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Nurses List the Things They Would Never Do After Working in the ICU

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Caring for critically ill patients in the ICU is one of the hardest jobs a nurse can do. These patients often need immediate, complex care, and some of them wind up in the hospital because they did something they shouldn’t have.

A healthcare worker in Australia is going viral on TikTok for listing the things she will never do now that she has some experience under her belt. While it may sound ridiculous, the list includes various accidents and mistakes that brought her patients to the ICU.

She starts out the video by saying she will never “chop wood, mow the lawn or use a chainsaw in thongs” after caring for patients with various injuries.

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“I’ll never ride a motorbike in only a singlet and footy shorts, go drinking and swimming, use petrol on a fire and put any objects in any orifices that they don’t belong in,” she adds in the clip.

The Australian native sent a clear message to her fellow residents, many of whom enjoy potentially dangerous outdoor activities, including lawn work, motocross, and dirt biking.

Nurses witness the aftermath of all kinds of gruesome accidents and injuries. Millions of healthcare workers shared their own stories of working in the ICU.

“Don’t climb ladders alone, always wear a helmet, don’t wear a t- shirt and shorts when riding a motorbike and always wear a roof harness. Saddest story, this guy was working for a business as a roofer. Became a contractor the next day working for himself. No harness, fell off roof, quadriplegic at 26,” one nurse added.

“As a former PICU nurse, the list of things my poor child is not allowed to do is quite extensive. It includes 4-wheelers, hockey, trampolines, and car surfing,” another nurse commented.

One mother said her kids “never had a trampoline” because of what she saw in the ER.

“No children snow sledding, no ATVs, and no boating. 😂 My kids couldn’t have any fun growing up. Sorry, I saw way too much as a nurse!” wrote another.

Others called out the potential danger of keeping various objects in the home, including candles.

“Candles- never! I took care of a father and teen daughter who carried out five dead children and sleepover kids from their basement because a lit candle caused a fire, and the power went out. The dad and teen did CPR, but all the kids died. A pregnant mom jumped out of the second story and fractured her pelvis. Wonderful family that lived in my community. I will never forget the hell in their eyes. From that day on, there were no candles in my home and I questioned all my kids’ sleepover invites if they had candles, shared this story and FLASHLIGHTS ONLY in my home and where my kids spent the night. Yes, my kids got different parenting perspectives from me due to work.”

Another nurse advised against “swallowing a bag of cocaine.”

“Drinking is a lot less appealing after caring for so many cirrhotic and DTers,” wrote another nurse in reference to cirrhosis and delirium tremens.

One person wrote they won’t “put anything up my arse or do gardening without trousers on and protective gloves.”

“I will never stick a cucumber up my butt,” wrote another.

“I work in the OR, and I will never drive an electric scooter (or any other vehicle) while drunk, climb a roof without a harness, smuggle drugs in my bowels, or have rugs in my house after the age of 70. If I get seriously injured, it better happen while doing something fun,” wrote someone else.

And on a sadder note, one nurse wrote they won’t “rely on backup cams to make sure little kids aren’t behind the vehicle. Leave the kid in a hot vehicle. Give grapes not cut up properly. Swim near a dam. Allow kids to learn to scuba in a hazy quarry. Play in the grain elevator.”

As for driving, one nurse wrote that they would never “ride in a car with the seatbelt under my arm (instead of over the shoulder) and never put my feet on the dashboard.”

Nurses said the same thing of other extreme sports.

A nurse advised against “riding a quad or motorcycle or skydiving. Mortality is hard to ignore when you’re faced with the consequences of other’s actions every day.”

And finally, another nurse said to “not stand under a tree in a storm, do not drink excessively… and do not trust surgeons! 😉”

Steven Briggs
Steven Briggs is a healthcare writer for Scrubs Magazine, hailing from Brooklyn, NY. With both of his parents working in the healthcare industry, Steven writes about the various issues and concerns facing the industry today.

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