20 Things Nurses Wish They Never Had to Say

OK, I'll have to admit that I got the idea for this piece from a desk calendar my sister gave me for Christmas last year. It's 365 pages of nursing funnies, some of which really aren't, but the rest of them range from the mildly amusing to rolling-on-the-floor-with-tears-squirting-out-of-your-eyes HILARIOUS. And after having the kind of Hell Week I just went through, I needed the comic relief of "How in the world did THAT get in THERE??!" Nurses General Nursing Article

Here, for your enjoyment, are twenty more things nurses wish they never had to say:

1) To the CNA: "Uh-oh........it looks like Mrs. Chambers hasn't had a BM in nine days."

2) To the patient with Munchausen's Syndrome: "No, I can't give you any more pain medicine," when what you'd really like is to swack him up with enough Dilaudid to shut him up about his manufactured miseries for a few hours.

3) To co-workers, upon seeing a frequent flyer coming up in the elevator: "Oh, Lordy......look at what the cat dragged in."

4) To the MD: "You want me to do WHAT?"

5) To your best friend's 10-year-old: "No, Eric, you're not a dork. Everybody gets their big toe stuck in the bathtub faucet at least once."

6) To a frantic grandparent calling to ask what to do about the thirteen-month-old who just consumed one of their Pall Malls: "How soon can you get him to the hospital?"

7) To any mother: "Your child has head lice."

? To your son who's faking illness to get out of going to school: "If there's no blood, no broken bones, and no passing out, I'm not impressed." (You're tempted to introduce him to your Munchausen's patient so he can see what happens to malingerers.)

9) To the babysitter: "I'm sorry, I can't pick up the kids yet.......got another half-hour of charting to do........I'll be there as soon as I can."

10) To your husband: "Not tonight, honey, I've got a backache."

11) To your boss: "Why, of course I'll pull a double tonight."

12) To the patient with a six-inch-long screwdriver in his rectum: "What were you thinking?!", because you really want to know why a full-grown man would put such an object in an orifice that was intended as an EXIT rather than an entry.

13) To your spouse: "Sorry, honey, looks like I'm working late again.....don't worry about fixing me anything, I'll just grab something at Mickey D's on the way home."

14) To the confused resident who keeps asking you about her cat---which has probably been dead for the past 30 years---as you push your med cart down the hall: "I'm sure Fluffy is somewhere around the neighborhood, Mrs. Jones, but I really can't go with you to look for her right now."

15) To any GYN patient: "Can you please scoot down.......a little more........a little more.......there." Every woman alive knows what "scoot down" means, and believe me, nurses don't like the stirrups any better than patients do!

16) To the unit secretary: "I'm sorry to bug you, Tina, but I reallyreallyreallyreallyREALLY need these orders processed right away, couldya please put them in ASAP, huh, couldya, pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top? Thanks, you're a doll!"

17) To PT/OT/ST: "Next time you take my patient off the floor, would you please let me know so I don't freak out when I can't find him?" (I used to LOATHE this habit of theirs when I was working in acute care. I hope it's gotten better in the years since I left....but somehow I doubt it.)

18) To the new parents flummoxed by the car seat they are supposed to take their baby home in: "Uh...excuse me. Do you know how to use that thing?" (Because that obligates you to teach them to use it.....oy.)

19) To the idiot-sticks who run long-term care pharmacies: "You're the fifth person in the past hour who's called to ask me the same questions about that medication. Don't you people ever TALK to one another?"

20) To the Grand Pooh-Bahs who have never walked a hard linoleum floor in our battered NurseMates: "Oh, of COURSE I don't mind standing while I chart/working an entire 12-hour shift without eating or peeing/turning bariatric patients on my own/running back and forth to find equipment/fill in the blank."

After all, we are nurses, and we love what we do.........right? RIGHT?? ;)

Oh, this one makes my heart hurt:

"No, there really isn't anything more that the docs can do. I am so sorry. I won't pretend to know the difficulty you are going through right now. I can't tell you that things will get better. I won't tell you that 'I know', because I don't, and can't grasp myself the absolute pain you are facing right now. But I CAN tell you that donating your husband's organs will enable many people to LIVE just when they have accepted death. Your husband will be a hero to countless people."

I hate having to say this. HATE IT.

Many years ago, one of my friends was told this.......about her 14-year-old son. :(

Even worse? Several women (all women; no men said this) told her ex-husband that he was probably glad his son died because he wasn't going to have to pay child support for him any more! How incredibly cruel, especially because the boy essentially died in his arms.

Specializes in Cardiac Care.

The fever one... just had to deal with this with my sister last week. Kid had an earache and a 101 temp.

Me: Have you given him anything?

Her: No I am taking him to the doctor in an hour

Me: Give him some Tylenol or Kids Motrin now, they will believe you he had a fever and his ear hurt! (Then I went to the medicine cabinet and got the meds and gave them to him.)

Sorry ma'am I have 29 more pts to care for I am unable. And 2 busy to patronize u ur mother is not in any apparent distress I have to leave now and attent to my other pts

Specializes in CNA, Nursing Student.

I'm sorry Ma'am, but WebMD is not a sufficient substitute for seeing an actual medical professional...you really should have brought your child in sooner.

Specializes in ED/ICU/TELEMETRY/LTC.

From the ED:

And how long have you had this? A year? And what have you done for it? Nothing at all? Have you seen your MD? No? Why?

And your pain is a 10? Just put that milkshake over there and let me take your vital signs.

And you didn't change his diaper? Oh I would have believed you that he had diarrhea, and I don't really need to see what color it is.

How much do you weight? 195? Let's just step up on that scale. 289

If you shave down there you are at risk of an ingrown hair.

You lost a condom?

I could write a book.

good list, its sooooooooo true!

I work on an Alzheimer's unit at a long term care facility. I can't tell you how many times a day I have to ask/tell:

"Please keep your shirt on!" (Men & women)

"Please don't pee there"

"Where is your walker/wheelchair?"

"We cannot run others over with our wheelchair/walker"

"Please don't throw your food"

"We are gonna need some ativan/haldol over here!"

And many many many more

Sometimes it is like working with preschoolers but I love it.

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Haha---I'd completely forgotten about this old thread. Thanks for resurrecting it! :)

Sorry ma'am I have 29 more pts to care for I am unable. And 2 busy to patronize u ur mother is not in any apparent distress I have to leave now and attent to my other pts

You read my mind!

How about when the family wants to tell you ALL about there medical history or asking for advice. You are not our patient-it's called liability, all we will ever say is consult your doctor. End of story.