What ridiculous things have you seen happen in the workplace?

Nurses General Nursing


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53 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac, OB.

Smuckers jars?


47 Posts

..hmm. the cancer doc who signed death certs for his pt's every friday afternoon...

Or the nursing home that had no gloves. I ended up bringing my own, but an aide was generous enough to bring some from her other job for everyone to use.. from Subway. You know the plastic-y kind with all the holes? Yeah. Mgmt thought that was good enough.

Respiratory therapist out side smoking with his patients. No joke.

Specializes in Psychiatry.

Hospital pt (A & O x4), introducing me to her husband, and saying "she's the best waitress I've had..."

ummmmm, yeah....


384 Posts

Specializes in PCU/Hospice/Oncology.

I had a nurse at shift report try to pass off tap water as Sugar Free Morphine.. which is blue. That was a fun one. (During hospice)

I had a patient write "Hell" on the wall next to her bed with her own feces. (ALF Case)

I had a dr pinch my bum in front of a patient and then tell the patient that she had seen things due to her condition. The pinch was NOT welcomed! (Oncology Unit)

I saw a CNA let a patient who was confused fall to the floor and then scold her for being a "wicked woman" and as punishment telling her she would let her stay there for 2 hours. (Ive got the state on speed dial *sigh*) (ALF)

Back in nursing school I had a fellow classmate observing a full hysterectomy with me. Somewhere between things going in and things coming out and that wonderful cauterized smell in the air, she says to me, "So I was thinking, tuna salad today sounds perfect. You in?" Ahh memories!

I did a home health case where the patient had trained the DOG to bring her medication bottles to her since she couldnt get up and was nearly blind. Only problem was that lassie wasnt distinguishing her BP med from the Ativan. /facepalm. You wouldnt believe the nightmare I had sorting that mess out!!!

Back when I was an EMT I trasported a lady who had ONE half of ONE lung remaining and had O2 on who turned to me and asked me straight faced, "Got a light?" as she held her cig up.

I have a TON more of these. I could write a book!


195 Posts

Lol...I had a pt bring me a urine specimen in an empty Smacker's jar once.

I think you mean Smucker's? like the jam? ;)


256 Posts

Specializes in OB, Med/Surg, Ortho, ICU.

I personally like the male trauma victim that was asked for a urine specimen in our ED. He gave us the wrong kind of specimen. Curiously, lotion disappeared in that man's room like crazy-I wonder where it went?

How about the surgeon's pants that fell down mid procedure? He apparently preferred commando. Poor circulator...

Ruby Vee, BSN

47 Articles; 14,024 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

patient who (neatly) castrated himself because he was having "bad thoughts."

patient who collected a urine sample as requested, then just about the time his doctor was rounding, drank it. the doctor was incensed. i couldn't keep myself from laughing. the doctor was more incensed. i laughed harder. there really was a nursing shortage then, or i would have been fired that day!

Jackfackmasta, ASN, RN

1 Article; 164 Posts

Specializes in Adult ICU.

- My clinical teacher told me this infamous story at our state hospital during our mental health rotation about a patient who climbed up a tree and over the building and escaped the hospital only to go to an apartment building complex next door to steal a car from a woman and drive it back to the unit's door and bang on it while dangling the keys to show every that he stole a care. No one knew he had escaped

- Another story she told us, sad, was about a woman who was at the hospital for a possible OD and the family said she would state she od but she really didn't multiple times so this one time when the patient came in the hospital treated her like she had lied about oding again and called our state hospital to transfer her without doing any blood work or anything. The pt was fine when she left in the cop care for the 4 plus hour drive and when the officer arrived he walked into the admissions stating that the patient would not wake up. My instructor walked out to the car only to find the patient dead. They did CPR but she never came back. Officer stated that she was snoring on the way up. She died in the car.

- One of the other hospitals in our system is located in south of us and it was on the news about how a gang fight broke out at a bar down the street from the hospital and the victims went to this hospital afterwards with stab wounds. Then another gang fight broke out in the parking lot of the hospital. 1 of the victims dies and another was in critical condition. This is a level 4 center, our trauma center is in downtown.


218 Posts

when i was a CNA there was a patient who just came to the floor (med/surg) from the ER. his RR was 60, he had a LOADED brief (and when i say loaded, it was like peanut butter thick and to this day i've never seen anything like it), he came from a facility that housed people who were "special needs" and he appeared to not be able to speak nor comprehend just by APPEARANCE. the nurse assigned to him helped me clean him up which was amazing in itself bc she NEVER helped do that. so, when she volunteered to get the supplies we needed i was shocked. she came back with a bag of pads that we use to put UNDER patients and thought they were briefs. she said, "what we need are those briefs that have the sticky sides." i was like...uhh...we DO have those. she had worked for a YEAR and didn't even know we had those and i had only worked there 2 months at the time. i took back the pads she thought were briefs and got briefs that she "wished we had" after being employed for a year. that's the first funny. then there's the horrible....she said, "i wouldn't want to live like this. this is no kind of life. i'd rather be put out of my misery." i was mortified that she said this in front of the patient, but at that time i didn't think he could comprehend so that lessened the blow. WEEELL...after getting him cleaned up, settled, etc. i was standing in the hallway charting on a patient next door and i heard her start her assessment. "can you tell me your name?" the patient answered (SOB, but answered clearly). "do you know where you are?" the pt says, "hospital." UMMM....this patient heard and understood her say that he wasn't worth being alive basically! horrible, horrible, horrible!


64 Posts

Smuckers jars?

yes!! thanks for the correction...long day:o

Specializes in Med/Surg.

I had a preceptor a few weeks ago state that she wasnt going to make it if she had to keep putting on those yellow gowns everytime she went into our patient's room. So she wore only gloves regardless of what type of care she was doing. Mind you this patient had MRSA & VRE. No wonder these infections run rampant...

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