Break RoomScrubs

Night nurses do it in the dark!


Hemera | Thinkstock

We had a male patient in the DTs. The patient had been in DTs for about two weeks, and was prone to stripping off clothing and wandering around looking for a beer and a smoke, which did not go over too well with the other patients, especially the females.

So we restrained him, and timed him: It took Houdini about 20 minutes to get out of restraints. I’d set my watch alarm to 17 minutes so we had time to wrap up a given patient’s care before snagging Houdini and putting him back in restraints (and, PRN, in clothes).

Houdini was more adept that night, having managed to strip totally each time we came in, often in 18 or 19 minutes instead of the usual 20.

We were obviously not going to get mealtime (so what else is new in nursing?), so we were in the lounge, discussing a run to the vending machine for something that would pass for a meal, when we heard Houdini rattling around, beating his usual 20-minute time by a good four minutes!

The tech and I bolted for his room while the delegated vending machine runner collected our money. She stopped to answer a phone call, and could not recall what I had asked her to get for sure.

Meanwhile, Houdini was in his birthday suit, ready to make rounds in search of a beer and a smoke, and very disappointed that we had neither beer nor Marlboros to hand him.

Our colleague knocked at the door to confirm our vending machine orders just as we’d gotten hold of Houdini and were preparing to put his PJ bottoms back on, and said, “You wanted nuts, right?” At which point, the tech and I lost it totally and were doubled over laughing! As was our colleague, once she opened the door enough to peek through!

I managed to choke out, “Yeah, tonight I just can’t seem to get enough of them!”

The Journal of Nursing Jocularity’s quarterly publication for nurses (Spring 1991 - Spring 1998) was written, edited, illustrated and published by nurses and health professionals. Filled with satire, true stories, cartoons, and all around funny stuff related to nursing and health care – it established its place in nursing history as the only humor magazine for nurses. You can now find the JNJ online at

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