I imagine anyone who knows you, knows that as a nurse, you do some weird things. I mean, let’s be honest. How many of you love to go home and just gross your family out with a story from the workplace?
Don’t be shy! I know that each and every one of you at least ONCE in your lives told that “OH MY GOODNESS, I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU HAVE TO DO THAT!” story to friends and family.
If you have not, then you are either a) lying to us or b) just have not been a nurse long enough to see or do something weird in your nursing career. But talking with nursing students (and being one myself), even they have some pretty weird tales to tell.
Nurses Share All
A few months ago, I asked the nurses I am connected to and engaged with on social media. I said to them:
And oh my goodness, did they respond! Now, if you are a non-nursey nurse like me (you know, weak in the stomach) then you may not want to read this entire post. Some of the comments were off the charts weird… some I did not even understand and had to ask for clarification.
Let’s get to it…
Here are some of the WEIRDEST things nurses have had to do in their nursing careers!
- Explain to a patient and her grown daughter that anal intercourse did not cause mom’s upper GI bleed
- Cover for a patient who had a wife and a girlfriend. I don’t condone, but I don’t get paid enough to judge…
- Provided impromptu marriage counseling while giving meds. Therapeutic communication works again!
- Had to remove pink silky underwear with ruffles in the rear end for a patient that just came in through the ED intubated and sedated. He had jeans and cowboy boots on, that’s really what made it weird… Surprise!!!
- Besides interrupt a patient and spouse having sex in the patient’s bathroom in order to get a set of vitals?
- Bring a cat to a patient so that she would eat. She missed her cat, so I brought it to her. I guess you could call that pet therapy…
- Maggot therapy for wound debridement
- Leech therapy to improve blood flow in the oral cavity after reconstructive surgery! One leech fell down the patient’s throat and I wasn’t able to suction it out in time. Two minutes later, the leech crawled out the patient’s nose!!
- Help pull a cockroach out of a patient’s ear.
- One night while working in ICU, we got a post op patient. I went to do initial assessments. The room was dark and I had a flashlight. I saw all these little black moving critters on the towel, and on the pillow. I calmly asked my co-worker to double check the patients pupils. Well, needless to say, the patient had a large amount of head lice. They moved her to a private room in a flash. Looking back on it now, I guess it was not very nice of me to do this to my co worker…
The Doctor Requested What??
- Make a post-op transurethral resection of the prostate stand to void. Surgeon believed gravity stronger if he stood… dumb a$$
- Do an antibiotic continuous bladder infusion
- Trying to figure out how to carry out order “Elevate scrotum”
I Did NOT Sign Up for This!
- Disimpaction for sure!!
- Look for a bomb. “Don’t pull any string you see”. I said no.
- Washed feet, clipped toenails, and scraped fungus prior to being able to take a simple blood pressure for my home care patients in Peru. It was a cultural thing and a sign of respect. Back-breaking work, I’m telling ya… Especially when they started calling over their neighbors and other family members to get theirs done too!
Bodily Functions (Eww, Gross!)
- Help remove a super-soaker water tank from a rectum
- Watch a patient poop with a family member
- Steal sugar packets from our closed cafe for treatment of a prolapsed rectum
- Save a placenta for patient to eat
- Remove many women’s piercings down there because they could not see them anymore while pregnant… yeah… weird.
Mini Mental Status Exams (As a psych nurse, I can handle these!)
- Chase a confused patient down the hall who has having an active lower GI bleed
- Just this morning, before I left work, I had to convince (unsuccessfully) a man that he was not at Disney Land… I love my job!
Still With Me?
Maybe this wasn’t the best blog post for me to write. I hope that you are still here, reading along with me. I know that even in writing this… I felt a little weak in the knees myself. I mean, come on! How do you nurses do this kind of stuff??!?!
While others reading are probably cheering, chuckling, and nodding their heads along. So let’s hear from you!
Have you ever experienced something weird in your nursing career? What was the weirdest thing you had to do as a nurse? Share below and thanks (really, thank you for sticking it out) for reading!
About the Author: Keynote speaker and virtual conference host, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Nurse’s Week program, The Art of Nursing, Elizabeth supports nursing organizations in celebrating and recognizing their staff in a meaningful way. Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and playful pit bull.