See the current issue of Scrubs Magazine

What’s your most frightening medical experience?

Shutterstock | Cameron Whitman
Shutterstock | Cameron Whitman

‘Tis the season for camping and s’mores. What better way to enjoy the glow of a campfire on a warm summer night than with a spooky story? Luckily, nurses have many a frightening story to tell! We turned to the nurses on our Funny Nurses Facebook page and asked them to take a break from giggling to share their real-life shift tales that gave them chills.

“Checking on a man in a single who was a loud snorer—3am, complete silence. I get closer, silence; closer, nothing. Leaning over him, his eyes snap open. He screams, I scream. Ward awake.” —Ruth M.

“When I was medicating a patient at 2am and his room was at the very end of the hall. It was very quiet in the room when the chair at the corner of the room moved. The patient, who was very alert, looked at me and said, ‘You did see that, right?’ I have been hearing that all night long. It was just the patient and me in the room at that time.” —Marie P.

“Being in the psych module of the ER with a patient who was restrained. Called security to escort me in to take a set of vitals. When we released an arm, the patient proceeded to bite chunks of flesh from his arm and spit them across the room. I hightailed it outta there.” —Sandra A.

“A man came to the desk looking for a patient. No patient by that name. I glanced at the man and he was covered in lacerations and bleeding heavily from his hands and arms. His clothing was badly torn. He refused assistance. He insisted the patient was with us. I pushed the silent security alarm and called around to see if I could locate the patient. Two security guards showed up and confronted the man. He was getting seriously agro by this time and security called police. Turned out he was a violent escaped prisoner who had crossed razor wire to escape. All this on an infants’ ward at 5am!” —Suzanna P.

“Renovations on our hospital had turned up lots of interesting noises…screaming in the middle of the night (no one in the area to scream), voices in construction areas when nobody [was] working at night…. My own experience was coming out of medical records when I heard footsteps behind me. I could sense a hand reaching out to touch my shoulder and felt the hair on the back of my neck almost crackling. I turned around and nobody was in sight. Needless to say, I hightailed it out of there pretty damn quick. Did not return to medical records for about four weeks….” —Nic K.

“Once, I was drawing blood on a patient and he was a difficult stick. He started yelling at me, then grabbed the needle and tried to stab me with it.” —Laura G.

“My worst experience [was] while I was still a student in training. Working in ER when the ambulance staff brought in a patient from an accident scene. Decapitated. A body without the head….” —Heibre P.

“Walking in to access your patient at the beginning of your shift, who [is] a stable patient, and having him tell you calmly that he is going to die—and he does a few hours later. Very unnerving!” —Carol B.

“I was by my cart getting the insulin shot ready when a voice suddenly whispered into my ear, asking for pain pill… she called my name very clearly. It was around 2030 and I was alone in the hallway. Checked my residents in case they needed something, but the residents close by my cart were all sleeping.” —Jessica A.

Share your scariest nurse moments with us in a comment below!

SEE MORE IN:
,

Scrubs Editor

The Scrubs Staff would love to hear your ideas for stories! Please submit your articles or story ideas to us here.
By

Post a Comment

You must or register to post a comment.

One Response to What’s your most frightening medical experience?

  1. Jeanne Cunningham

    I work in hospice. You can’t scare us. Our patients look beyond us into the next world all the time. I’ve had a “death cat”. A patient doing ok-ish but weirdly his cat, whose we had never seen before was in his room, on his bed. I even made a joke about it. “Ok we can start, the cat’s here to help.” We finished the visit , gave instructions to the family and remarked (I was orienting with another nurse; it was her patient) that we had a “feeling” that he was maybe beginning to change…. And Monday morning, it was on the report line that the patient had died suddenly, quickly and peacefully that very night!!!! And my preceptor and I looked at each other and said, “THE CAT!!!”. Because it knew, and we knew……

shares