Is your workplace haunted? - page 4

In the spirit of Halloween, wondering if anyone else works on a haunted unit? I've been told we have a ghost in the wall of a room that weans oxygen. By morning, patient is no longer on O2, but... Read More

  1. by   MotherRN
    Quote from BlueDevil,DNP
    Yes, the world is full of curious things. This is exactly why scientists continue to study the world around them and do not just relay on base, nebulous theories to provide perfunctory answers to "big" questions.

    FTR, I never called anyone "crazy." Many people believe they have seen ghosts or experienced the paranormal. This does not them deserving of a diagnosis belonging in the DSM-IV (V). It makes them searching for answers to something they cannot explain, and simply settling for far more ethereal answers than the rest of us.
    Guess I better drag out my mental health books to look up that DSM-IV (V) diagnosis now. Impressive vocabulary too!
  2. by   FLmed
    Quote from Esme12
    Many years ago when I was a young new nurse.....our ICU would be visited by "The man in the long black robe" he would actually be scene by other patients. Other patients would make comments about the pateint in that room must be very sick....when we asked the pateints would say that the man....must be a the long black robe has been standing nthere all day. We would actualy ask the patients what room they were standing by......for sure and a new penny....that person (already critical) would be the next to pass.

    We were told by the nuns it was an old preist that lived at the hospital for years......coming to guide their souls.

    According to the new nurses that work there he still guides the souls on their journey.

    Happy Halloween!
    I'd say it's the grim reaper. Interesting story.
  3. by   CloudySue
    First I want to say that I'm a HUGE skeptic.

    That being said, I was passing meds one day at my LTC and had a pill cup sitting on the MAR book. It was mid-morning. Right in front of my eyes, as I was looking directly at the cup, it slid diagonally to the left away from me, about 3-4 inches. The surface was dry and I didn't blow on it. It happened a few weeks after a favorite resident had passed, so if it were anything supernatural, I would think it was just this guy showing up to say hi/bye. Nothing like this ever happened again.
  4. by   NCHarleychic
    I work in a LTC/SNF that has 6 halls (one locked down dedicated to Alzheimers pts) and it's a two story building. The residents and administration are on the ground floor, while the other depts and breakroom are in the basement. When it was first built, there was a morgue downstairs, but that has since been remodeled to a PT dept.

    I've worked mostly nights since being employed there and I've found most of the CNA's and other nurses are leary about going down to the breakroom for soda's, etc, by themselves at night because the morgue was once housed there. Some just won't go at all and will wait until someone else is going and have them bring something back up for them..even going as far as offering to pay for someone elses soda if they'll go. I find that kind of comical, so yes, I've been the drink/snack runner many times over in the past. I always refuse the free drink offer as I'm generally going for myself anyway, and I'm not going to play on someone elses "fears" for a free drink. It's just me, but that somehow feels wrong.

    We have a lot of superstitions in the south..someone inevitalbly always opens a window when someone passes, and there's a firm belief that residents pass in threes. Overtime, I've witnessed that happening so much that I too, am now a believer in that one. I don't open windows when someone passes, but I always ask if someone did out of curiousity. Most times the CNA's will. It always makes me smile.

    I find myself being a "skeptical believer" in ghosts, or spirits, if that makes any sense. I've had several personal experiences over the years, both outside of, and at work. The most common at work is to hear my name being called out loud. I've been passing meds on the hall at night and heard it, answering "Yeah" and turning to find no one there and I've also been sitting at the nurses station charting and heard it. Same thing... reply "Yeah", wait a few seconds and ask, "What do you need?", to turn around and be sitting there alone. I always say something out loud like, "Well hey there, how are you tonite? If you need something, just let me know."

    The best experience I've ever had occured around 02:30 on a Sat night. I had a new pt who was confused and combative, refusing peri care and swatting at staff. I'd told the CNA to just walk away, give it some time and try back later. Most of our rooms are two bed rooms and this particular resident was in bed 2 and both beds were against the wall. The CNA told me she was going back so I followed her down to the room and leaned in the doorway with my arms crossed listening to what was said. The CNA pulled a chair up to the residents bed and sat down to talk with him before trying to give care. The curtain was partially pulled so that I couldn't see the resident, but I could see the CNA. I could also see my reflection as well as other chairs and the doorway in the window in the room as it was dark outside.

    As I was standing there listening, I saw something white kind of flash by behind me. I thought the other nurse had passed by going down my hall in a hurry and thought, "Where is she going in such a hurry, I didn't hear a call bell?!" I immediately took a step back and looked down and didn't see her. About that time I heard voices, so I turned and looked up the hall and she was sitting at the nurses station with a couple of other employees! I then took off down my hall checking rooms to find whomever I'd seen go by and there was no one there! All of the residents were resting quietly!

    I was so excited! I'd finally had my first "Ghost" experience! I went up to the station and told my co-workers about it and they were all looking at me like I had two heads! I'd heard other nurses talking about "seeing shadows" and such but I'd never seen anything. They were all like, "Better you than me! I don't WANT to see anything!"

