These strange-but-true nursing stories were told by nurses and nurse assistants in various places around the Web.
A 15-year old boy was lying on a stretcher with his mother sitting next to him. The boy was coming down from 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?”
Cooking With Beer
An ER nurse reported that four drunken men had been severely burned after trying to cook a cow, at 4:30 a.m., in a homemade 55-gallon drum pressure cooker that had inline propane power. Predictably the cooker exploded, sending cow everywhere. Bystanders, trying to ease the victims’ burns, proceeded to smear raw eggs all over them. Two of the men were flown to a nearby trauma center, and the other two were sent to the ER for emergency omelet removal and dressings.
Romance in the Jacuzzi
An ER nurse reported that a 20-something male was brought in with massive blood loss from severe lacerations to his right lower leg and foot, as well as to his right shoulder and upper back. It seemed the man had taken a female acquaintance to his friend’s place to use the outdoor spa (the friend wasn’t home). The nurse reported that the man had decided to get into the house to get warm. Being drunk and not having the keys, he had decided to kick in the glass sliding door. The broken glass cut his leg, so he decided to call an ambulance using the phone inside the house. Having failed to kick the door in, he had taken a run up and shouldered the rest of the door open. The female friend, quite reasonably, left.
Why They Assign Nurses
Late one night, a hospital monitor tech announced to the nursing staff that room 5 was off the monitor. A nurse aide who was near the room told the patient’s assigned nurse to stay seated — she’d go and put the patient’s leads back on her. The aide pulled back the curtain to peek in, expecting to see the female patient rolling over in the bed. Instead she was greeted by the sight of the 300-pound patient without her IV, her monitor leads or her foley, fully disrobed, on all fours on the floor near the foot of the bed. Her head was in the trash can, and she was in a seven-foot-wide puddle of her own urine and excrement. The aide quietly went back to the desk and said, “Nurse, your patient needs you.”
Haunted Retirement Home
Two nurses were the only staff working late one night at a very old retirement facility. The facility had been previously used as a university, a war hospital, and a psychiatric facility. The nurses were on their way to distribute laundry, but discovered the laundry cart was mysteriously gone from where they’d left it. They searched the floors and hallways, and finally found it on the third floor, where no one had been in hours. They brought it back to the first floor, and were suddenly met by the old resident cat, a decrepit animal that never moved faster than a slow walk. The cat now flew past as if the hounds of hell were chasing it. The nurses followed it to the nurses’ station, where they found it hiding under a desk in a corner, terrified and hissing at shadows. Suddenly the temperature dropped, and the nurses found themselves freezing, even though it was mid-July and the temperature had been in the 90’s all week. Having enough of odd occurrences, they decided not to leave the nurse station until daylight, except to answer call bells. Finally the end of their shift came, and during their routine check of the stairwells, they ended up down near the morgue … where they found the stairwell completely covered in dead flies.
Emergency Song Request
One morning, an ER received a call from a cheerful lady. When asked what could be done for her, she answered that she’d like the number to the local radio station. Upon being told she had called the hospital emergency room, she replied, “I know that, I need it right away!”
A woman phoned in to a local hospital to ask about getting a body scan. She mentioned she had seen such a scan on TV, and on this program a person sat in a chair in front of a scanner, which went up and down, showing all of their insides as it went. As far as she was concerned, if she had seen it on TV, it must be real. On further questioning it turned out the TV program had been Star Trek. The nurses could not convince the woman that it was make believe, and in the end they gave her the number of a cardio-thoracic hospital and advised her to speak with them.
Is There an Exorcist in the House?
An ER received a heart-attack victim, a man in his early 40’s. From the beginning, it was clear something about him was wrong. He was alert, conscious, and complaining of excruciating chest pain. Just as nitroglycerin was being initiated, he went into ventricular fibrillation. He had no pulse and no pressure, but amazingly remained conscious. Worse than conscious, he was angry. As he fought to get off the stretcher, he began yelling at the staff, “Leave me the hell alone, goddamn you! Go to hell, let me die!” He had become so cyanotic from the neck up, his skin color was almost black, his eyes had gone from sky blue to a strange ocean green, the whites of his eyes became a deep red, and his voice changed, becoming deeper. After being defibrillated, his normal voice returned, but the physical changes remained. He became nicer, asking where he was and what had happened. But once again he went into v-fib, and once again he didn’t lose consciousness. He again began to curse and scream, his eyes bulging so much it looked like they would pop out of his head. Then something even stranger happened. In a meek, almost begging voice he said, “Please don’t let him….” and then began cursing again. He was defibrillated twice more, and within a half-hour was stable enough to transport to a tertiary facility … 20 miles away.
A Good Psych Education
A psych ward admitted a fourteen year-old girl whose parents complained that she was promiscuous and needed to be evaluated. She was placed in the only remotely appropriate room, one with a 12-year-old old hooker/heroin addict. The 14-year-old was always courteous, well-behaved and in bed at every bed check. But after she’d been discharged, one of the juvenile males revealed to the staff that she’d been crawling up into the ceiling panels at night, crawling over to the boys’ room, humping the night away, then crawling back in the morning. The staff investigated her room and also found dozens of syringes, needles, and stashes. Apparently the 14-year-old had been successfully rehabilitated … by her roommate.
Electronic Anthrax Poisoning
An “Ask a Nurse” line at a small-town hospital received a call from a very upset woman who couldn’t stop crying. After several minutes of the call nurse trying to calm her, it was discovered that the woman thought she had been exposed to anthrax upon opening a letter. She had opened an e-mail.
A couple who didn’t speak English came into an Ohio delivery room ready to deliver. The man kept trying to get out of the delivery room, but the nurses kept insisting he had to stay for moral support. When the baby emerged, a nurse turned the reluctant man’s head so his eyes were on the delivery. The next day, the nurse found out he wasn’t the woman’s husband. He was her brother.
If You Want It Done Right…
A delivery room nurse reports that a woman in labor started to get annoyed when her husband, who was supposed to be capturing the birth on film, got woozy and sat down. The mom couldn’t coax him out of his daze, so she grabbed the camera and started snapping away herself … while pushing the baby out.
One nurse recalled treating a very obese woman who had come in suffering from shortness of breath. The nurse discovered a half-eaten hot dog under a fold of her skin. “Oh, that’s where that was,” the woman said.
…He Said With a Wink
A nurse was giving an 87-year-old male patient a sponge bath, when she stood him up so she could wash his privates. He looked down and said “Have you ever seen anything so big?” The nurse didn’t know exactly what to tell him, and tried to think of an appropriate response. But before she could say a word, the patient shook his head and said, “My brother in law told me once that, these have got to be biggest damn feet he has ever seen.”
(Since these stories were posted in various places around the Web by the nurses who presumedly experienced them firsthand, we’re assuming those nurses have already changed any patient details they needed to in order to be HIPPA compliant.)