people love talking about themselves!
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  2. 51 Comments

  3. by   feebebe23
    I once had a patient claim she was an undercover agent for the FBI. She left AMA so many times her doctor dismissed her from his practice. She wasn't that bright.....I think she needed psyc help

    But what do you say when a patient claims this as her employment....I just hope that our government has better judgement that to have an undercover agent who was smart enough not to leave AMA 7mo pregnant with a BP of 180/110....
  4. by   FireStarterRN
    I had a retired gentleman recently who had been very high up in a large university, and an expert in the education of educators. He had lived in India for a number of years helping set up a university there. He had thouroughly enjoyed his illustrious career, yet was also totally enjoying retirement. He said that his main hobby now was traveling the world with his wife. He was facinating.
  5. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from feebebe23
    I once had a patient claim she was an undercover agent for the FBI. She left AMA so many times her doctor dismissed her from his practice. She wasn't that bright.....I think she needed psyc help

    But what do you say when a patient claims this as her employment....I just hope that our government has better judgement that to have an undercover agent who was smart enough not to leave AMA 7mo pregnant with a BP of 180/110....
    LOL, I have had some patients whose claims to acheivement did seem bogus in light of the fact that they were being followed closely by Mental Health and their insurance carrier was Medicaide, not the top notch university they claimed to work for.
  6. by   leslie :-D
    i find most of my pts life stories, fascinating.
    there are too many to choose from.

    i had a pt who graduated from, and was a professor at a well-known, prestigious ivy league school.
    he was also a published author.
    when i got him, he was ravaged by his paranoid schizophrenia.
    his life story had been confirmed.
    and he wrote me a profound and lovely poem, before he died.

    i recall another pt who prided herself in being the best damn hooker on the streets.
    that she and her kids never had to go on welfare or medicaid.
    that her kids went to private school, and wore the finest clothes.
    she was truly proud of her salary and her independence.
    and also proud of being a top-notch mom.

    i could go on and on with stories.
    i've met some incredible characters.

    leslie
  7. by   bagladyrn
    Don't be too quick to doubt your pt's claims - even psych pts. Many years ago I worked in a large psych facility. One of the pts. made what were considered grandiose claims to have played with the Grateful Dead. Everyone sort of went - "Yeah, right" until the day Jerry Garcia turned up to visit him.
  8. by   EmmaG
    Years ago, I was honored to care for a wonderful Native American gentleman who was a medicine man. His knowledge of herbal and natural remedies was astounding. I spent hours at his bedside, listening to his stories.
  9. by   njbikernurse
    At my first job out of LPN school, I had a patient who was a nun. Whenever I had to do a dressing change on her sacral wound, I felt so weird looking at a nun's butt. She was alert and oriented, maybe it was weird for her too!
  10. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from bagladyrn
    Don't be too quick to doubt your pt's claims - even psych pts. Many years ago I worked in a large psych facility. One of the pts. made what were considered grandiose claims to have played with the Grateful Dead. Everyone sort of went - "Yeah, right" until the day Jerry Garcia turned up to visit him.
    I had an older gentleman who claimed to have played with a famous old country guitarist, his name eludes me right now, it might have been Merle Haggard. His story sounded believable actually. He had some serious heart damage which he admitted likely resulted from all the 'Bennies' they used to take. He said the amphetimine use was very common among the country music people in Nashville.. There were some other famous starts he mentions, I can't remember them. I enjoyed his stories and his frankness even if they might have been exaggerated.
  11. by   Faeriewand
    I just took care of a gentleman who had a career in the navy. He was on the PT boat with John Kennedy. He really liked him. Said he was nice. Went to the White House too.

    I asked him about Pearl Harbor Day and he told me the story about being in San Diego on the naval base and talking to his girl on the teletype (?) and the operator came on and told him to get off, that Pearl Harbor had just been attacked. He ran out across the street and told some guys and they didn't believe him. When he got back to his office all the higher ups were there and it was chaos. Very interesting!
  12. by   txspadequeenRN
    i had a patient in rehab about a year ago who was telling me he had wrote a very famous country song. i mean a cornerstone country song...it is a song in which all country songs were built upon . he also mentioned that he was going to be awarded a award that next week. i just talked with him about it and went on...well guess what he did write that famous song and i saw him get his award on tv...lol ya never know who u are talking to.
  13. by   Myxel67
    When I was still working in CCU, I had an elderly pt with a broken arm and pneumonia. When I spoke to him I told him that his unusual name seemed familiar to me. Turns out he was a famous political cartoonist from Cuba. His name was familiar to me because I am a huge fan of Mad Magazine. From my early teens I had ejoyed this talented man's Spy vs Spy and Spy vs Spy vs Spy cartoons. If anyone remembers these cartoons, the Spies' sharp noses were identical to the nose of their creator!

    Unfortunately, it was his right arm that was in a cast, so I didn't get a cartoon.
  14. by   woody62
    I had two very interesting patients, years apart. One was a former governor, whose brother was the governor of the state I lived and worked in. His brother was a real horse's a** but he was a real sweetheart. And shared some interesting stories about Trickie Dick and his daughters.

    The other one was a WC client who told me that he was going to have to leave the state to testify at a drug dealer's trial. I came to see him one day and found his plate, his wife's plate and his young son's plate with half eaten dinner on them. I called the U.S. Marshal Service, told them who I was, who he was, who the insurance company was. Of course they denied knowing anything about him. A short time later, my office got a call to pack up all our files on him, including billing ones. And that they would be picked up. And we were to forget we had ever had him as a client. We did but I got a call two years later from someone looking for him. I called 'you know who' and they took care of the individual who called me. Can't remember his name to save my soul.

    Woody

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