    I try to keep an open mind and my eyes peeled, but I haven't seen anything like that since.
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from lizashleyc
    Although I can see how this would be fun to talk about in the spirit of Halloween, I do find this subject to be one that frustrates me to hear about. Although we are all entitled to our religious and afterlife beliefs, I find the beliefs in these stories or occurrences by a hospital professional to be assumptive and honestly quite silly.

    More than anything, I would worry about quality of client care in a situation such as the one a previous commenter described in which seemingly stable clients would suddenly die. If any hospital professional actually believed such a thing was caused by a "ghost" or what have you, that may very well prevent them from discovering a real, science-based explanation for such a thing happening. It would likely even prevent them from looking in-depth into possibilities or encouraging others to do so. Worst of all, nothing could be corrected or modified to prevent future recurrences. That is negligence, pure and simple.

    It is my opinion that no religious/afterlife beliefs have a place in the workplace for several reasons, client safety and quality improvement issues being most important. Here's another seemingly small example of one's belief in such things impacting care: Nurse A hears from Nurse B that room #13 is haunted, and she is caring for a client in there today. Even though Nurse A isn't sure she believes in ghosts or things like that, the story that Nurse B had told her floats around in the back of her mind all day.

    Subconsciously, this bias results in Nurse A avoiding room #13 more often than she should. The patient might be a very weak, elderly man who is receiving a new antibiotic, but instead of coming in to assess his IV line in a timely manner and to assess the patient's overall status, the nurse decides she'll just go check another patient down the hall first because she is the only one in that specific hallway and she feels a bit creeped out.

    Think of everything that could happen to said patient as a result of simple avoidances like that. Think of how it might influence the client's perception of the nurse and vice versa. Think of what happens if Nurse A tells Nurse C about what Nurse B says, and imagine if the lack of care continues. Case in short: everything has an explanation and coincidences happen. A professional nurse should recognize her biases (ie religious/afterlife) beliefs and not let them interfere with her provision of quality of care and clients' continuity of care.
    If you don't enjoy the topic, don't read the thread.
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    I grew up in a haunted house, and I've worked in many hospitals. Every one of them was haunted. I've got several stories on the "ghost story" thread -- the one that's several hundred pages long. But this story is about my mother's assisted living facility. Mom has late stage Alzheimer's. My father died after several years of caring for her at home -- I think he made up his mind to die because he was exhausted from taking care of her. When he died, I tried caring for Mom in her home -- for three weeks -- and realized that I couldn't do it. It was time for her to go to an assisted living. There was a relatively new assisted living in town, and my parents' close friend Tim had done much of the work on the plumbing. Tim is about my age, and my folks used to joke that he was their adopted son.

    Several times, when Tim was stopping by the ALF to do a quick job or to check on something, he'd have my father with him for company. When it came time for Mom to go to assisted living, we were extremely fortunate that they had a room for her. Not just any room, but a large room at the end of the hall . . . one where Tim had remodeled the bathroom.

    Mother would talk about how Dad came to visit her "in the hospital", and because Mom has Alzheimer's and Dad was dead, I just assumed that she was going on about nothing. On the anniversary of Dad's death, I made an effort to fly to the midwest to be with my mother. Mom had no idea it was the anniversary of Dad's death, but I knew. I spent the evening with Mom, had dinner at her usual table with the other residents and went to the motel to get some sleep. The next morning, one of the ladies that sits at Mom's table was eating breakfast alone when I came in.

    "I thought your father died last year," she said by way of greeting. It's a small town. Everyone knows everyone, and their ancestors and descendants. She had known my father by virtue of the fact that she and her husband used to run the only pharmacy in town where everyone got their prescriptions. And her brother went to high school with him. (Or was it her sister?)

    "Yes," I told her. "He died a year ago."

    "Oh." She was very quiet for awhile. The CNA brought me a cup of coffee and I sat at the table with Ethel in a comfortable silence. Mom was still sleeping.

    "I hope you don't think I'm crazy," Ethel commented after awhile. "But your Mom keeps insisting that your father comes to visit her. I know he used to come by sometimes with Tim when Tim had jobs here. They finished the plumbing it that room your mother's in on the 15th. I remember because it was my daughter's birthday, and she came by to see me just as your father was helping Tim pack up the tools."

    Small town. Everyone knows Tim, too.

    "Last night, about a quarter past 12, I got up to get a drink of water. I opened the door to my room to walk to the kitchen, and your father was standing right there, just outside your mother's door about to walk in. I said hello to him, but he didn't say anything back. He was a little deaf, you know."

    Dad was a little deaf. He also died a year ago, on the 15th, at a quarter past midnight. He couldn't have been there on the 15th helping Tim pack up his tools -- he went into a coma on the 12th and died on the fifteenth. And he couldn't have been visiting my mother a year later.

