Funny miscommunication moments

Miscommunications can brighten any nurse’s day. After all, what better way to break up a long shift than with a good dose of humor?

In this week’s episode of “The Katie Duke Show” on ScrubsBeat, Katie gives herself a pat on the back for a miscommunication well done. Tune in immediately if you’re in need of a good chuckle, or want to know the alternate meaning behind the phrase, “There’s a hook in the bathroom.”

Do you have any funny miscommunication stories that you’ve experienced with patients or their family members? Drop them in the comments below!


Katie Duke


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8 Responses to Funny miscommunication moments

  1. nurseT9691

    I was helping an 80something year old man to undress. He had the complaint of a rash on his privates. As he undressed, his undershorts got twisted and as I reached over to help him, I said “Are you hung?”–Meaning his undershorts! He lowered his head and answered, “not really”. I quickly left the room and did not go back in!

  2. TAnnD77

    While working as a nursing assistant at a children’s hospital I was asked by a nurse to take a couple of bottle nipples into a patient’s room. As I walked in the room, holding a bottle nipple in each hand, I could hear the baby crying. Feeling as though the nipples would be a saving grace I said, with much enthusiasm,”I’ve got nipples!” The patient’s mother just starred at me with a smirk and the father looked very amused as he saw me.

  3. nurse_bert

    It’s not my personal story but one of my colleague’s miscommunication mishap. On our telemetry floor, she just received an adult male from the cath lab who just had a heart catheterization. As she introduced herself to him, she told him that she need to do some assessments and “check your pulse”. Since the nurse came from a foreign country and it came along with an accent the male patient thought he heard her say “check your balls”. Believing that the nurse did say “balls” he attempted to clarify by asking “Why do you need to check my balls?” The nurse quickly replied, “Your pulse, sir. Your pulse.” while maintaining a serious face.

  4. BlueKim

    I was asking a little old lady the questions we have to ask…
    Me: do you smoke?
    patient: no
    Me: do you drink?
    Patient: no
    Me: do you do any recreational drugs?
    Patient: well I use to bowl but that was 20 years ago!

  5. DeeNurse

    I was having some trouble applying a urodome catheter onto a patient. I finally got it unrolled and sticking. I stood back and admired my effort and said “Beautiful”. The patient said “Well. Nobody’s ever called it that before!” I promptly went red, stuttered what I actually meant, then we had a good laugh about it.

  6. Sandra Hoctel

    I was watching the slang video. Also there is TBF=total body failure. When I worked in the ER there were patients with “Suitcase syndrome” they came by cab or family dropped them off with a suitcase and they had nowhere else to go. “Going to buy a vent” Patient who is sick and appears to be slowly going into resp failure.

  7. Kathyc

    I work in public health. I was administering flu shots at a mass clinic. A man was having difficulty rolling up his sleeve for his shot. I said, “Can you get it up?” After an awkward moment, I said, “Well, that didn’t sound right.” We both had a good chuckle.

  8. Momof2wifeof1

    A few years ago I was working Med/Surg and my cousin’s ex husband was on my team as a patient that day. I asked if he wanted a different nurse, he said he was fine with it if I was. I kept him. He was always a huge jokester and loved to make me blush or laugh. He also lacked any modesty whatsoever. His doc came in and wrote orders for him to prepare for surgery. One of them was a foley. I again, asked if he was ok with it. He said yes and I began setting up my sterile field. While doing that, he took his pants off and revealed a well…quite large…part of his anatomy. I turned around and my mouth must have dropped open. He looked at me and grinned. He called my name in a sweet little voice and said, “an open mouth is probably not your best response to this here situation”… I just had to remove my sterile gloves and go out the door to find the charge nurse to complete it. He still laughs when he sees me.