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True ER stories

Our ER gets lots of calls from residents in our rural area. One day a lady called and said her daughter had spilled some vinegar on herself earlier that day and now she has a red rash. The nurse who answered the phone said, "well I've never heard of a rash from vinegar, but I guess it's possible."

Another old ER nurse said, "Ask her if it was boiling at the time it spilled on her."

The rest of us burst into laughter. He said, "I've been doing this long enough, you gotta ask."

So the nurse on the phone asked, "Was it hot?"

The caller replied, "Yeah, it's been real hot here today."

You just gotta shake your head.

Overheard in the ER, says one family member to another, "they took mom down for a "cap" scan of her head."

Why is it that at 2 am on a Saturday night, that four month old back injury suddenly requires medical intervention? And why do you have to bring six family members in dire need of personal hygiene measures along? And if it hurts so bad, how can you talk and laugh loudly while eating corn chips and drinking Pepsi on your way out the door for a quick smoke (since the doc can't see you for 10 minutes anyway)?!

God, I love this job!

Edited by Joe V

I was working in a rural hospital once and patients would push a button at the back ER door that would ring a bell at the nurses station. When the bell rang you would ask the person who it was and what they needed over an intercom. One particular night the bell rang at the nurses station and the nurse answered "Can I help you?" The urgent reply was "Ma'am you have to help us my wife cannot breathe!" Needless to say all the night nurses went flying to the back at break neck speed grabbing the ER doc on the way only to find a man and his little wife standing there calmly at the ER door. The nurse out of breath and scooping the wife into a wheel chair said "sir I thought I heard you to say your wife could not breathe?" "Yes ma'am her nose has been stopped up all day and she cannot breathe."

One night as I was working in an ER a cowboy came in. He had been stear wrestling at a rodeo and got "horned". Well it was serious enough but not life threatening. After the X-rays etc. and he was stablized he was asking for something for pain. "Ma'am you jest gotta give me somthin for this pain." I told him sure I'd bring him something right away. In a few mintutes I came back with his little Demerol injection and told him to roll over a bit so I could give him his shot. "SHOT! oh no ma'am yur not givin me a shot I hate needles. Don't you have a pill I can take?!" I told him roll over Cowboy, if you can take a horn in your side, you can surely take a needle in your backside! Becky RN

There was a junior rodeo in a town not far away and our ED had been getting injured cowboys all morning. One little bullrider had been injured while riding and he singlemindedly kept asking his grandmother how long he had been on the bull. After awhile, she replied "Son, that bull was on you longer than you were on it."

The funniest ER story I ever heard came from a friend. On a slow nite this older gentleman came in - he was kind of fidgeting around. His story was "My hemmorhoids were acting up, and I was out of Preparation H. Didn't know what to do until I saw the jar of Vicks. Maam, if I was a dog, I'd be dragging my 'backside' on the floor." I still laugh about that one. Vicks is such a cure-all, esp. with the 'olders' and they're always so amazed that we don't have it in the formulary.

I THOUGHT I HAD SEEN AND HEARD ALMOST EVERYTHING. YOU GET THAT WAY WORKING ER. ONE NIGHT I WAS DOWN THE HALL WHEN A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE AND FELLOW NURSE CAME OUT OF ONE OF OUR SUTURE ROOMS ALMOST DOUBLED OVER IN LAUGHTER. A RATHER OBNOXIOUS DRUNK PT WAS IN THAT ROOM BEING TREATED FOR SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS. APPARENTLY OUR PA WAS SUTURING UP THE MAN'S HAND AND HAD TRIMMED OFF SOME EXCESS SKIN THAT HAD AVULSED, WHEN THE PT HAD REACHED IN HIS STERILE FIELD TO RETRIEVE THE SKIN AND POP IT IN HIS MOUTH AND EAT IT. FURIOUS THE PA INFORMED HIM TO STAY OUT OF HIS STERILE FIELD. THE NURSE HAVING SEEN THIS AND BEING A LONG TIME VETRAN OF THE ER OFFERED THE FUMING PA A NEW STERILE SUTURE TRAY AND SOME GREY POUPON. TOO WHICH THE PA'S DARK MOOD IMEDIANTLY LIFTED AND HE BEGAN SUTURING AGAIN.

