The dumbest thing I ever said to a patient. - page 2

by KalipsoRed21

9,720 Views | 30 Comments

So have you been with a patient and for some reason your mind quits working and some stupid opinion or thought (not appropriate) comes slipping out of your mouth? Well that's what I did today and I've been thinking (and... Read More


  1. 4
    Quote from TeenyTinyBabyRN
    In the NICU, when a baby bradys, the first thing we ussually do is "stimulate" them to try to bring their heart rate back up. We ussually pat their butt or rub their feet. Well, I had taken one of my patients out of the isolette to feed. Mean while, my other pateint decides to brady. I ask my podmate if they could, "go smack him for me," to help him out of his brady. I then realize one of the parents was in the pod and heard my poor choice of words.

    I can't think of any right now,since I have been an RN. Before I was a nurse i was a medical assistant for eye surgeons. Sometimes I worked a peds clinic. We always put dilating eye drops in the babies eyes before the eye exam. Once when I was in an exam room with a mom and baby, a coworker walked in and said "did you drop the baby yet" and i said "no, i will in a minute"...and the poor mom looked at me like i was nuts. We had a laugh after i explained what we meant. Needless to say we changed our phrasing to not freak out the poor moms.


    One more: During eye exams, I would hand the patient an eye mask/paddle to block one eye to read the eye chart. I would always say "please put this up to your eyes and place on the bridge of your nose" then they would read the eye chart. well, one day it was very busy and somehow I got out of my routine. I gave a patient a tissue (another common thing done because we put dilating eye drops in their eyes). After handing the patient the tissue I said...."please put this up to your eyes on the bridge of your nose...." I didn't realize what i had said/done until the person looked at me with a questioning look and the put the tissue on the bride of their nose. Boy did I feel stupid....and so did they.
  2. 5
    I was admitting a pt that was a double amputee at the groin and I asked him how tall he was. Luckily he had a sense of humor and just laughed.
  3. 4
    I have a problem being too nosey, yes....I admit it, I am a curious cat. I say dumb things all the time.

    So this is how it usually goes: Me: So what'd you go to jail for? Oh..... Awkward pause..

    I once had this dude, tatted up, big, bulky and totally gang memberish. He was in for GSW X4 or something, so this is how this one played out:

    Me: So, was it a drive by or something?

    Pt: Um, NO! You think I'm in a gang or something??

    Me: Oh, I'm sorry. So who shot you?? (probably none of my business)

    Pt: The cops....I wasnt even doing nothin...

    Me: Riiiiiiight (yet another moment of awkwardness)
    MassED, TeenyTinyBabyRN, hnh573, and 1 other like this.
  4. 1
    I had a pt who was post-op penile implant. Why he came to Rehab, I have yet to figure out. Anyway- he was a real whiner - kept complianer about his "post-op pain". At one point, I lost it - I said "What that did you expect for sticking thing where they don't belong".

    The moment the words came out of my mouth I regretted them.Thankfully, the pt had a great sense of humour and was great after that, in fact, he gave me a bottle of wine on d/c as a"reward" for getting him on the right tract to d/c.
    TeenyTinyBabyRN likes this.
  5. 5
    Hospice clinical rotation.

    Client in bed hours from death.

    Hi Mr. X how are you today?

    *slaps self in back of head*
  6. 4
    Ok, I will share this one. I once told my s/p laryngectomy pt, as I was leaving his room, to "just holler if you need anything!" Ugh I wanted to die right after I said it. Thank God he had a sense of humor!
  7. 3
    well, this was hilarious and totally inappropriate... but.... as it sometimes gets in the ER, here goes..

    a bunch of us were logrolling a patient and I had to get in next to my coworker and had no available spot to grab to assist in turning. I said "I have no hole to grab" (referring to the EMS backboard places to grip) and my coworker said "I have a hole right here." The patient laughed, everyone in the room laughed.... it was ridiculous and terrible inappropriate, but everyone got a kick out of it.
    floridanurse1983, teeniebert, and PM76 like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from kalipsored21
    so have you been with a patient and for some reason your mind quits working and some stupid opinion or thought (not appropriate) comes slipping out of your mouth?

    well that's what i did today and i've been thinking (and beating myself) about it all day. what i'm about to share is not my best day of nursing, but it is funny as hell. i have no idea why i said what i said, but here comes the story....

    i was in the er working and i had a 18 year old female with abdominal pain. her mother and grandmother were at the bedside and for the first hour and a half we all got along and were doing swimmingly. then it happend. the grandmother and mother brought up, in a shaming manner, that the 18 year old had tried a few cigarettes lately. in an effort to help i said, out loud, that the only recreational drug i'd never seen kill anyone was marijuana. (my next thoughts were omg! ***** why did i say that?!)

    well i know why i said it... in the 8 years that i've worked in medicine i truely have never seen any one die from side effects or complications of smoking pot. i've never seen anyone come in for a marijuana overdose. when i worked on my lung/cardiac floor i never met one patient that had heart problems or lung cancer related to marijuana (heroine, cocaine, and tobacco, yes....pot? no). i'm not stating this to justifiy that what i said to my patient was anywhere close to okay. just to let you know what i was thinking about when i said it.

    well needless to say my good working relationship with the family tanked fast even after apologizing plus informing my manager on my own as to what i did. attempts to try to explain myself were not heard and apologies were not accepted even after stating that i was in the wrong.

    i cried about it for a while, but then i couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of the whole transaction.

    anyone else's mouth and brain not coordinating well?
    hey, you can't help but pass along fact, and anyone who has any experience knows this to be true. oh well that they couldn't handle this and were afraid she'd then try it, but it's not anything to be ashamed of, and i certainly wouldn't have outed myself to my manager as though you said anything wrong. that's up to the patients family (she is an adult at 18, by the way) if they feel the need to have a discussion about marijuana. you could have then discussed all of the horrible facts about other drugs and things you've seen, but if they weren't willing to hear it, then just wink to the 18 year old and leave. some people are so ignorant and prudish that they'll never hear anything reasonable.
    oklahomagal likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from RN Sam
    Told a patient with paranoid schizophrenia that Seroquel may cause suicidal thoughts. He was admitted to psych unit the next week. I didn't see it the chart but my name should have been mentioned in the reason for admission. This was as a student but since then I choose my words carefully and ALWAYS consider the diagnosis of the patient.
    sorry, but that is hilarious.
    floridanurse1983 likes this.
  10. 2
    I had a patient this last week in for bad pneumonia who did not want to be here and was yelling and screaming and wanting to leave. She was not getting enough oxygen to her brain and was AMS. I had to go in and do her foley with 2 other male techs and she was like what is a foley? I explained to her what it was and she got mad. Was wondering where he husband was because if he comes she "has to" to have sex with him and she cannot do it with a foley. The other tech was like "honey you are not going to be having sex while you are here." She threw a big yelling match over needing sex and the foley. I tried so hard not to laugh.
    floridanurse1983 and Anoetos like this.


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