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What are the pranks you played with your co-workers and how did you handle it?

by NurseEnvision NurseEnvision (New) New

We all do have good and bad days in nursing but how about your prank days? Have you done something silly at work that you will never forget and still laugh about it until now?

Here's mine:

One day, I received a call from my resident's daughter that her dad's dentures were missing. I came and scanned the room and asked the CNA's to help me look for it everywhere in the building but couldn't find it anywhere. Few hours later, my shift is about to end and I received a call from the other side of the building that if one of my resident's dentures is missing so I came over and guess what? It was his dentures. And I was like "How did you know that it was my resident's?" and they were like "Well, we all check everyone's mouth if they have their dentures and everybody has it in theirs so we thought if it is one of yalls people" and I could not stop laughing imagining them opening everybody's mouth just to make sure they are not missing a denture. That was a funny night! Anyway, I called the daughter back that her dad's denture was found in the other side of the building and she was ohhhhbooooyy, very furious about it.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

Decades ago, when "incident reports" were on paper, we switched out forms and the old forms were supposed to be trashed. It was a rare slow night, and my co-workers and I found a stack of the old forms and were filling them out with the most outrageous "incidents" we could think of. The nursing supervisor, when she made her rounds, found a few of them sitting out on the counter and picked them up and added them to her stack.

I expected to hear from the nursing supervisor before the night was over about the clearly fake "incidents." I was a young and relatively new nurse then, I didn't realize that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and that the crusty old bat who was the nursing supervisor had seen and heard a lot worse than I could imagine.

About a week later, I got my comeuppance when I had to report a REAL incident. The LPN I was working with went to give a morphine injection IM in the thigh -- but the tubes was heavy and she dropped it. The needle caught the patient's great toe on the way down and stuck there. The LPN just injected the morphine into the toe, and possibly the only reason there WAS an incident report was the brand new grad (not me) who witnessed the incident and wrote up the report. When the supervisor came around, she picked up the incident report and with a perfectly straight face, said "Nice try, but last week's were funnier."

Once during nursing college, me and my friends did a prank on of our colleague by sending him in the morgue room. We told him that our senior sir is waiting to see you there and he went and there was nobody. He was very frightened by the dark light in the room and was very furious. We had a laugh of centuries that day. We all are still best friends till date.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

I was 22, brand new and fresh off the farm when my first patient died. I was told I needed to accompany her to the morgue with a transporter. There wasn't a transporter available, and I didn't want to go to the morgue by myself, so the medical resident volunteered to help me push the cart. Everything was well and good until after we had signed the paperwork signing the patient into the morgue and then opened the cooler to wheel in the guerney. As soon as we wheeled the cart in, the door slammed shut and we could hear the padlock snapping home. Locked in! In the dark! We were in there about an hour before someone set us free. It was cold and creepy in there!

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

Not by coworkers, but I've been pranked by patients who decided that the staff needed to go on a treasure hunt, and so they hid 46 hard-boiled eggs on the unit. I was more impressed that they got hold of 46 hard-boiled eggs than anything else.

We also found only 45...

When doctors wrote orders on paper we would copy the ones we couldn't read and post it as "mystery order of the day" and make guesses. It was fun till the docs made us quit. Put a DNR order on an ice machine that broke.


Has 6 years experience.

Back in the days of paper charts, I grabbed a chart that was ready to be called back, glanced at the name on the face sheet, opened the door, and called for "Mr. Jones" only to be met with blank stares. I figured he was in the restroom, so I put it down to try later. A few minutes later a coworker tried to call "Mr. Jones" with no reply. Finally another coworker started laughing hysterically. She'd put a fake name on a blank face sheet and set the chart there to see how long we'd call a bogus name!

MrNurse(x2), ADN

Specializes in IMC, school nursing. Has 28 years experience.

I was charge on a telemetry unit on March 31 night shift. The next morning, I had 2 cups for day shift's assignment. One cup had a number for how many patients, I had another with the room numbers. They would pull how many patients and then the room numbers for their assignment. It was timely as there was a lot of complaints about assignments at that point, so a few were truly happy with it. Everyone was told to go to the back where the real report was given. Everyone played along until the charge nurse came in, thankfully late, and threw a huge wet blanket on the whole thing. That was 15 years ago and I still get kudos for it.

spotangel, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 32 years experience.

The ER was dead on Christmas day and we decided to pull a fast one on our transporter James! His best friend Mark who was another transporter lay on a stretcher.I tied a toe tag on him with a fake name and ID and covered him with a sheet!I then closed the curtains around the cubicle and called James with a serious face. I told him to take the body to the morgue and that security was waiting by the morgue to open the door for him. James hated dead bodies and morgues, so I told him that I would come with him. Relieved, James pulled the curtain with me right behind him to see the big toe of the patient moving! He shot out of that cubicle like a cannon ball while the entire ER staff erupted laughing! The "body" called out, " Stop James, Take me with you!"Thankfully he did not have a heart attack and we still laugh about it when we see each other!

BeenThere2012, ASN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Pediatrics, Trauma.

Didn't happen to me, but was told at a seminar on "Humor and Medicine".

A hospice patient who had a Foley...Unable to avoid on his own. The Foley came out on Christmas Eve. The family felt bad having to call the on-call nurse in on a holiday evening to replace the Foley. When she arrived and pulled back the covers, they had placed a Christmas bow around his Penis.

I laugh after all these years when I think of it.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

Back in the days of unit secretaries and taped shift reports, one unit secretary had typed on the patient list/info sheet "Broken Bed" in one room so the nurses would not admit to that particular bed.

As I was taping shift report that day, I ran down the list, giving patient info and current status when I came to the room with the broken bed. Without hesitating, I reported "Broken Bed is a 35 y/o Native American, patient of Dr. Simmons admitted with depression. Broken Bed tends to isolate in his room and has no appetite. He was visited today by his sister, Serta Sleeper who remarked on Broken Bed's appearance, stating 'He's looking like an unmade bed' ".

Broken Bed hung around the psych unit for about a week before he was fixed up.


Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

This is an oldie but it's still funny. One night in the ER we signed "Mike Hunt" in for the triage nurse. When the entire waiting room was laughing over the repeated calls for Mike Hunt the triage nurse finally "got it."

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

the entire waiting room was laughing over the repeated calls for Mike Hunt



Specializes in Hospital medicine; NP precepting; staff education. Has 20 years experience.

As a patient I drew with eyeliner a smiley face on the skin over my left greater trochanter for the DPT about to do my last iontophoresis. She got a chuckle out of it and called me (lovingly) a dork.

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

I was young, probably should not have but we had an orderly that was supper spoked about taking a deceased pt to morgue, we weren't busy, I got on gurney, toe tag and all covered with sheet orderly was called to cvicu to escort deceased to morgue, As we were in hall, I was trying to suppress my breathing.....all of sudden I set up.....the poor guy hollers Awe Jessus! And jumps in air several times, ran around our unit three times, and we didn't see him the rest of the night.......

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 10 years medical. Has 42 years experience.

we had an orderly that was supper spoked about taking a deceased pt to morgue