Originally posted by alice braun:

I THOUGHT I HAD SEEN AND HEARD ALMOST EVERYTHING. YOU GET THAT WAY WORKING ER. ONE NIGHT I WAS DOWN THE HALL WHEN A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE AND FELLOW NURSE CAME OUT OF ONE OF OUR SUTURE ROOMS ALMOST DOUBLED OVER IN LAUGHTER. A RATHER OBNOXIOUS DRUNK PT WAS IN THAT ROOM BEING TREATED FOR SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS. APPARENTLY OUR PA WAS SUTURING UP THE MAN'S HAND AND HAD TRIMMED OFF SOME EXCESS SKIN THAT HAD AVULSED, WHEN THE PT HAD REACHED IN HIS STERILE FIELD TO RETRIEVE THE SKIN AND POP IT IN HIS MOUTH AND EAT IT. FURIOUS THE PA INFORMED HIM TO STAY OUT OF HIS STERILE FIELD. THE NURSE HAVING SEEN THIS AND BEING A LONG TIME VETRAN OF THE ER OFFERED THE FUMING PA A NEW STERILE SUTURE TRAY AND SOME GREY POUPON. TOO WHICH THE PA'S DARK MOOD IMEDIANTLY LIFTED AND HE BEGAN SUTURING AGAIN.

I worked in ER for over 10 years.. that's a new one on me! Thanks!!

Here are two more for ya...

In our ER, a 30+ year old woman shows up one evening, saying "there's another little hole down there (genital area) and it's bleeding" - Lovely. Pelvic exam revealed a normal female with 3 "holes" (she had been unaware of her urethra) who was menstruating.

Then there was the "buffy" type college sorority girl who complained about a "bump" on her genital area. Said it had been there for a month or so. The doctor performed a pelvic exam, found normal female genitalia, and then accidentally bumped the clitoris. "That was it!" the patient said. "What, this?" asked the doctor, not realizing for a second that he didn't need to be manipulating the clitoris too much..."yes, that's the bump!" He had to gently explain that that bump was SUPPOSED to be there and, in all likelihood, had been there a little longer than a month!

I swear, it takes all kinds.

The above story reminds me of an incident that happened to me a few months ago. I was seeing this 70 yr. old gentleman for followup after chemotherapy. He was a devout Muslim, with pictures of the Aga Khan in several places throughout his home, so I did my best to be culturally sensitive and avoid doing anything that might embarass him. I knew that in his home country, I probably would not have been allowed to touch him, or be in the room alone with him.

He had been complaining of pain in his left leg and groin area for some time. This day, however, he said the pain had moved to a new area. "Now it's at the base of my penis," he said, and then he proceeded to whip down his trousers and underwear, and show me the exact spot!

I declined his invitation to investigate the spot, and advised him to see his doctor about it. I left his home, thinking: "Another cultural assumption shot to hell!" I was also glad that his wife was at home, working just around the corner in the kitchen. I'm still not sure whether he wanted some sexual thrills, or whether he genuinely expected me to go poking and prodding at the base of his penis, to see if I could detect anything abnormal.

Sorry, I dont have something to add, but I do appreciate the humor.

Kudos to everyone who can still work during one of these episodes. I usually just go and consult the chart...and quietly giggle.

Did I ever tell you about the time............................

The young man of about 20, who "woke up" and felt something a little strange coming out of his rectum? It's hard to believe that you wouldn't remember the moment that the coat hanger was inserted hook first, isn't it?

The poor fellow had to wait about 12 hours for his surgery, as there were multiple other patients far sicker than him, who need to go to the O.R.!

p.rabbit

ClariceS

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, Cardiac ICU. Has 11 years experience.

"I THOUGHT I HAD SEEN AND HEARD ALMOST EVERYTHING. YOU GET THAT WAY WORKING ER. ONE NIGHT I WAS DOWN THE HALL WHEN A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE AND FELLOW NURSE CAME OUT OF ONE OF OUR SUTURE ROOMS ALMOST DOUBLED OVER IN LAUGHTER. A RATHER OBNOXIOUS DRUNK PT WAS IN THAT ROOM BEING TREATED FOR SELF INFLICTED WOUNDS. APPARENTLY OUR PA WAS SUTURING UP THE MAN'S HAND AND HAD TRIMMED OFF SOME EXCESS SKIN THAT HAD AVULSED, WHEN THE PT HAD REACHED IN HIS STERILE FIELD TO RETRIEVE THE SKIN AND POP IT IN HIS MOUTH AND EAT IT. FURIOUS THE PA INFORMED HIM TO STAY OUT OF HIS STERILE FIELD. THE NURSE HAVING SEEN THIS AND BEING A LONG TIME VETRAN OF THE ER OFFERED THE FUMING PA A NEW STERILE SUTURE TRAY AND SOME GREY POUPON. TOO WHICH THE PA'S DARK MOOD IMEDIANTLY LIFTED AND HE BEGAN SUTURING AGAIN."

