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

These stories made my day. Our first clinical was long term care and I had this lady she was about six feet tall and about 250 pounds and she refused to let me help her or do anything for her. She only wanted her aid and when her aid was off she just sat in bed and did nothing. She didnt want to be bothered by anyone but this aid. So after day two of this my instructor gave me another patient so that I wasnt just walking around lost and wondering what to do with this woman.

Well that day after I started working with someone else the aid was getting the other woman out of bed and they put her on the potty/shower chair and she had to go BUT what the patient didnt know was there was no pan in the bottom and she let go with her laxative induced runny stool all over the floor. At this point what could they do but wait for her to finish.

I thank the good lord every day that I wasnt her student nurse any more! :yeah::yeah:

Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor..

As I have mentioned before, you have such a wonderful way with putting your words in writing Marla. Thank you so much.:up:

Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor..
I've spent many nights holding a newborn. Rocking & thinking how blessed I was to be in this profession! But then, I've also had the loose stool patients, etc.....LOL
Unfortunately, I now am a loose stool person, and it's soo humbling and even more embarassing.:o
Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor..

How about this? I sent my caregiver home early today with pitted edema and a very sore foot. I suggested she soak the foot in epsom salts, dress her wound then go to the ER. I also asked her to call me to make sure she did it. She left telling me she loved me.

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis.

OMG- Some of these are too funny! Here's another true story, hope you enjoy!

I'll call your denture in the rump and raise you 1 loose elderly gentleman I was caring for decided to take a massive loose dump off the side of his bed because he didn't want to "sh** in the bed." While cleaning this mess I see something pink beginning to protrude from the mound of brown, yep- you guessed it! His teeth fell off the nightstand and are now buried under a pile of poo. I pick up said teeth, wipe them off and put them on a tissue on the nightstand with the intention of sterilizing the living daylights out of those teeth when I am done cleaning the floor enough to walk to the bathroom without tracking BM with me the whole way. Elderly gent rolls over my way, sees the teeth and...brace yourself!..."Oh, here they are!" and pops those teeth right in his mouth.

This happened about 10 years ago and I still cringe every time I remember it!

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology.

I ust thought of another one, from when I was in nursing school.

I was a mature student, not the oldest in my class by a long shot, but neither was I a fresh-faced little thing. I was also the mother of a medically-complex 10 year old. When I was doing my medicine rotation there was a patient that struck fear in the hearts of all the students; she was a spinster retired nurse with a PhD and many health issues... diabetes, heart disease, stasis ulcer, glaucoma.. and a personality that made her a terror. She had been in hospital for several weeks and was unable to return home until services could be arranged for home care. Many of my classmates had adjourned to the med room in tears after being in her presence. Of course the day came when I was assigned to Dr. C. (Have you met me? I'm NOT a shrinking violet!)

The afternoon before my clinical day I went to do the requisite chart review and introduce myself to my patient. When I entered her room I was met by this short, round old woman with very thick spectacles and extreme pedal edema. I told her who I was and said that I had a couple of questions to ask so that I might plan my care properly. She obliged, and then turned the tables, saying, "Okay, I've told you about me, now you tell me about you. Why do you think you'll be a competent nurse?" When I didn't shrink as she expected and then proceeded to tell her some of the experiences I'd already had with my child, she seemed a little subdued.

The next morning I showed up bright and early. I set her up with a basin and took away her breakfast tray. She wanted to do her wash-up after she came out of the bathroom so I started tidying up the room a bit. She came out of the bathroom and plopped down on the bed... right on top of her very expensive spectacles. Her face fell and she looked really upset when she saw her mangled wire frames. I asked if I could see them for a minute and took them into the bathroom where I ran hot water over them then returned them to their original shape. When she saw them and put them back on, she actually had tears in her eyes. She said to me, "When you go to post-conference you tell your classmates that Dr. C. LOVES you!" She was very cooperative for the rest of the day.

I'll admit I was quaking in my shoes when it came time to do the stasis ulcer dressing, because many people had mentioned it and her very particular preferences about how it was done. I had not yet done a sterile dressing change on a human and decided I would be frank with her. I told her about my green-ness and that I'd never even heard of a milk soak (yes, she was REALLY old school!) so if she'd be so good as to watch me closely to ensure I didn't break technique and walk me through it, I'd do the best job I knew how. She was eating out of my hand! I learned a lot that day about how to "work" the patient.

once a caretaker, always a caretaker...

Specializes in home health and geriatrics.

That is hilarious! I can so relate. I love geriatrics and its even more fun with they are religious. Nothing like a 90yr old nun asking for a miller lite with her pizza! Keep em coming because i think i have as warped a sense of humor because i once described the consistency of a bm as pancake batter....LOL


Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg.

You know, you tell people stories about what you do and if they are in the medical field they laugh their butts off but when you tell non medical people they just look at you like a dog listening to a high pitched sound. I was telling someone a story one night about some guy who was drunk who was driving his motorcycle and ran into a fence. He came in with the post sticking out of his groin 3 feet and out of his butt 3 feet. I was explaining how drunk this guy was and how he kept trying to grab the nurses and get up off the exam table, had to get a hack saw to cut the post off etc. The medical people there were laughing but the non medical people where just "how aful, did he die, was he in pain, etc" Who cares? He had enough alcohol on board to put an elephant down. I don't think he had pain.

Are we all just messed up in the head? I don't think there is any other profession in the world that can laugh over such human tragedy.

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

I think most law enforcement folks have pretty much the same twisted sense of humor that we do. Like us, cops deal with people at some of their worst moments in life; and like us, they are frequently the targets of the public's wrath and thus disrespected, threatened, beaten up, cussed at, and lied to. So after a while, they develop a sort of 'gallows humor' that tends to horrify anyone who's never been exposed to life's uglier realities.

I have a friend, a former detective, who can tell you stories that would curl the hair of the average civilian, but of course I find them enormously entertaining and laugh uproariously at his endless supply of "meth-head" tales. Sick? Probably.........but IMO, no one survives long in this business who does not learn to appreciate the morbid.:D

At least a little.

Specializes in l.p.n.
That is hilarious! I can so relate. I love geriatrics and its even more fun with they are religious. Nothing like a 90yr old nun asking for a miller lite with her pizza! Keep em coming because i think i have as warped a sense of humor because i once described the consistency of a bm as pancake batter....LOL


OH ,come on I was planning on trying my whole wheat pancakes in breakfast!!!!!!!!!!!!!:eek:

Specializes in home health and geriatrics.

I know, my best friends husband is a policeman, but the funniest thing is that has the most sensitive gag reflex ever. He couldnt even help out if the kids were sick, lol