Nursing comebacks I wish I could say
Y’know when some patient or family member says something you’ve heard at least a hundred times? Y’know when they think it’s funny? Y’know all those things you wish you could say back?
I do, and I’ve collected some of them here.
Them (as I’m preparing for something routine, like an IV start): “Have you ever done this before?”
Me (cheerfully): “Nope!”
Them (a family member or visitor): “Hey Nurse! Gimme some of that pain medication!”
Me: “Sure, honey. Just as soon as I’ve had my dose.”
Them (usually from a little old, possibly demented patient): “Isn’t Doctor So-and-So cute?”
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Them (about something not too out of the way, or even very serious): “My doctor said that this was the worst case of Whatever he’d ever seen.”
Me: “That’s terrible. You know, your doctor lost a patient last week to a mild case of Whatever.”
Them: “Mrs. Name-Drop, a prominent donor to your hospital, is a dear, dear friend of mine.”
Me (without inflection): “How nice for you.”
Them (while playing Candy Crush and eating Cheetos): “My pain is a 12 out of 10.”
Me (sympathetically): “That’s too bad. I can’t do anything for 12 out of 10 pain; my medicines only work up to 10 out of 10.”
Them: “You nurses just enjoy hurting people.”
Me: “And what makes it even better is that we get paid for it!”
Them: “You’re not doing that [simple, common procedure] right! That’s not right!”
Me (doing procedure correctly): “I had no idea you’re a nurse, too! Where did you graduate from?”
Them (a morbidly obese, multiple-amputee patient with an A1C of 12): “Whatever it is you’re doing right now is wrong and bad, and I’m going to report you to the authorities and my lawyer.”
Me (at the end of my rope): “So when, exactly, did you start to care so much about your health?”
Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at email@example.com.
By Agatha Lellis