Mine isn't from the ER but along the same story line. We had a patient with a trach on our surgical floor. Copious thick sputum that he would projectile cough around the room. One morning a lovely wad landed on his breakfast tray and he immediately sopped it up with his biscuit and proceded to eat it!!!!! eek.gif My nurse had to RUN out of the room, gagging the whole way!

I will never forget the 80something in bed with a NOF # whom I found sucking on her now disconnected (by her) indwelling catheter. She looked at me and said "join me in a drink dearie" as she offered me her "straw". For some reason I gave that free drink a miss!

My most incredible ER story is when a very "wasted" young lady was brought to the ER by the police for a pelic exam following a drug bust. They felt she had secreted a small stash. The doc found a parcel all right! A small order of McDonalds French Fries wrapper in all!!! Apparantly, the girl was in a real hurry and grabbed the wrong package!

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Originally posted by outbackannie:

My most incredible ER story is when a very "wasted" young lady was brought to the ER by the police for a pelic exam following a drug bust. They felt she had secreted a small stash. The doc found a parcel all right! A small order of McDonalds French Fries wrapper in all!!! Apparantly, the girl was in a real hurry and grabbed the wrong package!

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Originally posted by sherryleetns:

Nurse call- Around 3am the registration clerk yells out "nurse call" I Answered the phone caller states there is something wrong with my baby,(as all er nurses know this statement can cover an entire spectrum of ills) but being the curious type I ask what seems to be the problem,"Well every time we change his diaper he screams" To which I respond "How old is your baby" Caller " 4 days old, and we have been doing everything the told us to do" They of course being the nursery nurse who had sent this tiny human home with these obviously unprepared parents. I then inguired "Is your baby a boy or girl" Caller"boy" To whichich I inguire "sir was your son circumsised to which he responded "YES, and we have been cleaning IT with alchohol like they showed us" After picturing in my mind this poor child who is probally traumatized for the rest of his life I told the FATHER, "lets just think about this amoment sir imagine if you will your skin being removed from your penis and then someone pouring alchohol on it" SILENCE and then "O MY GOD" yes sir I reply i believe the correct treatment would be vasline to the area of discussion.

I have shared this story with many of my male co-workers and always the same shocked-grimace of pain as they realize this poor childs fate. p.s. love all your stories and comment, and THANK GOD for humor in the ER

I have two stories one is my own experience. I was working with a confused elderly man who had a J-P bulb in his abdominal surgical site. He was still NPO and kept saying how hungry he was. I caught him just as he was about to take a bite out of his JP bulb. I said, "Mr. Jones! What are you doing?" He responded irritably, "I'm trying to eat this potato!" I still call JP's "potato's" to this day!

In an ER where I once worked, an older couple came in, the husband in severe pain the wife sobbing. In the triage room the wife confessed, "I told him I didn't want to do it! But it is our 40th anniversary and he wanted to try something different! And we can't get it out!" "It" was a small vibrator. The doc could barely reach it with the anoscope and it was still ON (Energizer batteries apparently) and so the poor fellow wound up having emergency surgery to remove the vibrator --which on X-ray revealed it had migrated quite far up his colon!

You must admire the loyalty this wife had for not dropping him off at the ER doors and sped away!

MartyL, that is hilarious. Ouch, on that vibrator surgical removal. My good friend was an ER nurse years ago, in fact, she was one of Elvis's nurses. I keep trying to get her to come in here to share her hilarious ER stories or at least some Elvis stories. P.S. I love Biloxi. Thanks, fellow Southerner.

I was in nursing school and doing my clinical rotation through the ER when this young girl came in. She said that she was pregnant and that she had a bladder infection because she had cramps and every time she went voided she was bleeding. We ran a pregnancy test on her which was negative. She was menstruating. The nurses in the ER told me that they get that a lot.

One of the stories from our ER (from way before I was even a nurse) is that of the man that was so amazed by his colonoscopy photos that he decided to make a plaster cast of what the scope showed. Needless to say, when the plaster hardened, he was in real trouble and rushed to surgery. The surgeon still has the cast that formed. This is the same surgeon who removed a vibrator from another patient and sent it to pathology :) (Gotta love doctor humor!)

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