You Can't Make This Stuff Up!

As a nurse of some years' duration, I've often been accused of harboring a rather warped sense of humor. I'm not sure what happened, or when I devolved from a normal person who laughs at knock-knock jokes and funny animal videos to a degenerate who cackles madly at bodily functions and the infinite variety of stupid people tricks. All I know is, I've seen some crazy stuff since I've been in this field........and every single one of these stories is 100% true. Nurses Announcements Archive Article

........Some years ago when I was still working Med/Surg, I had a patient who could be described diplomatically only as "fluffy". In actuality, she was a diabetic who weighed more than 400 lbs. A pleasant sort, she struck up conversation with me as I performed her PM assessment; when the aide brought her supper tray in, she mentioned that she'd lost her lower dentures at breakfast and asked if I'd seen them. Of course, I hadn't---at least, not until I turned her onto her side so I could listen to her lungs.

There, firmly implanted in her left buttock, were the teeth. They'd made such an indentation that I literally had to pry them off her cheek with a gloved finger..........whereupon she whisked them out of my hand, said "Ahhh, thanks, honey", and popped them into her mouth before I even had a chance to wash them!

........Same hospital: we had this little old man from a nursing home; naturally, he was terribly confused, and much to the dismay of the entire floor yelled incoherently for hours and tried repeatedly to climb out of bed. Finally, after several complaints from other patients and a couple of Ativan tablets that did nothing but wind him up even more, his nurse found a geri-chair and brought him out to the nurses' station so we could keep an eye on him. In exasperation, she told the man, "Now you be quiet---I don't want to hear so much as a squeak out of you."

That was when we found out he wasn't quite as demented as we'd assumed. With a sly grin on his face and an unmistakable twinkle in his faded blue eyes, he said "SQUEAK!" and promptly subsided, content to watch the corridor and nibble on graham crackers.

........Another time, an aide and I were cleaning up after a patient who'd been incontinent of a rather impressive river of loose fact, it was pouring off the bed and splattering on the floor (not to mention our shoes). Why I was reminded just then of the need to pick up some chocolate fudge cake mix on the way home, I'll never know, but when I said as much, the aide turned a funny shade of green and fled the room!

.........Here's a patient I'm sure many of us have met: the nineteen-year-old primigravida with tattoos all over her upper body who screeched like a frightened toddler when I tried to start an IV because she "didn't like needles"...........

.........More fun from the OB unit: I've worked three-day stretches in postpartum without seeing even ONE married couple. Sent new parents home who couldn't even read the directions on the box their infant car seat came in. Caught a baby in my bare hands when the L&D nurse was on break and the doctor hadn't arrived yet because Mom was only at 6 cm and the contractions were still three minutes apart after eight hours of labor.

And I've spent nights in a hospital nursery with a baby in each arm, wondering what I'd done to deserve the privilege of actually getting paid to sit in a rocking chair, cradling downy heads and inhaling deeply of the scent of new life. Nope, you really CAN'T make this stuff up. :D

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.
I haven't laughed like this at nursing in a while I needed that thanks.

What a great user name!! HAHAHA!!!:chuckle

Specializes in med/surg , hospice and oncology.
way back when, as the story goes, women used potatoes as pessaries, for a "dropped uterus"

YUM-O! French fries anyone? Hmmmm, mashed potatoes?:chuckle

Specializes in med/surg , hospice and oncology.

I'm so blessed to find that there are other warped nurses out there like me. Suddenly, I don't feel so "special" anymore. There are other "special" nurses out there. Thanks!

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.
YUM-O! French fries anyone? Hmmmm, mashed potatoes?:chuckle


On a more serious note, from my vantage point in the pharmacy, the most heartbreaking things are the preschoolers in the inpatient psychiatry unit. What could possibly have happened to a child that young that they ended up in a place like this at that age? :sniff:

I'm in pre-nursing right now, and I thought I'd run all possible scenarios through my head of what I might encounter as a nurse. Why had I not thought of this? I hope that I can somehow keep a sense of humor when I start working as a nurse. I think many people are driven to the field out of compassion - and I can see the need to keep from crying.

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

I've had some of those moments...

