Most embarrassing thing that happened to you at work


This may have been done before, and I apologize if it has, but I need a good laugh. What have you seen, or what has happened to you personally, that you either knew HAD to be embarrassing or embarrassed you at work?

I bring this up because of 2 incidents, both of which involve the bathroom.

Part of my job is to supervise stress tests, and last year, while waiting for the patients to get ready, I went to powder my nose, in the bathroom that was in the stress lab. Just about the time I sat down, my pager went off, they were ready. OK, I thought, I'll be out in a tick. No dice, it immediately went off again, 911. I caould hear the stress staff in the hall..

"Where is she? She was JUST here! Did you see her?"

So, being indisposed, I holler, "I'm in here!", several times, in response to the aforementioned queries.

I then hear a voice say, "I think there's someone in here." And it was not one of the staff.

I opened the door to find a patient waiting to use the facilities, still drying my hands, and rush to the stress lab with a red face, only to find that the doc had done the 911 page to be mean. I have yet to live that down, and now I am very sure to let someone know if I need a powder break, so that they know where I am.

The second happened a couple days back, in the ladies' at my office. Dried my hands, hit the light, and tried to exit. What I did not know was the doorknob only turns a certain way. I made this discovery after I bounced off the door. After a good 2 minutes of fumbling and banging (I couldn't find the light switch to turn it back on), I managed to stumble out, only to see half the staff on the other side. And while I'm trying to be nonchalant, one of them says

"So, Angelfire, how many CRNPs does it take to open a bathroom door?"

Sigh, this is my life.

I did manage to embarrass a poor little floor nurse (she is very new, just passed boards last month) without even trying. I had come to her floor to do a consult, and she was at the desk, holding some office notes from my office. She was talking to no one in general, and said "SIGH, WHERE does this mess go?!?!?"

So, I answered, "Under consults, it's from us, and we're consulted".

She sat there a minute, and blurted out, "You know, you know more than I thought you did!"

Now, I KNOW that she did not mean it the way it sounded, and bless her heart, the whole desk just fell out. I thought it was hysterical, but she turned nearly purple and stammered "I mean about chart stuff...."

God love her, she was so upset. She had no idea that I was a floor nurse for 7 years before I went to NP school. It was precious, and after I told her it was all right (she was convinced I'd be mad), now she calls me for everything. She's going to be a great nurse, and I love her to death, but it was so funny.

Ok, y'all take over, I'm sure yours will be better!

Specializes in CVICU.

The worst thing that's happened to me so far is that I had a kidney stone at work. Ever since I had babies, I've had a little stress incontinence - nothing major, but if a sneeze takes me by surprise I have a little leak. Anyway, I didn't know it was a kidney stone as I'd never had one before, but I suspected.

We were turning a rather large patient and I had to run out of the room because all of a sudden, I needed to vomit. I wasn't even in pain at the time, but later figured out that the pain announced itself by making me vomit about 10 seconds before pain that was similar to labor pain started.

I ran to the bathroom and puked, and at the same time ended up completely soaking my pants with urine because of the violent retching. Then I had to go out and announce that I was going to the emergency room. They all thought I was faking and one of my coworkers looked at me and said, "Did you **** your pants?"

They did feel bad when I later got admitted and had to have a cytoscopy to pull out the 5mm stone!


226 Posts

I have split my pants open at work. Luckily lab coats were available and I wore one for the rest of the day.

When I work at a restaurant I slipped and fell right in front of customers. Also slipped and busted my chin at the same job.


902 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

Before becoming an RN, while working as an RRT in the ICU . . . was in an intubated patient's room . . . just me and the patient, who was sedated . . . . decided it was safe . . . so passed gas . . . eewwww, stinky!!

The patient's RN comes in, smells it, and, of course, starts lifting the sheets to check for a BM. I told her, it wasn't the patient . . . it was me!! LOL!!

Flare, ASN, BSN

5 Articles; 4,431 Posts

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.
Before becoming an RN, while working as an RRT in the ICU . . . was in an intubated patient's room . . . just me and the patient, who was sedated . . . . decided it was safe . . . so passed gas . . . eewwww, stinky!!

The patient's RN comes in, smells it, and, of course, starts lifting the sheets to check for a BM. I told her, it wasn't the patient . . . it was me!! LOL!!

at least you admitted it. Who among us wouldn't have blamed the poor defenseless patient? :lol2:


134 Posts

I was helping a nurse pick a patient up off the floor. The patient had completely soaked the bed then of course tried to get up to finish in the bathroom and fell! As we were pulling her up, I slipped in some urine and fell on the bed. Yes, the completely urine soaked bed. I was wet from the waist down. Had to get scrubs from the locker room. I am only 5 ft tall and had to spend the rest of the day in scrubs meant for a 6 ft tall Doctor! What a day...


