Nursing Superstitions?

  1. 4
    What are your nursing superstitions? Here are a few of mine...

    - I become paranoid if, during report, someone explicitly states a pt is a "full code" (we don't normally note code status unless a pt is a DNR) OR if there is a leaf magnet in one of our wall bedside chart storage thingies (leaf magnet placed on a pt's door = pt died)

    - A doctor turns to me and says, "Keep an eye on him/her" or "Call me if ANYTHING changes"

    - I will NEVER say, "Man it's a pretty good/calm/quiet/boring/etc. day today!" until I am clocked out and have left the hospital!

    - I work days, not nights, so it's always the day AFTER a full moon that = chaos for me
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  3. 42 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    The physicians I work with always tease me about how paranoid I am...

    1). NEVER say the "Q" word (quiet) or the "S" word (slow).
    It never fails that the you know what will hit the fan whenever someone says this. Case in point, when I was a nurse extern on a peds floor in nursing school I used to work nights. One night around 11 pm, we sent home a lot of our staff for the night b/c it was dead. We only had like 3-4 patients. So there were two nurses and me. Around 1 am, Tina (who was my mentor and I LOVED) propt her feet up on the desk at the nurses desk, leaned back in her chair and said, "GOSH it is SO slow tonight!" 8-10 admissions later (I am not kidding) and we had to call back all of the people we sent home in the middle of the night I was ready to kill her.

    One of the attendings I work with will always remark on the slowness of a day when she is on call. Never fails, she will have the night from hell. I tease her all the time about NEVER saying it!!!

    Another one of my attendings ALWAYS has the black cloud when he is on call. If something horrible, weird, bad is going to happen, it is when he is on call. Last year we had 3 really bad snowstorms. He lives about 45 minutes away from the hospital and has to spend the night in his office on a mattress on the floor (we don't have overnight call rooms) b/c they never plow his driveway. Guess who was on call for all three storms and had to stay at the hospital for days. You got it! It is uncanny what happens to him whenever he is on call. Does not ever happen to the other two attendings I work with.

    My dad was the same way. He is an anesthesiologist and used to cover the post open heart ICU years ago. The nurses LOVED him but HATED it when he was on call b/c someone ALWAYS crumped when he was on call. Everytime!

    2) Full moon- brings all the crazy people out. Just weird stuff happens. Half the time I don't even realize it is a full moon until later.

    3) NEVER say the first and last name of your frequent fliers that drive you nuts. If you speak their whole name out loud, you WILL be hearing from them, usually in a crisis. We always try to use initials...and if someone ever slips and says the whole name, they are responsible for dealing with them when they call/come in etc.
  5. 3
    1. Fully believe in the full-moon "theory" (or as I call it, reality).

    2. Any day I want to be low-censused, if requested, will be busier than any other day that week.

    3. Working nights, any time I am sleep deprived, even if I say the "s" work, it will still be slow......causing me to do the head bob

    4. When someone says "boy, so-and-so hasnt acted up for a while" you know you will be getting the restraints out soon.

    5. If someone asks about how to do a code blue, you will be showing them soon.

    I think basically in nursing, its a "ask and you shall receive" profession :-)
  6. 2
    All of the above, plus...things always happen in threes. Deaths, codes, people quitting, even weird injuries or illnesses. As a school nurse I might not see an earache for a couple months then, without fail, I get three in one day.
    NurseLoveJoy88 and canesdukegirl like this.
  7. 1
    Agreed with the comments about Q****, S*** and our favorite, L****. "Oh, this should be a light assignment..." will invariably turn out to contain: A) the most demanding patient on the unit, B) at least one patient who "looks good from the doorway" but actually is right on the edge of crumping, and C) a good patient with a family from Hell.

    The patient who everyone agrees is going to die on this shift, who the residents and attendings are all betting on the exact time of death, who the nurses all say it'd be a mercy if he/she did - won't. Three other patients will code in the meanwhile, and this poor soul will still be lingering on two weeks later.

    The bit about the full moon is also far truer than any superstition has a right to be. Has anyone ever actually done a study on ED volumes and acuity r/t moon phases?
    Malpal23 likes this.
  8. 1
    Any night I can't sleep - the following day shift will be NUTS!

    If you walk in the door thinking "I'm going to send a patient to the ER today" it will happen.

    Hot days are crazier than cold ones.
    Malpal23 likes this.
  9. 2
    I work with an old-school nurse from the deep south who'll tie a knot in the corner of a patient's sheet, because she believes it'll keep them alive.
    KaroSnowQueen and heyitsjaii like this.
  10. 1
    Quote from Mike A. Fungin RN
    I work with an old-school nurse from the deep south who'll tie a knot in the corner of a patient's sheet, because she believes it'll keep them alive.
    I knew a nurse like that and it always seemed wrong to me, i believe if they are ready to go let them go
    Malpal23 likes this.
  11. 0
    Anytime I'm explaining an open chest code to a new employee-lo'and behold she gets firsthand experience before the end of the day
  12. 1
    Quote from Mike A. Fungin RN
    I work with an old-school nurse from the deep south who'll tie a knot in the corner of a patient's sheet, because she believes it'll keep them alive.

    I was wondering if anyone would post this. I do believe in this- they say it ties the soul to the body... and let me tell you.... every time I have tied a knot they have never died. Now, I'm too afraid not too....
    KaroSnowQueen likes this.


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