2 nurse superstitions that are actually true

Shutterstock | Stefano Tinti
Shutterstock | Stefano Tinti

Have you ever tied a knot in your patient’s sheet to help them stay alive or avoided work during a full moon? If so, you’re not alone.

We asked the nurses on the Funny Nurses Facebook page to tell us about their strange nursing superstitions. The response we received was overwhelming—everything from opening a window after a patient dies to bringing multiple catheter kits into a patient’s room to ensure you succeed on the first try.

True superstition #1

“4am is the witching hour when people tend to die, although this has been proven to be accurate on some levels due to circadian rhythm.” —Ann H.

Countless nurses reported that when the middle-of-the-night witching hour hits (typically between 3am and 5am), the Grim Reaper is sure to be nearby. While the myth that circadian rhythm can predict time of death is true, it’s not the middle of the night that nurses need to be wary of.

A study published in the Annals of Neurology found that humans are most likely to die in the late morning at approximately 11am. Just as there’s a time of day we’re most likely to wake up or fall asleep naturally, there’s also a time of day we’re most likely to pass. This superstition is fact.

Visit page 2 to read true superstition #2!

True superstition #2

“Pressure changes, extreme weather changes… We will def be having some babies.” —Crystal W. 

Are you an L&D nurse who finds that when the heavens open up, it’s usually going to drop more than just rain? If so, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that along with rain, storm clouds also bring babies.

A study published in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that low barometric pressure induces rupture of the fetal membranes and delivery. Furthermore, on days where there was a large increase or decrease in barometric pressure, there was a significant increase in the number of deliveries. This superstition is fact.

Although the medical community will be hard-pressed to ever design a reputable research study that can determine if there’s a correlation between the dreaded q-word and your apocalypse of a shift, we’re curious: Are there any we missed that you think can be proven?

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7 Responses to 2 nurse superstitions that are actually true

  1. Nurse420

    Residents go crazy on a full moon is so true

  2. Nurse420

    More deaths occur when the seasons change usually from 3-6. Have seen up to 9

  3. Boogaloo2

    When patients in the ICU started seeing their Jesus or or their deceasedMama, you could be sure they were going to die.

  4. lilabean

    I am an L&D nurse and YES! Rain and thunderstorms bring babies. The barometric pressure drop causes water bags to break, inducing labor. happens all the time!

  5. ldyjstce

    In chronic dialysis, patient deaths occur in 3s.

  6. caregan7966

    Pretty much all right on target. Most deaths occur in the Winter months.
    #3-5 AM definitely “Witching hour”.
    -In the ER, if it’s fairly going well and someone mentions the word “QUIET”- all hell breaks loose~!

  7. Jaelysrch

    No disrespect intended, just something I noticed in my life; the cattle deliver after a big storm.

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