What's the craziest thing a patient or family member has said to you? - page 2

I think out of my 15 years, the one thing that really seemed the strangest to me was the following story: I had a middle aged married couple. Both were employed, and in fairly responsible jobs. She had done well all during... Read More

  1. 18
    My favorite comment as a Med/Surg nurse still after all these years is when: a young man early 30's had shot himself in the abdomen and then was bragging to me and the rest of staff what he was going to spend his life insurance money on once he got it. I hated to inform his that he had to be dead and usually not from his own doing to collect life insurance, he looked up at me and said " I think you're wrong, I think they will bring the check this afternoon, I already called them." Much to my dismay the insurance adjuster actually showed up (for what reason I'm not sure of) and told this young man that "you are crazy and need to be in a hospital, but we do not pay anyone that is still breathing/alive a policy". The insurance representative left they young man cursed at me then left AMA. I was informed that he was later placed on a 72 hour hold.........will never forget the look on his face of disbelief that he was not going to get paid for shooting himself~~

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 8
    Quote from LobotRN
    Too true! What makes me say "what the heck?" over and over is something I hear at least once every couple of shifts. I work med surg, lots of knees and hips, gastric bypass, appys, and plastics. I can't even count any more how many times I have heard something to the effect of, "What? Why isn't she still sedated? You're NOT going to sedate my loved one for the first 24 hours after surgery? They are in too much pain, you've got to sedate them! You are supposed to keep them sedated!" Ummmm, not gonna happen. See, to be sedated you must have a certain level of monitoring which we do not do on the unit. I will do everything to control their pain to a tolerable level so that they can get up and walk....

    WHAAAAT?!?!?!?! MY LOVED ONE HAS TO GET OUT OF BED? You can't do that! You can't!"

    Good luck trying to teach at this point about avoiding post operative complications...DVT/PE, ileus, etc.

    Sheesh. ;P
    I remember one family of a total abdominal hysterectomy patient years ago. The patient had a lot of gas pain, so I was encouraging her to walk. The family got rather peeved at me, and one of them asked couldn't we just do a rectal tube! NO! Get out of the bed, dang it!
    Last edit by monkeybug on Nov 1, '12 : Reason: correct spelling
  3. 7
    Quote from echoRNC711
    Just today my boss was telling me about a 91 yr old pt that attended our cardiac rehab. We encourage them to set a goal.He was end stage CHF, pretty feeble but had a dream to one day still be able to hit a tennis ball .
    To facilitate this, she and another nurse drove him to a nearby tennis court so he could complete his "bucket list ". He tipped a couple of balls and as they led him back to the car he leaned over still puffing from exertion and said "any chance I could touch your breasts? ". I guess that bucket list was bigger than they knew!! Hey.....at 91 , the guy could still dream big!
    Can't blame a guy for trying!
    Libitina, NutmeggeRN, merlee, and 4 others like this.
  4. 21
    Quote from dirtyhippiegirl
    When I worked in the ER, we had a girl come in claiming to be nine months pregnant and in labor. We turf her to l&d who immediately turfs her back, stating that she's not pregnant.

    She kept claiming she was in labor while down in the ER, hysterical, trying to push, etc. Psych consult to see whether this was psychosis or? She finally calmed down enough to admit that she'd been faking the whole thing to "keep" her boyfriend and couldn't we just write a note saying that she'd had a miscarriage?

    She started back up again as soon as her mom and boyfriend charged into the ER looking for the laboring mom-to-be.

    We finally had security escort her out, all the while she's still huffing and "pushing."

    I wondered at the time if this is the sort of desperation that pushes women to steal babies? Thankfully, mom and her boyfriend saw right through the act.
    Those are the patients that always scared me and worried me the most, because years ago one of our patients was killed and her baby was cut from her abdomen. You never know what they are capable of. Our hospital took it very seriously, and if we had one, her picture would get posted in the nurseries and postpartum nurses desk, and we'd notify the other hospital in town, also.

