Family Members and their pearls of wisdom...

  1. 12
    I don't think a shift goes by where I don't shake my head and think "what is wrong with people??"

    Here are some gems I've heard recently from patients' families:

    While I'm meeting/vitaling a new ED pt, pt's 50-something son says:
    "Hey are you into music?"
    Me: "um, sure"
    Son: "So you like Amy Winehouse?"
    Me: "uh, no, that's not really my thing, why do you ask?"
    Son: "Oh I just love turning people on to music."
    oookay, so this would be a perfect time to do that, with your sick dad right here, and someone you just met 5 seconds ago...

    In triage, a clearly manic patient comes in and starts spewing out a litany of complaints, including how he has been off his psych meds for a while (shocker). The woman accompanying him interrupts him and says to me
    "Do I gotta stay here? Cuz I don't wanna stay here"
    Me: "umm I don't even know who you are, how would you like me to answer that question??"

    While precepting a new RN, I hear screaming and yelling coming from the room where she has just gone to start an IV. I quickly run in to see the elderly patients daughter screaming "Yeah! Stick her hard! Stick her good!" ?!?! How do people like this even exist???

    A young girl is brought to an exam room and the first thing her boyfriend says "she needs something to eat. She has not eaten all day"
    My verbal response: " I'm sorry, she cannot eat until she is seen by a doctor."
    In my head I'm thinking "who has been stopping this young and healthy woman from eating all day, and why is that now my problem? And if that has anything to do with why she is here, i.e. nausea/vomiting etc, then why on earth is THIS the very moment that she MUST eat?!?"

    A young guy marches up to triage and yells: Robert Smith!! (name has been changed)
    Me: Umm, what about him? Is there something I can help you with?
    Guy: Yes! We are here to pick him up!
    My verbal response: "Okay he is in spot 12, make a right and a left..."
    In my head: Did you really expect me to know what you wanted by his name alone????
    Last edit by R!XTER on Jul 11, '12 : Reason: one more :)
    beckster_01, sapphire18, Fins Up!, and 9 others like this.
  2. 34 Comments so far...

  3. 13
    Quote from R!XTER

    While precepting a new RN, I hear screaming and yelling coming from the room where she has just gone to start an IV. I quickly run in to see the elderly patients daughter screaming "Yeah! Stick her hard! Stick her good!" ?!?! How do people like this even exist???


    Quote from R!XTER
    A young guy marches up to triage and yells: Robert Smith!! (name has been changed)
    Me: Umm, what about him? Is there something I can help you with?
    Guy: Yes! We are here to pick him up!
    My verbal response: "Okay he is in spot 12, make a right and a left..."
    In my head: Did you really expect me to know what you wanted by his name alone????
    How about the people who come up to you and say, "How is my grandmother?" Um WHO is your grandmother? Then they get made when you ask for a name. I'm sorry...I have no idea who YOU are.
    Scarlette Wings, Dazglue, Paws2people, and 10 others like this.
  4. 23
    Not a family member, but the patient herself:

    Patient scheduled for a colonoscopy at our outpatient facility at 0900. Calls me at 0800 to tell me that she was "actually starving", just "couldn't wait" and had her boyfriend get her a full McBreakfast Combo Meal. But she wasn't calling to cancel, oh no....she just wanted us "to know"....for WHAT?? Did she think I was curious as to whether she preferred muffin or croissant greaseburgers??

    Told her she'd have to reschedule, as we would not be doing her colonoscopy that morning....or that day. And SHE GOT MAD AT ME. Kid you not. "What did I go through that f--... bowel prep for two days for if you won't do it today?" Seriously? My answer: "Sorry, ma'am, I don't know what you did the bowel prep for, either, if you weren't going to wait another hour to get the procedure".

    She hung up on me. I was fine with that since I had just reached my 'maximum fill line' of Stupid.
    Scarlette Wings, beckster_01, Dazglue, and 20 others like this.
  5. 22
    "My mother/father/sister/boyfriend/girlfriend has been RUSHED here in an ambulance!" In my head, "no they haven't". To the visitor, "what is their name?". They then look quizzically at me and get impatient because obviously, the only person that has been rushed to a tertiary hospital in an ambulance is their relative. Plus, I know that I haven't had any phone calls with sirens in the background, and about 5 crews are waiting to unload non-critical patients.

    "Her drink has definately been spiked, she can drink way more than this without being unconscious". Thanks for letting me know, and remind me to congratulate her on throwing up all over herself, the floor, the ambulance, wetting herself and taking an hour and a half of my time away from the girl in excruciating pain with the ruptured ectopic. And no, her drink was not spiked, but in the state she is in, bad things could definately have happened.

    "You're not taking this seriously, this is ridiculous, he is bleeding" (said strategically loudly for the waiting room to hear). The patient's son is concerned about the bloodstained sputum that dad is spitting out. He had his bottom teeth removed 2/52 ago and is on warfarin so obviously, I am slowly letting him die in the waiting room. I ask to see the bag of tissues- nothing to worry about. Should I have explained the difference between my idea of bleeding and his? I give him an emesis bag and some more tissues- if looks could kill.

    My all time favourite. Pt. arrives in ambulance with vague complaints of nausea / vomiting / abdo pain. Hyperventilating and being very dramatic with boyfriend in tow. After a quick work up it is decided that young lady is after some sedatives and/or narcotics. Decision is made to place patient in a therapeutic location, the waiting room. Patient actually blocks the doors with her legs screaming as nurse tries to wheel her out there. Finally get her into WR. You know what's coming don't you- Pseudo seizure! Boyfriend harrassing at triage, then she throws herself on the floor in front of the triage desk and throws herself around. The patients boyfriend yells this "The paramedics told me what this was, I can't believe you're not doing anything, she is having a PSEUDO SEIZURE!!!!". "You're right, she is". After a minute or so, she gets up, throws something at me and walks out. Has another performance in the front garden. Our fantastic police officers then arrest them for public nuisance.
    monkeybug, Silverlight2010, KatePasa, and 19 others like this.
  6. 1
    These stories are hilarious!
    IowaKaren likes this.
  7. 7
    I love when people call the hospital to find out about "Bob" or "Nancy." Or come to the floor wanting to know what room is "Mike" in. And they don't KNOW the last name. And get mad when you won't run through EVERY single patient in the hospital to figure out who they want to see.
    Dazglue, GrnTea, pomegranate, and 4 others like this.
  8. 6
    I always love it when someone comes in asking for "my cousin", who they think is named Joe, but they don't know their last name, or why they are in the hospital. --... you're not really the cousin. go away.
  9. 1
    How about the random person who stops you in the hall and says, "where's Joe Smith? He's not in his room." A. Who are you? B. Joe Smith is not my patient so C. Why would I know where he is? I used to get that kind of thing all the time in the hospital. That wasn't as bad as when doctors would walk into the back room though and say "who's taking care of Joe Smith?" Check the board. Then they come back, "Well where's Sue?" Am I her keeper? She has a phone number, call her.

    Similar to the colonoscopy patient, when I worked in the hospital if I had a patient on-call for the OR, somehow I was supposed to magically know what minute they would be brought down and physically go down to the OR to tell the surgeon to hurry about because Mr. Jones wanted him to know that his kid is hungry and that he's gonna feed him if we don't get him down there right that minute. And then all you can do is say, "Sir, if you feed your child we're going to have to go through this all over again tomorrow..."
    SwansonRN likes this.
  10. 0
    Thanks for the laughs!
  11. 11
    My favorite of all time is: if the doctor doesnt come to see me right now, I am leaving! I want to say "do you promise?" But what I actually do is grab the AMA form. LOL


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