What was the MOST ridiculous thing a patient came to the ER for?


2141 Answers

Katnip, RN

2,904 Posts

Someone who called and tried to make an appointment for the next day. We explained "This is the emergency room."

Person replied "I know. I don't want to wait, I want an appointment for tomorrow." We said, "Call the clinic."

Tink RN

74 Posts

I think one of the most rediculous was for a pregnancy test. Min cost of $500.00 for the ER visit when they could have bought one at Walmart for like $7! Or even have one done free at the health dept ... I'm sure that bill didn't get paid anyway.


5 Posts

I've had to be one of 'those patients' against my will a few times throughout my training.

Halfway through my training I'd started getting dizzy/passing out and eventually got diagnosed with POTs. In a manual handling session that lasted 4 hours, no drink breaks with poor ventilation, I got a bit dizzy. About 15minutes before the end, I asked if I could take 5minutes in the corridor, with some fresh air.

The instructor decided to call the Head of year. The Head of year decided to call my tutor. My tutor decided to call the head of the School of Nursing. All 3 showed up, and after half an hour of trying to explain that "this is normal, I just need fresh air, water and rest." they decided to take me downstairs to A&E. On a wheelchair. In my nursing uniform. Through all the other students that were waiting to use the room next.

I spent the next 7hrs repeatedly explaining my condition, and that I didn't want to be admitted. I had tests run, ECGs, fluids given. Only one person believed that it might have anything to do with the POTs. As it was, my flat mates who could have made sure I was safe on the bus had now left, so I had no way home.

Eventually I got told "There's no sign of it, but we think you have an ear infection. Here's a prescription for antibiotics and your discharge letter."

I checked with 3 nurses, a doctor and the nurse in charge that there was nothing more they needed to do, and she assured me it was all taken care of, and that I should leave ASAP.

I took two steps before turning back and leaning over to grab some gauze, and a vomit bowl. There, in front of her, I took out the cannula they'd forgotten (I'd reminded them 6times at this point), dropped it in the vomit bowl and taped myself up with the tape on my lanyard. "I hope I didn't still need that." Then I went at sat in the hallway just outside for an hour before someone could pick me up.

Same thing happened again, after qualifying, though now my dizziness comes with chest pains occasionally. Night shift, last 2 hours. I've been feeling the chest pain for maybe 30minutes. Nurse in charge notices when a patient wakes up, looks at me and says "You should go home!" Full monitoring goes on, she calls the night doctor, makes a nurse sit with me.

I told her if it continued after the shift I'd go to my GP, but she wasn't having it.

I find myself again, being wheeled down to A&E in my uniform, with two nurses escorting me. 12hrs later, fluid, bloods, urine, chest X-ray, 2hrly ECGs (all done by nurses I graduated with) and "You're probably getting an ear infection."

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

Gum stuck in long blond (bleached) hair. The doctor wrote a recommendation on an order sheet to a cosmetologist.

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,841 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

By ambulance at 2am, a blister on the rt great toe.

No ride back, no friends, and hungry (but I didn't need to tell you guys that)

And, yes we get a lot of people wanting a pregnancy test. Seems some insurances will pay for an er visit, but not an OTC test (go figure)

Specializes in Emergency room, med/surg, UR/CSR.

Worst weirdest was a person that drank a cup of abrasive substance that wasn't supposed to be drank. Can't tell ya any more than that without violating HIPPA. Needless to say it wasn't pretty and that person is really messed up for life.

Another weird injury I saw once upon a time, a kid came in with a fishing lure stuck to his head. When he first walked up I thought it was something coming out of his head! (I was a registrar in the ER then.)


1 Article; 2,334 Posts

I know this one by way of working at a Peds office.

Mummy's little angel got sent home from school with head lice (first case).

Mummy called clinic for an appointment.

Triage advised could be treated at home.

20 minutes was spent repeating instructions to a parent who didn't want to deal with it and calling in a script for Nix and a lice comb in to their pharmacy.

The next day we got the ER report, mom must have taken the child in as soon as I hung up with her.

They left the ER with the child untreated and you guessed it, a script for Nix and a lice comb.

I guess mom thru a huge scene because she had to (gasp) PICK THE NITS OUT OF HER CHILDS HAIR HER SELF.


75 Posts

The police had raided a crack house. In the refrigerator they found what they thought was a human fetus. They brought it to the ER. It was an oyster.

Nurse Ratched, RN

2,149 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics/Oncology/Psych/College Health.

We get people in our office following up after an ED visit, and I'm always amazed that they wound up in the ED. We even had one gal recently who came to our office for a chronic problem, then went to the ED the night before all her test results were to be in because *she couldn't wait for them anymore.* She thought the ED would have them right away. She got ALL the same tests run AND the results still weren't available until after our results were already in.


127 Posts

Gee, let's see:

-broken acrylic nail

-child vomited once, now sitting on mom's lap eating chips and drinking coke

-laceration too tiny to be seen by the naked eye ("it was bleeding just a minute ago" as patient squeezes the alleged laceration trying to make it bleed again)

-totally well, but needing a work excuse for a sick day sometime last week

-child sleeping all day (up all night crying the night before)

-prescription refill (could be anything from bp meds to oxycontin)

-viagra request

-mosquito bite (yup, just a plain old mosquito bite with no allergic reaction or infection)

-child "lethargic" (mom's words) as kid is running up and down the hall and, you guessed it, eating chips and drinking coke

and do you have to treat them?

I am just curious. Your stories always seem to either crack me up or shake my head in amazement.

Thanks for sharing ?

Well....here's a few:

1. "the baby's crying." (no signs of illness, just crying)

2. "My pee is yellow" (huh? wonder what colour it used to be...)

3. "A plastic container fell on my head" (no injury)

4. Toothache x1hr

5. Vomited once (this guy took an ambulance in, lives 1block from the hospital)

6. Nausea (patient said, "I have a vomiting phobia")

7. Scratch on the pinkie finger (took an ambulance)


49 Posts

Had a patient who found 2 ticks come in with ticks in plastic container. They hadnt bit or imbedded, but they were spotted, so MOM was concerned. What are we supposed to do with them anyway? :rolleyes: