Confess! Whats the craziest force of habit you've done in the "Real World" - page 8

by vhern246

61,044 Views | 218 Comments

I have heard some of the craziest things nurses have done out of force of habit in the "Real World". Aka out of the hospital. I've heard that some sign their checks with first initial, last name RN. Someone ran to aisle... Read More


  1. 5
    Quote from canesdukegirl
    Oh yeah, I sign my name with RN at the end! I used to knock on the doors at my house before entering a room. I look at someone with an unsteady gait and run through a list of diagnoses. I wash my hands all the way up to the elbows. I look at scars on people and can tell immediately what kind of surgery they had. I inspect my dog's poop (the neighbors think this is weird, but my husband is a paramedic, and he asks me for a detailed description). I bring alcohol pads with me to the movies to wipe down the 3D glasses. I have to stop short of autoclaving my shoes after a particularly bloody case. I use military time. When I am eating string cheese, I open it like a sterile package. When it snows, I wonder how many gamma nails I will be doing on old ladies that were bound and determined to walk down the steeply graded driveway to get the mail. When I hear a helicopter, I wonder if I will be doing transplants or traumas when I get to work.

    I can relate to that reaction to helicopters!----as well as to ambulances, on work nights.

    It's fun to watch my (ER night shift) coworkers' reactions, when they hear an ambulance being called out over the radio toward the end of the shift. EVERYONE within earshot involuntarily (and in unison) glances at the clock.
  2. 5
    When my kids were younger I used to calculate the amount of motrin, tylenol, etc. they should get according to their weight. I never went by what the bottle said.
  3. 1
    Just had another one happen tonight - was at an event with some fellow nurses, and one participant's son stepped on a sharp rock and cut his foot. As I'm cleaning and bandaging the injury, I reflexively ask, "When was your last tetanus shot?" Kid looks at me with a "What the?" face, kid's mom and other nurses fall over laughing.

    I've recently noticed that I've started using full hand gestures anytime I try to point at something. I caught myself doing it tonight (at the same event!) and thought "Oh God, I'm turning into a hospital zombie..."

    Also, add me to the list that has: knocked on every door I pass (occasionally caught myself calling out "Knock knock!" on curtain/screen type doors, too), heard call bells and pump alarms in places outside the hospital, thought "What flavor of resus will it be THIS time?" when seeing ambulances under lights and siren, never learned any other way to make a bed than with mitered corners and hung pillows, used r/t and s/p in text, and eyeball assessed people in stores.
    Race Mom likes this.
  4. 1
    some of my "sins":

    signing rn after my name on a check, tax return, yw membership card, church collection envelope.:d

    lusting over fantastic veins.

    asking my husband when he and the dog come in after his first walk of the day, to describe the amount,
    color, consistency etc. of the dog poop! he reminds me that when he goes, i don't really need all the gory details!

    Sherriblu likes this.
  5. 5
    Quote from MichelleB34
    When my kids were younger I used to calculate the amount of motrin, tylenol, etc. they should get according to their weight. I never went by what the bottle said.
    I don't think that's crazy, but careful!

    My daughter had "malabsorption syndrome" in her first 5 years, and due to that she became much more ill when having any bug. Ear infections quickly advanced to her mastoids, etc. I didn't think (and still don't) that it was wrong to keep "nurses' notes" to record vitals, meds, symptoms, etc. Yet her doctors did.... until I found the right one, who diagnosed the syndrome (after 6 others failed to do so ). The winner (in Beverly Hills, CA) read my notes. He got to see her for those years, and I got to drive hours to get there.....

    I think medical professionals are dead wrong in giving the same dose of medications to a 350 pound woman, as a 160 pound man gets. The effect just isn't the same, which they'd know by reading properly recorded "nurses' notes".
  6. 4
    i've signed checks and credit card slips with "rn."

    i check my husband at night to make sure he's breathing.

    i've fallen asleep in the in the middle of an intersection while driving home on the night shift and waiting to turn left, on the subway -- the janitor woke me up at the end of the line so he could clean, and once standing up during a code. (long story.) i've woken up at 5:00 and not known whether it was day or night and whether or not i needed to be at work. that one is an awful feeling!

    i hear ventilator alarms and arrhythmia monitors in my sleep and once woke my husband up by telling him to "change the f-ing parameters on your monitor, you jack---!" fortunately, he was amused. i've answered the phone "nurse's station, can i help you?" when i'm at home and "this is ruby" when i'm at work.

    i used to check out veins in my youth, but don't bother anymore unless they're garden hoses.
  7. 0
    i work on a cardiac floor that specializes in chf...i cant help but to look at peoples legs when i am out in public. i always am looking for edema and seeing what kind of shape their legs are in.

    i am a new nurse so i definitely look at peoples veins to see if i think i could get the access...i dont know why i would need it since they are not my patients and probably never will be! haha!

    i also like to try and diagnose the people that i see walking on the street.

    those are my first few nursing things i do...i have wanted to sign rn after my name, but stopped myself before i did it!
  8. 2
    These are great!
    It's nice to know I am not the only one who has picked up habits like this.
    I definitely check out arms for good veins. I look at people in public places and diagnose them. I have answered the phone like I am at work. I dream of call lights or monitors and IV pumps. I have woken up out of a deep sleep because I dreamed I had forgotten to do something really important (when I was new, I actually called work a couple of times to make sure whatever it was got done...I don't do that anymore because I just get laughed at). I wash my hands more often now, and when I pass through a doorway, I often catch myself reaching up for the hand sanitizer that is outside every room on my unit. I also avoid telling strangers I am a nurse, because I always get "I have this (fill in the blank) what do you think it is?" It's bad enough from my family.
    opdahlamber and Esme12 like this.
  9. 1
    HELPPPPP!!!!

    Last night I had a dream I was doing Peri care on a dummy they have in the CNA class! But today when i did it for practice I was great at it. Did everything perfect. I even remembered to put the bed down. I hope tonight I can sleep w/o notice of my dreams lol. That is all I have on my mind. Personal care, safety, is the bed down, did I pull the curtain, can they reach the call bell. ACCKKKKK!!!! If I am going to be dreaming of these things I think I am going to take advantage of if. In lab today I did great on my tasks didn't forget anything. Tonight I think I am going to be going over the supply list we got for all the tasks. I keep forgetting what I need other then the basics. .

    Samantha
    meintheUSA likes this.
  10. 2
    When my Grandma started coughing really bad, I subconsciously reached for my (not there) pocket for my (not there) stethoscope.
    kiszi and NocturneRN like this.


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