True ER stories
- 5Jul 31, '99 by Kel CardarasOur ER gets lots of calls from residents in our rural area. One day a lady called and said her daughter had spilled some vinegar on herself earlier that day and now she has a red rash. The nurse who answered the phone said, "well I've never heard of a rash from vinegar, but I guess it's possible."
Another old ER nurse said, "Ask her if it was boiling at the time it spilled on her."
The rest of us burst into laughter. He said,
I've been doing this long enough, you gotta ask."
So the nurse on the phone asked, "Was it hot?"
The caller replied, "Yeah, it's been real hot here today."
You just gotta shake your head.
Overheard in the ER, says one family member to another, "they took mom down for a "cap" scan of her head."
Why is it that at 2am on a Saturday night, that four month old back injury suddenly requires medical intervention? And why do you have to bring six family members in dire need of personal hygiene measures along? And if it hurts so bad, how can you talk and laugh loudly while eating corn chips and drinking Pepsi on your way out the door for a quick smoke (since the doc can't see you for 10 minutes anyway)?! God, I love this job!
- 3Apr 8, '00 by Becky RNI was working in a rural hospital once and patients would push a button at the back ER door that would ring a bell at the nurses station. When the bell rang you would ask the person who it was and what they needed over an intercom. One particular night the bell rang at the nurses station and the nurse answered "Can I help you?" The urgent reply was "Ma'am you have to help us my wife cannot breathe!" Needless to say all the night nurses went flying to the back at break neck speed grabbing the ER doc on the way only to find a man and his little wife standing there calmly at the ER door. The nurse out of breath and scooping the wife into a wheel chair said "sir I thought I heard you to say your wife could not breathe?" "Yes ma'am her nose has been stopped up all day and she cannot breathe."
- 6Apr 8, '00 by Becky RNOne night as I was working in an ER a cowboy came in. He had been stear wrestling at a rodeo and got "horned". Well it was serious enough but not life threatening. After the X-rays etc. and he was stablized he was asking for something for pain. "Ma'am you jest gotta give me somthin for this pain." I told him sure I'd bring him something right away. In a few mintutes I came back with his little Demerol injection and told him to roll over a bit so I could give him his shot. "SHOT! oh no ma'am yur not givin me a shot I hate needles. Don't you have a pill I can take?!" I told him roll over Cowboy, if you can take a horn in your side, you can surely take a needle in your backside! Becky RN
- 7Apr 13, '00 by KCThere was a junior rodeo in a town not far away and our ED had been getting injured cowboys all morning. One little bullrider had been injured while riding and he singlemindedly kept asking his grandmother how long he had been on the bull. After awhile, she replied "Son, that bull was on you longer than you were on it."
- 1Jun 2, '00 by tweetieRNThe funniest ER story I ever heard came from a friend. On a slow nite this older gentleman came in - he was kind of fidgeting around. His story was "My hemmorhoids were acting up, and I was out of Preparation H. Didn't know what to do until I saw the jar of Vicks. Maam, if I was a dog, I'd be dragging my 'backside' on the floor." I still laugh about that one. Vicks is such a cure-all, esp. with the 'olders' and they're always so amazed that we don't have it in the formulary.
- 3Jul 3, '00 by alice braunI THOUGHT I HAD SEEN AND HEARD ALMOST EVERYTHING. YOU GET THAT WAY WORKING ER. ONE NIGHT I WAS DOWN THE HALL WHEN A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE AND FELLOW NURSE CAME OUT OF ONE OF OUR SUTURE ROOMS ALMOST DOUBLED OVER IN LAUGHTER. A RATHER OBNOXIOUS DRUNK PT WAS IN THAT ROOM BEING TREATED FOR SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS. APPARENTLY OUR PA WAS SUTURING UP THE MAN'S HAND AND HAD TRIMMED OFF SOME EXCESS SKIN THAT HAD AVULSED, WHEN THE PT HAD REACHED IN HIS STERILE FIELD TO RETRIEVE THE SKIN AND POP IT IN HIS MOUTH AND EAT IT. FURIOUS THE PA INFORMED HIM TO STAY OUT OF HIS STERILE FIELD. THE NURSE HAVING SEEN THIS AND BEING A LONG TIME VETRAN OF THE ER OFFERED THE FUMING PA A NEW STERILE SUTURE TRAY AND SOME GREY POUPON. TOO WHICH THE PA'S DARK MOOD IMEDIANTLY LIFTED AND HE BEGAN SUTURING AGAIN.
- 0Sep 12, '00 by jmccartenOriginally posted by alice braun:
I THOUGHT I HAD SEEN AND HEARD ALMOST EVERYTHING. YOU GET THAT WAY WORKING ER. ONE NIGHT I WAS DOWN THE HALL WHEN A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE AND FELLOW NURSE CAME OUT OF ONE OF OUR SUTURE ROOMS ALMOST DOUBLED OVER IN LAUGHTER. A RATHER OBNOXIOUS DRUNK PT WAS IN THAT ROOM BEING TREATED FOR SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS. APPARENTLY OUR PA WAS SUTURING UP THE MAN'S HAND AND HAD TRIMMED OFF SOME EXCESS SKIN THAT HAD AVULSED, WHEN THE PT HAD REACHED IN HIS STERILE FIELD TO RETRIEVE THE SKIN AND POP IT IN HIS MOUTH AND EAT IT. FURIOUS THE PA INFORMED HIM TO STAY OUT OF HIS STERILE FIELD. THE NURSE HAVING SEEN THIS AND BEING A LONG TIME VETRAN OF THE ER OFFERED THE FUMING PA A NEW STERILE SUTURE TRAY AND SOME GREY POUPON. TOO WHICH THE PA'S DARK MOOD IMEDIANTLY LIFTED AND HE BEGAN SUTURING AGAIN.
- 6Sep 21, '00 by babs_rnHere are two more for ya...
In our ER, a 30+ year old woman shows up one evening, saying "there's another little hole down there (genital area) and it's bleeding" - Lovely. Pelvic exam revealed a normal female with 3 "holes" (she had been unaware of her urethra) who was menstruating.
Then there was the "buffy" type college sorority girl who complained about a "bump" on her genital area. Said it had been there for a month or so. The doctor performed a pelvic exam, found normal female genitalia, and then accidentally bumped the clitoris. "That was it!" the patient said. "What, this?" asked the doctor, not realizing for a second that he didn't need to be manipulating the clitoris too much..."yes, that's the bump!" He had to gently explain that that bump was SUPPOSED to be there and, in all likelihood, had been there a little longer than a month!
I swear, it takes all kinds.
- 0Sep 21, '00 by Jay-JayThe above story reminds me of an incident that happened to me a few months ago. I was seeing this 70 yr. old gentleman for followup after chemotherapy. He was a devout Muslim, with pictures of the Aga Khan in several places throughout his home, so I did my best to be culturally sensitive and avoid doing anything that might embarass him. I knew that in his home country, I probably would not have been allowed to touch him, or be in the room alone with him.
He had been complaining of pain in his left leg and groin area for some time. This day, however, he said the pain had moved to a new area. "Now it's at the base of my penis," he said, and then he proceeded to whip down his trousers and underwear, and show me the exact spot!
I declined his invitation to investigate the spot, and advised him to see his doctor about it. I left his home, thinking: "Another cultural assumption shot to hell!" I was also glad that his wife was at home, working just around the corner in the kitchen. I'm still not sure whether he wanted some sexual thrills, or whether he genuinely expected me to go poking and prodding at the base of his penis, to see if I could detect anything abnormal.