You know you’re in for a crazy shift when…

Mama said there would be days like this.

Actually, Mama may not have known about days quite like this. Here are the early signs that you’re in for a “holy moly” shift.

You know you’re in for a crazy shift when…

10. In the first five minutes some fool says, “Boy, it’s quiet tonight.”

9. You walk on the floor and nobody even has time to say hello.

8. Report is from the slow-talking nurse who includes every minute detail about every patient…slowly.

7. The charge nurse asks who has the most experience in psych.

6. A patient greets you at the elevator and says he is wearing new socks.

5. A doctor greets you at the elevator and asks if anyone on the unit knows anything.

4. A fellow nurse runs past you into the elevator screaming and swearing.

3. You get off the elevator and step in vomit.

2. You smell BM while the elevator is opening onto your floor.

1. A new nurse asks, “What’s C-diff?”

This list is by Starry66, RN.

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22 Responses to You know you’re in for a crazy shift when…

  1. Monica

    Your patient is sitting at the desk because he’s naughty and it’s the only way the nurses can keep a good enough eye on him.

    The nurse you’re relieving on the previous shift hugs you and says, “Thank God you’re here!”

    • ICUBruno

      Ha ha ha Monica I Love that! ha ha I see that happening on our med surg and tele units where the pt. is sitting with a posey and blankets in a chair on the nurses station, I walk by to go to the unit and say to myself ohhh that poor nurse who has that patient. I could see your above scenario happening. That is too funny.

  2. Marsha Meehleib RN

    I’m a “float nurse”. I work for pretty much every department @ 4 local hospitals! Here are my signs it may be a crazy shift!! Your patient greets you by saying “I want to tell you a secret! I can get out!!” He’s in a soft cage restraint & you see that the zipper IS actually broken!…Your patient has police officer(s) in the room with him and isn’t supposed to have sharp objects to eat…Your patient greets you by saying “I run my own company & I work with many beautiful women like you.” His company is an escort service…You walk in @ start of 12hr shift. Security is there for your patient. You go to assess the situation & see your patient pull out a Jackson-Pratt drain, drink the drainage & run into the bathroom to hide!

  3. KathyHoag

    and my personal best – after you check the board to see which beds you’re assigned, they are actively coding one of your patients as you walk into the unit. Sigh. Long night ahead.

    • Monica

      Whenever a code is called overhead, I always have a feeling of dread for the poor nurse who is checking his/her patients before going home or when just coming on duty. A lousy way to end or start a shift.

    • lwd338

      well at my hospital its the previous nurse who it,s gonna suck for!!! off to the unit my friend !!!

  4. ICUBruno

    This is directed at my Nurse friends who will know, and can relate to this. I am not proud to say I committed one of the top 10 very well known sins last night. It is “Never and I mean Never ever say boy it sure is quiet tonight!” Ha ha. The night started fantastic. At 0300hrs (later than usual) I took a walk around the outside of the Hospital I walk completely around the perimeter and come in the door I went out. I do this to get some fresh air, collect my thoughts, set priorities and think about my patients care. I try to do this once each night. The air is warm and calm in this wonderful place called Florida. I love the walk. It keeps me calm and focused. I walked back into the ICU and said (out loud) thinking it is safe to say this, after all it is 0320 it is too late for anything to happen now, ” What a beautiful night, I went by the ER and they are dead down there! We deserve one of these every once in a while” I kid you not, Within 10 minutes I get a call from my Supervisor, “Bruce move one of your patients, I’ve got a lower GI bleed with a low Hgb, actively bleeding profusely, and an INR in the teens, syncopale episodes found down at home, unknown period of time. You all know how the rest of my night/mornnig went there is no need to expound any further. What an idiot! ha ha. I am NOT superstitous, I am not superstitious. I am not superstitious. Ha ha ha

    • bugsy

      Haha! The “Q-word” is verboten in our field…GI bleeds are uber rough! Lost my nursing pin to one. Nuff said.

      • Xray2RN

        Yeah. I got a tattoo to remind me of a night that we rapid transfused over 30 units if blood product. Ugh!

  5. Springkeeper RN

    I walked up to the nurse’s station and saw a patient, hunched over and running his hands through his hair, on his cell phone saying “I’m up here at the station and I don’t know what they’re charging me with this time.”

  6. PAJ RN

    One crazy shift when I worked as an Aide (1979) while in college. I was about an hour from end of shift, when I was asked to accompany a patient to radiology for a cranial CT. I cannot remember what happened other than it was not good, but I did not get out of there until about 0300.
    It made me wonder what the ER Charge thought when my mother came to pick me up at 2300, and asked where I was!!! She thought I had ridden home on my bicycle (you remember how much we had to spend in School, right?) like normal. Part of the reason I did not leave before 0300 was a multicasualty MVA that came in while I was at radiology, and I was the only Aide still there when everything broke loose.

  7. Gvarland

    My favorites are when the night nurses gives day shift a standing ovation as they walk onto the unit.
    When the departing night doc, (who is late because our shift changes are an hour apart,) says “welcome to hell” as he walks out the door as I am walking in.

    • Xray2RN

      I’ve said that before…then I tell them to “run…”, preferably in the opposite direction. I never saw them.

  8. bugsy

    I tried to explain to my brother…what crazy means in our field. He seems to think that we can call up our bosses and demand assistance. Bwahaha! We as nurses just deal and learn to triage our shift.

  9. Njames

    its full moon… a pt. wearing pull-ups on his head strumming his guitar & repeatedly saying “I will not give you KFC”, a pt. running around waking other patients by turning on the lights in every room, clapping loudly, and singing on top of his lungs & screaming he is Irish, a pt. grinning following & encouraging the Irish clapping with him because he is drunk by drinking the hand sanitizers in the unit… a pt. screaming “lovey I can’t see” when he was awaken by the Irish & the drunk pt…. another pt. complaining of the noise so he threatens to pull the fire alarm….

  10. Xray2RN

    When you haven’t seen your assignment yet and all the off going RNs take a step back as they console you in advance, for the busy night you’ll have.

  11. Xray2RN

    When a Cardio-thoracic surgeon walk up to you with his hands up and gives you a list of his wishes for your shift BEFORE you clocked in. “Just get the Systolic Blood Pressure up to the 90s”…then he tells you that the patient is doing better cause their pressure was in the 50’s and now in the 70’s…on CRRT. I told him to keep his phone on…

  12. Molly97

    The night nurse says “thank God your here” and immediately starts apologies for the patient they are about to give me.

  13. Neurotrauma88

    You have 5 patients at 0700 and admitting calls you an admit at 0710 that has altered mental status.