Ahh, patients. They’re what make the nursing world go round, but sometimes they can drive you crazy! And sometimes, they drive you crazy with laughter. We’ve all seen our patients do some funny things…particularly when they’re caught by surprise. We asked our Facebook fans about the funniest thing they’ve ever walked in on a patient doing, and boy, did we get some strange and hilarious answers! Read on for a few good laughs!
“I walked in on my patient…”
1. …washing her clothes in the bathroom sink, underwear and all. How did she dry them, you ask? She hung them all over the bathroom, of course…it looked like I was walking into a 1930s “Hooverville.” She even tried to get me to smell a pair of her “freshly laundered” panties, asking if I thought they smelled clean! I explained to her that not only had we been sending her laundry out to be cleaned, since we anticipated her being at the hospital for a number of months, but that it was also not a good idea to do her laundry in this manner for multiple sanitary reasons, as well as for the risk of her belongings becoming accidentally misplaced. The things you see on the night shift….
2. …chewing on the inflated balloon end of the Foley catheter she had pulled out. When asked what she was doing, her reply was, “Chewing gum.”
—Renee Stanley Dittmar
3. …who had crawled up under the bed, and when I asked, he said he was “fixing his car.” He proceeded to get very technical about the make and model, what was wrong and what he needed to do to fix it. When I went back to the nurse’s station to relay this, another nurse asked if I filled out an incident report because he was on the floor, which led to a whole debate on whether or not I needed to because he was on the floor on purpose!
—Virginia Haunz Phillips
4. My CNA walked into a patient’s room while doing a room check and came running back into the nurse’s station yelling that there was a snake on the ground in the patient’s room. We ran down to the room, only to find that the long snake was not a snake, but the patient had pooped on the ground. Needless to say, there was more than one snake in the room…ugh!
5. …going code brown in the bottom drawer of a treatment cart drawer that a newer nurse had left open. Funniest thing was the look on the face of that young nurse…unforgettable!
6. …urinating in his roommate’s water pitcher. The horrible thing is that earlier in the shift, the roommate told me that his water “tasted funny” and had me get him another pitcher. Obviously this wasn’t my patient’s first trip to the bathroom….
—Alicia Frank Ruiz
7. …crawling on his hands and knees to the bathroom (because we told him he wasn’t allowed to walk there on his own). I think it was pretty creative!
8. … masturbating with his wife sitting in the corner watching him. The funny part is, I told the doctor. After I quietly left the room, the patient was leaving and came to shake the doctor’s hand…the MD laughed out loud, then shook the man’s hand and told him to have a great day. Ewww!
—Keli Fountain Callaway
9. …holding her nurse call button. She had chewed completely through the electrical cord…and her oxygen tubing. We are talking chewed all the way through!
10. … (a sweet little 94-year-old resident) insisting that her Foley bag was really her purse and she was trying to open up said “purse” to put her money in it.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen when walking into a patient’s room?