Twilight Zone Phone Call


  • Specializes in onc, M/S, hospice, nursing informatics. Has 11 years experience.

i had a confused patient the other night, and one of the aides says, "why don't you call her daughter who was here last night? she said she could stay with her." so i find the face sheet (no daughter listed - i thought maybe it was the dil) and call the person listed as son. a man answers with that name (listed as son) and i tell him i'm calling about his mother. i tell him that she is confused, keeps getting out of bed, and i'm afraid she will fall because she is unsteady. tell him i need someone to come stay with her.

at first he seems to know who i'm talking about, but then he says, "your mother is confused? who is your mother?" i tell him, "no, it's your mother, so and so." we go around about this for a few minutes, then he says that so and so is his wife and she is lying next to him in bed. i ask wife's dob; it's the same as my patient. address? yep, same as my patient. so i ask if his wife is awake? yep. can i speak with her? "just a minute." minute later, "oh, she must have gone out on the back patio. let me get her." two minutes later, "oh, she must still be in the hospital!!!"

i was getting so confused i had our ua go ask the patient her name! had us in hysterics!

finally, husband says that he will send wife's caregiver over to stay with patient - which he does. sounds like he needs a caregiver himself!



38,333 Posts

And I thought I got strange phone calls!


97 Posts

Wow, just wow. X_X;


88 Posts

what!? he FORGOT his wife was still in the hospital? i dont know if he is starting to lose it or doesnt notice his wife anymore.


493 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,.

I experienced something similar to this once. I had a female dementia patient who fell in the bathroom. So of course we write up the incident report and all that jazz and call the husband to inform him. He calls back 5 minutes later saying that no one has spoken to him regarding his wife's fall...someone speaks with him. He calls back again..and again..and again...calling administration, charge nurse, operator, etc with everyone repeating the same thing over and over again...until someone finally realized the husband had dementia too. You should have seen the demented husband and wife arguing when he arrived...but at least they'll forget they had an argument...I guess.