    It wasn't until my next visit that I worked up the nerve to ask Tim about it. "Yeah," he said. "I remember that day. I was almost finished with that job when your sister called me to tell me that your flight had landed and you were on the way to the hospital. So I left everything where it was and went and got the family and drove to the hospital to see your father." Tim and his wife and son arrived at the hospital a few hours after I did. We all sat in the room and talked about my father and the things we remembered doing with him, and Tim's family left shortly before midnight. Dad died at 12:15. "When I went back to the ALF to finish the job and pack up my tools the next afternoon, it kind of felt as though your father was with me. I had some of his tools that day, because I'd left mine at another job. Old Ethel, she knew him pretty good. They used to chat sometimes while I was working. Sometimes the neighbor lady would stay with your Mom, and I'd bring your Dad with me on jobs just to get him out of the house. If Ethel says she saw him, then he was there. She's pretty sharp, Ethel is."

    Mom's Alzheimer's got worse, and she moved to a different facility. I went back last Christmas with fruit and nuts for the staff who took such great care of my mother. Ethel says she hasn't seen Dad again since Mom moved out. "But your neighbor Buelah? The one who used to live a mile up the road from your folks? She's here now, and her husband Vern comes to visit every now and again." Vern's been gone for a dozen years or so, but I have no doubt that he visits.
  7. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    We have a Room 13 on our unit. (Although it hasn't always been in the same place... the hospital had opened 2 new beds in the former x-ray viewing room and renumbered all the rooms, then decided after a couple of years to change that room back to an x-ray viewing room and renumbered the rooms yet again. We oldsters are sometimes a little confused!) There have been many deaths in that room, some of them quite horrible, but I don't recall any supernatural activities in there. However... Room 11 (then 12 and now back to 11 again) has been the scene of some interesting events. It's the room that we try to use for children who are terminally ill and death is imminent. It's out of the way, it's smaller than the others so it's more homey and has art on the walls. But it's often used for children who are less ill and expected to recover when we have space issues. One of our patients who had been admitted to that room asked his nurse if she could ask the little boy who was sitting on the bed to please leave. The nurse didn't see anyone in the room except the patient. He said that the little boy wasn't always there and he didn't seem to be crowding him in the bed, but he didn't like having a strange kid in his room when he was sleeping. She asked him to describe the little boy, which he did... a description that sounded a lot like a child who had died in that room after a very lengthy admission with us. That is also the room where the water comes on by itself.

    Room 2 is another one that has had some unusual activity. We have postal scales in all our private rooms to allow us to weigh diapers. The scale in that room has become airborne. Not falling off the counter - airborne! The monitor in there turns itself off. And there's often an odour of baby powder in there. There may well be an explanation for each of these occurrences, but if there is I don't know what it would be.
  8. by   RJMerchant
    I agree too. I did not believe in ghosts stories until I experienced it myself. This was not in my work place but the apartment I used to live with my two young kids and my hubby. I used to work day shifts and my hubby night shifts. At night around 2 am or 3 am, I used to wake up with a noise coming from the dining hall or kitchen that was adjacent to it. The sound was if someone was walking, same style as if my hubby was walking or tapping on the floor with a spoon in a rhythmical way. Then I used to fall off to sleep again but never felt scared. My little girl (2 year old) used to tell me that she sees a woman passing through the walls. One afternoon when my husband was sleeping, I was in sitting room with my kids. He called me to switch off the fan that got turned on on its own. One day when I was getting my son ready for school. He was crying as he did not want to go, all of a sudden he asked me 'mom, who is stroking on my cheeks?' I was freaking out. We shifted to another apartment after that event.
  9. by   FranEMTnurse
    I love these stories.
  10. by   Rose_Queen
    I used to never believe that the OR I work in was really haunted. Then I worked a few third shifts, and basically did a 180. There's only 3 people working on 3rd, and the OR is very large, so that the three people can be completely separated. Lights would get turned off while you were in one of the ORs and doors would slam, and it definitely wasn't any of the other two people working that night. We also don't have an OR 13.
  11. by   butterfliesrus
    Ha! I am not a big believer in ghost stories, but that doesn't mean I'll say that they don't happen. I haven't been haunted or anything like that, but the LTC facility I used to work at was famous for the passing in 3s and window-opening ceremony, and we always had a chaplin come or a religious cop come and pray over the deceased. Sounds like we did what we should do to prevent hauntings. But who knows, right? Good, fun topic!
  12. by   judybsn
    Late one night, the P.A. system spontaneously started blaring loud music into the dark hallway. I ran to find my coworkers, who were terrified and hiding out in the room at the end of the hallway. When I came into the room the Care Aide collapsed to the floor, screaming, thinking I was the ghost. This event was never explained, as the control switch for the P.A. is inside a locked closet.
  13. by   amortentia62442
    Many times in the two and a half years I have worked at my hospital I have seen charts fall to the floor and TVs turn on when no one is in the room. But over the past month or so we have had four pt's tell us about a little girl in their room. Every single one has been completely alert and oriented not on any narcs... One pt had full on conversations with her for hours. It is the weirdest thing ... It seems like every few days someone else is talking about this little girl....