cruelest thing I heard a nurse say

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in dialysis.

A few years ago the cruelest thing I heard a nurse say to a patient was:

PATIENT: "If I were thirty years younger I would ask you out on a date"

NURSE: "You are half a man, I would have to say no"

(The patient was an amputee) That is just mean. He laughed but I know it must have really hurt him. I couldn't think of anything to say to make this situation better.

How about you, what is the cruelest thing you have heard?

Specializes in Cardiology and ER Nursing.

Context is everything. I would not say the nurse's response to that patient was necessarily cruel without hearing the entire conversation, and not understanding the relationship between this nurse and this patient.

Specializes in M/S, MICU, CVICU, SICU, ER, Trauma, NICU.

Agree with Scott. We are so judgemental when we don't need to be. Sheesh.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatric, Hospice.

Ouch... I don't think I'm going to like this thread.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Geriatric, Hospice.
Agree with Scott. We are so judgemental when we don't need to be. Sheesh.

Right? Kind of a negative topic to make a thread about anyways.... :( Oh well.

I wish we could change the thread to "what did you do ( over and beyond) to be your patient's greatest advocate? yeah ! thats more positive!!:yeah:

sticking to the topic..

I work on a med/surg floor. we had a long term patient there. meaning, he would not leave. no insurance and he was homeless. can't just kick him to the street. refusing medical treatment for his original problem. etc etc. anyway, he gained somewhere between 50-75 lbs. just sitting in bed eating and taking morphine all day. one of the nurses, who isn't a nice person overall, took a mirror and told the patient to look at himself. look at what he became. I thought cruel and bold at the same time.

Context is everything. I had a patient who was a double amputee, and he really got a 'kick' out of making jokes about his lack of legs. I'm sure anyone who happened to overhear our conversations and didn't know him would have thought "Did they really SAY that???" :) Of course, we were in his home, not in a public setting.

How about you, what is the cruelest thing you have heard?

"I'm not here to relieve you."

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

"Oh, is that how it was done in the olden days?"

we had a dying pt, whose family was incredibly anxious and distraught.

i'm talking about, hovering around the bed 24/7, with crying that could be heard down the hallways.

not just 1, but all 4 at the bedside.

this pt was highly distressed, from what i believe to be, the family's uncontrollable distress.

with these folks at his bedside, only served to exacerbate a bad situation.

this was dysfunctional grieving at its finest.

well. :/

i finally get this family to leave and go home.

just as i had anticipated, the pt passes.

i called the family, got their voice mail, and asked them to come in.

a couple hours passes, when the supervisor asked about the status of the deceased pt.

i update her, and she offers to call the family again.

she evidentally got the voice mail, and leaves a message:

" this is ____________ from ________________. i just wanted to inform you that ____________ died about 2 hours ago.

take care. "


not only was this cold/callous, here we are dealing with an extremely frail family, whose own well-being/safety i worried about.

to this day, i still/almost start hyper-ventilating when i think about it.



Specializes in Med Office, Home Health, School Nurse.

Okay..Nursing is not all "let me be your hero, I'm going to save the day and your life"...please. I don't think this is such a terrible topic....Nurses are humans and sometimes say things we shouldn't...NOT that big a deal...I like this topic just fine!

As far as the cruelest thing I've heard a nurse say....I will have to think on that one!

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