10 practical jokes for practical nurses

SPI Inc. | Jeff Richardson
SPI Inc. | Jeff Richardson

A nurse’s job is serious business, but even nurses need to let loose and have a bit of fun during their shift. If you work with colleagues who have a healthy sense of humor, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Check out these ideas for hilarious practical jokes to play on your friends.

Warning: Pranking your friends could result in an all-out prank war. Proceed with caution.

“The favorite one around where I work is to send students or newbies to the supply room or to another department looking for left-handed syringes.” —Jennifer C.

“Drank apple juice from a male urinal in front of coworkers. The horror on their faces….good times.” —Robin A.

“Took a deceased patient to the morgue on Halloween night, no less, and the security guard jumped out of the chest freezer screaming. Needless to say, my coworker had to run home and get dry pants.” —Amanda N.

“Take the ball out of the old-fashioned computer mouse…” —Diane G.

“I put my phone in the lab refrigerator and called it before the lab guy opened it up to get samples out. The phone meows to ring. The look on his face still sticks with me.” —Joy B.

“Got the ward clerk to take ‘air hygiene samples’ by waving a sample pot in the air in each of the bays and side rooms.” —Chris G.

“Love telling doctors I’m concerned about the urine sample, sipping apple juice from a specimen cup and saying it tastes funny.” —Karen L.

“I once rolled up a Mars bar until it was soft and the shape of a poo…put it on the floor and when another nurse came along told them to watch out for the ‘poo,’ then picked it up and took a bite.” —Clare H.

“One of my coworkers on April Fools’ Day had every patient on the unit turn their call lights on at the same time. The coordination and cooperation was unbelievable. I just stood in the hallway flabbergasted and terrified!” —Krysta L.

“We put KY on the desk phone earpiece and paged the charge nurse to answer a call.” —Gina S.

Have you ever played a friendly practical joke on a coworker? We want to hear about it! Drop your best prank in a comment below!

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16 Responses to 10 practical jokes for practical nurses

  1. facebook_user_841251719248118

    I use to answer the phone you trach em we take em

  2. Sue Malynn

    Got a colleague to bring me an incontinence pad smeared with dark chocolate mousse.

    ‘The patient in bay 3 just passed this’

    Smelled it. Stuck finger in and tasted it

    ‘No… seems okay..’

    Cue horrified looks and retching noises from two junior doctors

  3. David Hammel

    Several years ago, I discovered that Windows computers had a keyboard option to rotate the screen, which is used in conference/meeting meeting rooms, etc.. that have upside down or sideways mounting ceiling or wall projectors. This lets the presenter’s laptop correctly display their PowerPoint or whatever in the appropriate orientation. FYI that keyboard combo is Ctrl-Alt plus any arrow key to rotate the display. It’s an absolute riot to watch someone return back to their computer in utter befuddlement as to why their mouse moves the opposite direction and why their display is suddenly upside down. Someone I once did this to, literally was trying to turn the entire monitor upside down to fix it. Since many facilities use computers for charting, this fun trick comes in handy for pranks all over the place. Sadly though, in certain installations of Windows or under certain circumstances that functionality is disabled.

  4. David Hammel

    We’d recently moved into the new part of our facility. There were only 5 floors in the hospital. Oddly when you called someone in-house from the new 4th floor waiting room phone, it shows up as “6th floor waiting room” on the caller-ID. Why/how the telecom people did this is beyond me, because as I said there were only 5 floors. Nonetheless, it was all kinds of fun, calling various random units pretending to be a lost confused patient looking for the bathroom, looking for “my socks”, saying “tell Margaret to bring me my shotgun”, etc… They wouldn’t have a clue where you were calling from, and pretending to be confused allowed me to tell them I didn’t know where I was at either.

  5. David Hammel

    I once was discharging a male patient and he asked if he could get a clean urinal to take home. His dx and condition hadn’t and with him being d/c’d certainly didn’t warrant him needing to use a urinal, so I politely asked him what he was needing it for. He said he wanted to serve iced-tea to his buddies after he got home. I told him I thought that sounded like a splendid idea and procured for him his new “iced-tea pitcher”.

  6. David Hammel

    I’ve also done the urine specimen cup trick, but my liquid of choice was lemonade. Since lemonade is cloudy and pale yellow, the ‘urine’ appeared super nasty. I lightly placed the lid on the cup and walked up to my coworkers exclaiming how “gross this urine looked”. As I was doing so I removed the lid and chugged the lemonade. I still get a huge kick out of remembering all their faces, body language, and what they said to me during and after this little performance.

  7. David Hammel

    I can discreetly make a cat meowing sound with my mouth. In a hospital in the middle of the night you wouldn’t expect to hear such a thing. It’s highly entertaining making that sound around new people and watching the quizzical and “what-the-heck” looks on their faces as if they’re hearing things.

    • GuardianRN

      Geez….I’m sure glad I didn’t work with YOU! LOL I bet you’re a hoot, you would have fit in great with my old crew! :)

    • tinathecma

      You sound like a fun co-worker! Never a boring moment around you!!!!

  8. Nikki Farrugia

    As a welcome to nursing students, they are sent to the pharmacy to fetch some glycerine eye drops and a fallopian tube.

  9. Flee

    Working in theatres on night shift, convinced the orderly to lie on the theatre bed before the morning staff arrived and covered him with a sheet. When the morning staff went into the theatre to check the room, he started moaning and sat bolt upright. The staff ran out of the theatre screaming. So funny.

  10. Eva Kimmons

    One of my cowokers crawled under s residents bed and when two of us came in to turn the lady the one under bed grabd my coworkers leg and it scarf the heck out of them lol

  11. Jedinurse

    In our surgical suite, practical jokes were the norm . This male tech decided to KY my pocket with all my pens, scissors, clamps , etc. I was not amused. He drove a Harley to work. I snuck out to the parking lot & KYed his seat. It baked all day in the hot sun & the KY caused the leather to seat to crack in numerous places. He had to replace it. You learn something every day !

  12. biker20001

    One day we had a flock of new orientees and students descending on each SICU admission. They all wanted to get hands on time, leading to an admission that was noisy, chaotic, and took far to long.
    When I was told that my admission was enroute, I knew I needed a way out.
    I told the orientees that their Clinical Educator wanted them all to observe an elective cardioversion, on a unit at the other end of the hospital.
    Twenty minutes later, they returned, confused because there was no cardioversion, but my admission was tucked in all neat and quietly.

  13. ednurse17

    I used to KY coworker’s coffee mug handle, take her pens apart and lay them back on her charts (when paper charting was cool), lock her in the supply closet. Have done the KY to the phone earpiece. It was awesome!

  14. tinathecma