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January 14, 2002

Weird Nursing Tales
Posted by Teresa at 09:00 AM * 0 comments

I got into reading the Weird Nursing Tales site through finding out that nurses tell ghost stories. They tell other stories too. They can be funny:

A 15-year old boy was lying on a stretcher with his mother sitting next to him. The boy was coming down from “crank” (methamphetamine) that he had injected into his vein with needles he had been sharing with his friends. Concerned about this the doctor asked the boy if there was anything he might have been doing that put him at risk for AIDS. The boy thought for a while then said questioningly, “I’ve been screwing the dog?”
or disturbing:
Okay, I’m not a nurse. I’m not even a CNA, but I think this story fits your page. I was just someone they hired off the street, mind. The only qualifications were three references and a negative TB test.

One night I had a patient in respiratory distress. He’d been out of lung meds for two weeks and his lips were purple. I called the night nurse, and she yelled at me for making her ride up to the third floor in the elevator. After she’d chewed me a new one she complained to the supervisor, who also chewed me out and told me I shouldn’t call the nurse unless someone had actually died. This was later amended to we should never call a nurse. Instead we should clean the body for morning transport and not bother the nursing staff with unimportant details. We were told if we reported anything to the state or gave a hint of some of the things one of the owners’ relatives did to the patients on day shift we would be fired on the spot and never work in the business again. I quit after three months.

or cynical:
Working in a prominent OKC CCU in the early 80’s, it was 2 a.m., all the patients were sleeping, all the curtains were drawn and the monitor tech announced that room 5 was off the monitor. I was standing nearest the room so I told Janet, the nurse for that room, to stay seated, I’d put the patient’s leads back on her. I pulled back the curtain to peek in, expecting to see the female patient rolling over in the bed. Instead I was greeted by the sight of this patient in all her 300-pound glory … she’d pulled her IV, her monitor leads, her foley, fully disrobed & had gone over the foot of the bed and was on all fours, with her head in the trash can … and a 7’ diameter (I swear) puddle of pee and diarrhea on the floor. I went back to the desk and said, “Janet, your patient needs you.”
or gnomic in their simplicity;
A young woman called the ER one day in June to find out if the pregnancy test she had back in July was positive.
and some are just plain spooky:
I worked as a charge nurse at Retirement Residence in a small town on Lake Ontario. It was a very old building that had been used previously as a university, a hospital during one of the World Wars, and a psychiatric facility. It was a very large building that reeked with history. On nights (when else) there were only two of us on shift for 40+ residents. We always stayed together and the building was locked tight.

One night we went up to distribute the laundry and went to where we’d left the cart. It was gone! We searched high and low, finally finding the cart on the third floor. When we got up to the floor the resident cat flew by as if the hounds of hell were chasing it. (This from a cat that hadn’t run in years.) I picked up the cat and it bit and scratched, jumping free to take flight. When we found it in the Nurses’ station it was under the desk in a corner hissing at shadows. It was mid July and the temperature had been in the 90’s all week, but suddenly my co-worker was freezing. We didn’t leave the station until daylight (except to answer call bells). When we were checking the stairwells, we went down near the old morgue. The stairwell was covered in dead flies.

They tell jokes, too:
Q: What do you do if you see someone having a seizure in a bathtub?
A: Throw in a load of laundry.

Q: How many perverts does it take to put in a light bulb?
A: Just one — but it takes the entire emergency room to get it out.

Q: What happens if you give a surgeon Viagra?
A: He gets taller.

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