205 Posts

I was doing trach teaching with a patient's mother and father, and had been sitting for about an hour. I was 26 weeks pregnant at the time, showing a little, but unwilling to go to the expense of maternity scrub pants. So I was wearing my old drawstring pants, tied loosely. Some how, during my teaching, my pants became totally untied. When I got up to leave the room, they slowly started slipping down and got all the way to my knees before I noticed. At that point, I grabbed them, said, "OOPS!", and ran out of the room. Of course, I was wearing holey underwear that day. The parents laughed every time I went into the room for the rest of the day.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,982 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

Funny stuff!!! :yeah:

Being something of a graceless wonder, I've got a zillion stories about the mischief I get into at work. This one, however, is about my son, who's a CNA at the nursing home where I work. He must've inherited my tendency toward klutziness, as there are days he can't even walk and chew gum at the same time..........literally.

This one night, he began by slipping on a wet spot in the dining room and landing on his butt right in front of about 30 residents. He followed up by dropping a tray and sending food splattering at least ten feet in all directions. He then proceeded to run into a doorway.......fall off a spinning chair at the nurses' station.........trip over a laundry barrel and do a face-plant in the hallway. I'm still surprised he never really hurt himself. :nuke:


69 Posts

Has 16 years experience.

Ok, how about the time I somehow managed to spill tomato soup all down my bum?

Oh and the laundry room was locked and me being a big girl no-one else’s uniform or scrubs would fit, and being the senior nurse on the ward couldn’t go hide. . . .

Or how about the time in a 4am delirium, you know what I mean it’s that time of the night you didn’t get any sleep that day, you’re slightly crazed so you talk rubbish, you lose inhibitions . . .

I loudly told the other nurses on duty what I could/would, if I had the chance, do to the new junior doc, not realising he was sat behind me. . . . ( oh so fit so very very fit, I know sexual harassment.)

Managing to oversleep for a night shift. . . .

Asking an amputee to ‘hop’ out of bed.

Date a doctor. . .

(But not the fit junior one.)

Again on a night shift, first nights were never good for me.

At the start of the shift gave a little chat about how rude and mean and wrong it was to eat other peoples food /lunches from the staff fridge. (we’d had a little spate of it).Then totally forgot that I hadn’t brought my lunch in ( I normally did, in-fact normally brought extra) and ate/stole one of my colleagues meals and got caught, not just caught but sat eating in front of the nurse I stole from. . . . . . .

Guilty but innocent (I really really though it was mine), she forgave me

Going shopping after my last night shift for a dinner party ( No, we will have your friends to dinner honey, no I’ll shop it’ll be fine)

And coming home with 2 pineapples and 48 rolls of toilet tissue. Nothing else in the fridge. It all made sense at the time. . . .

And then sleeping till 7, OH swears I spoke to him on the phone and told him I was putting dinner on and there was 3 courses . . . .

Luckily one of the couple coming to dinner was a paramedic and completely understood.

We got takeout. Chinese, very good.

I realise reading this it makes me sound like a bit of a liability on a night shift, but really I wasn’t when it came to patients, but having sorted patients and paperwork all my intelligence was used up so I was a bit dippy when talking to colleagues.

It’s a bit like how you can be so sympathetic at work but at home you need to see bone poking through, or blue lips, or severe haemorrhage before they get more than a ‘Oh Dear, well I’m sure you’ll be fine once you get to school’

Spritenurse1210, BSN, RN

1 Article; 777 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg.

My whole family ended up getting a 24 hour virus with nausea vomiting and diarrhea. I wasn't feeling that great but went to work anyway. Long story short I got sick at work even becoming incontinent of bowells because of how hard I was retching. They sent me to the er and gave me a liter of fluids and zofran. My coworkers were great but the whole pooping my pants was really embarrassing!

And the final one I dropped two morphine pca vials. Ah gotta love working those 12hour shifts

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

My most embarrassing moment came very early in my career. I was probably graduated about 6 months,about 21 years old, working night shift in a busy L&D. It was about 4am and we had been very quiet all night. Some of the nurses were reading, wiping down counters, inventorying supplies, cleaning instruments. Kind of a quiet hum on the unit. I heard someone knock on the staff door so I went to open it. There was a small window in the door and when I got almost to it, suddenly this huge hairy black monster lunged through the door at me. I screamed and promptly passed out and hit my head on the concrete floor. :eek:

It was one of our nutty RTs. He had found a gorilla mask and decided to play a prank on us. And there i was, a little girl crumpled up on the floor. Of course, he really felt terrible that he had scared me so badly and the rest of the staff thought it was hysterical, except for the concussion and all. I just about never lived that incident down.:clown:


1,313 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room Nursing. Has 6 years experience.
I have split my pants open at work. Luckily lab coats were available and I wore one for the rest of the day.

Yep I split my pants at work as well, I bent down to pick something up and every person in the OR heard the rip. I had nurses, surgeons, everyone laughing at me, Very embarrassing....