    Not to say that it cannot have its funny moments. We had a young nurse who was very funny and brash. The patient came in c/o contractions, bleeding and no prenatal care. The nurse checked her cervix and just as she's telling the woman that she's not dilated at all, a gush of clear fluid goes all over the nurse's hand and in the bed. The nurse thinks, Oh no, her water's broken. They obviously cannot find FHTs, so they drag the ultrasound in, and don't find a baby. The nurse stood in the nurses station and ranted, "She PEED on me, d*** it! She PEED on me!" We all thought it was hilarious. Then change of shift comes, and the nurse who took over was very meek, mild, quiet and shy. She goes in and has to reiterate what the doctor has said, that the woman is NOT pregnant. The woman looks at Shy Nurse and says "But what about the bleeding? I'm bleeding! What do I do about the bleeding?" Shy Nurse said, "Have you thought about trying tampons?"
  5. 0
    Quote from LisaStew
    My favorite comment as a Med/Surg nurse still after all these years is when: a young man early 30's had shot himself in the abdomen and then was bragging to me and the rest of staff what he was going to spend his life insurance money on once he got it. I hated to inform his that he had to be dead and usually not from his own doing to collect life insurance, he looked up at me and said " I think you're wrong, I think they will bring the check this afternoon, I already called them." Much to my dismay the insurance adjuster actually showed up (for what reason I'm not sure of) and told this young man that "you are crazy and need to be in a hospital, but we do not pay anyone that is still breathing/alive a policy". The insurance representative left they young man cursed at me then left AMA. I was informed that he was later placed on a 72 hour hold.........will never forget the look on his face of disbelief that he was not going to get paid for shooting himself~~
    People never cease to amaze me. You burst his bubble!
  6. 3
    I haven't seen much since I'm still a student but I was helping a nurse in pre-op when he asked a young (18) woman if she would be okay to receive blood. She said, "From someone else?! That's gross!" He said "Well, if you lose blood in surgery, they may have to give you some to replace it. Are you okay with this?" Then she says "Can't you just hook my Mom and I up and I'll get hers? You can do that, right?"

    My word!! It took 10 minutes for both of us to explain to her where blood comes from, how it is processed and tested and how we give it...and how it DOESN'T happen like in the bad movies and old TV shows. I held my tongue when I thought about mentioning to her about watching the science channel once in a while.
  7. 6
    I had a patient in the ICU who was a new quadriplegic from a work accident. The neurosurgeon explained to the family over and over again that the patient would never be able to use his arms or legs again because his spinal cord had been irreversibly injured. The father of the patient finally told the doctor that he just needed to give his son a "spine transplant." Those of us who heard the statement had to bite our tongues and compose ourselves. It is sad that so many people have no idea whatsoever how the human body works.
  8. 3
    Quote from LisaStew
    The insurance representative left they young man cursed at me then left AMA. I was informed that he was later placed on a 72 hour hold.........will never forget the look on his face of disbelief that he was not going to get paid for shooting himself~~
    Kinda makes you want to take up a collection for him to get it right, doesn't it?
    monkeybug, opossum, and echoRNC711 like this.
  9. 13
    Quote from monkeybug
    I think out of my 15 years, the one thing that really seemed the strangest to me was the following story:

    --------original post-----------

    So, what's been said to you that really made you say, "What the heck?"
    This story exemplifies the problem with an entitled attitude. People who are used to buying the best of everything or simply GETTING the best of everything feel that there is always an easier, faster way for absolutely anything.

    Why should THEY work hard for anything?

    Your story is right up there with the people I see routinely who complain of GERD s/s and if a PPI doesn't work magically all by itself, they look at you like you've got six heads when you tell them what they should be changing in their diet and lifestyle to decrease symptoms.

    Give up cigarettes? Are you MAD?! Alcohol.....cut back on acidic foods....stop stuffing their 5'2" 300 lb selves while reclining on couch 20 minutes before bedtime? INSANITY!!

    "ISN'T THERE A PILL FOR THAT??"

    Back to your original story: can't help but think that a good response to the husband's "isn't there a better way?!" would be to tell him that you can now teleport the fetus from the mother-to-be into the father-to-be and HE could push the little darling out, to save his wife the strain
    livelifeloveRN, Sammie7, Tonyac303, and 10 others like this.
  10. 9
    End of life care is where I find the biggest disconnect between reality and expectations.
    Since we as a society don't discuss death and dying, most people don't have a clue about how ugly, messy and just downright painful it is for pt AND family.

    The majority of people still think that you just close your eyes, and off you go. The light bulb is on, and then it's not. I wish I had a dollar for everytime somebody asked me "how long's this gonna take"?
    grandpaj, Cream and sugar, Sammie7, and 6 others like this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top