Not long after I graduated into the last recession/nurse layoff era, I was working for an agency that provided staff relief to many of the acute and long-term care facilities in our city. I got a call at suppertime one night to do a night shift at a local LTC that I wasn't familiar with. I had no idea I was going to be the only RN on site for the night until I got there and I'd never set foot into an LTC before... So anyway, my main responsibility was to manage the medically fragile residents on the second floor and supervise the LPN on each of the other three floors and all NAs. Sometime after midnight the NAs on my floor were on their supper break when this little elderly lady marched up the hallway clad only in a sweater, socks and incontinence briefs. She was not verbal at this stage of her dementia and was on a mission known only to herself; with my limited experience I could only follow her to see where she was going. I steered her away from the alarmed fire exit and herded her back to her bed (or at least I was hoping it was her bed!) only to hear her 'schwit... schwit... schwit... schwit...' down the hall behind me again. This scenario replayed itself three times despite my putting the siderails up, closing the door to the room and whatever else I could think of. Finally I led her into the day room where another resident was watching late night TV... and there she sat for at least two hours before she got up and went to bed on her own.

Another thing that happened on the same night, while I was covering an LPN for her break is that I was looking through the various articles posted on the bulletin board behind the nurses' station when I came across a multi-page missive entitled "Protocol to Follow in the Event of a Resident's Death". My first and most clamorous thought was... "I'm not finding them until 7 am!"

"we had this little old man from a nursing home; naturally, he was terribly confused, and much to the dismay of the entire floor yelled incoherently for hours and tried repeatedly to climb out of bed."

I know him!:chuckle

Specializes in geriatrics, medsurg, group homes.

All I have to say is Thank God there is other people like me. I was hoping I wasn't the only one that could clean up a wound or poop or puke and think that I needed to go eat because it was now 2 pm and I hadn't had lunch and I was hungry.

We also had a tall elderly gentleman when I was working long term care, that at the wee hours of the morning would be stark naked going down the hall going into the ladies rooms while they were asleep and pee into the heaters. Yea that smelled real good and not to say put some little ladies into the "vapors".

Yep I have seem some things also that people would say your making that up. No, I haven't its really happened.

Specializes in Emergency/Trauma.

Oh heavens, the things the make up this life!

In the ER there are so many things, funny and sad that you see. What comes to mind the most for me...

..... the etoh intoxicated man who walked out of the ER (after he had already been seen and was receiving treatment), and yelled, "All you care about it yourselves around here, no one will help me!" This man yelled this at the majority of the staff who was busy coding a woman who was 37 weeks pregnant with twins.

..... the woman who used a HOT curling iron to pleasure herself and needed treatment for burns (of course mental help as well)

..... an 80lb. 3 year old

..... the etoh intoxicated man who said, "just give my my banana bag so I can get outta here". After he got his banana bag, he proceeded to unscrew it from his IV and drink it! When we stopped him from drinking it, he was very upset as he said he could drink much quicker than it would go in his arm. He really wanted to leave.

..... oh if I only had a picture for each of the many odd things I've seen! (hair do's, make up, clothing, body positions, objects, etc.)

..... once when I was a CNA, I was wearing a sweatshirt that said "UCLA". A demented parkinson's pt who hardly spoke, looked at me and said, "I don't see LA, do you see LA?" It was like out of the mouthes of babes, I was amazed a person in his condition was able to use such a spin on words!

..... I needed to play a foley cath on a 450lb. woman. I had 4 people helping to hold her legs, pannus and just the inner folds of her thighs so that I could actually reach the urethra. I had just gotten to the point where I had inserted the tubing and was in the middle of advancing it when the nurse holding the inner thighs lost her strength and couldn't hold anymore... she let go! My hand and half of my arm were literally stuck! Ugh... that one wasn't fun, but it sure was funny later!

Specializes in geriatric, pediatric trach/vent, LTAC.

I've always had a strong stomach and sick sense of humor. During my clinical rotation I was holding an elderly patient so that one of my fellow students could do a rectal check. The check turned out very positive as evidenced by the glove. As she was removing the glove, it caught on her knuckle flinging stool across my arm. I just smiled and told her she owed me. After scrubbing my arm twice and using sanitizer up to the elbows, we went to lunch. I bought her a chocolate pudding.

I just wanted to say thank you.

Although I would like to work in L&D, as a male it probably wont happen. But your stories made me break out the books and start studying for the day. Just one year 3 months to go!


Specializes in ccu, med surg, ltc, home health.

To the poster who wanted to know why a preschooler would end up in a psych the parents could take vacation. My first real nursing wake up call was in nursing school when I was doing my psych rotation. The staff at the acute care facility I was in told us that some of the kids in there were there because the parents dropped them off and then could not be contacted. Those who could be contacted were out of state on vacation. While I firmly believe in psych treatment and that some should be in hospitals, I don't thank these places are babysitters