Patients come and go, but some of the people that you treat will likely stay in your mind forever. Nurses may get to know thousands of people over the course of their careers. These can be some of the most rewarding and surprising relationships of their lives. There’s nothing like a bond between a nurse and the person that depends on them. From heartwarming encounters to hilarious quips and ridiculous exchanges, nurses from all over the world shared their best patient experiences:
Admitting an elderly man, wife with him. “Are you allergic to anything?” I asked him. “Yes,” he replied. Asked him what, expecting it to be some medication or food. “Ugly women,” he said. I was buckled and he got slapped by his wife ?
– Robert D.
An elderly patient that was actively dying and struggling, despite being given liquid morphine. I laid down in the bed with her and held her hand and kissed her on the forehead. She then relaxed and stopped breathing. I still get chills thinking about it.
– Patti W.
One of my favorite ever psych patients was this kinda know-it-all manic guy, very concrete but also very funny. One day out of nowhere, he just falls backward and cracks his head on the floor. Turned out he was doing a trust fall with Jesus ?? he was a good patient though. He actually helped out a lot in the milieu.
– Megan R.
Had a patient that was actively dying, and family wasn’t there yet. I went in to check on her and knew she was taking her last breaths, so I held her hand and touched her face and she was gone. When I called her husband to tell him she passed I let him know that I was with her. He started to cry and said thank you for being with her as she went to heaven.
– Charlene C.
The adorable, 90 some yr old dementia pt who called me “Doll Face” and said “somethin’ keeps a pullin’ on my man parts.” I made many trips into his room to try and explain why he shouldn’t pull on his catheter!??
– Tina L.
Doing home care with a preemie. She finally had the vent removed, working with the Passy Muir Valve, and I tried to get her to come with me for bath time. She cried “Naaa,” so I stopped and mom, with tears in her eyes from hearing her now nearly 2-year-old make noise for the very first time, said, “No! Do it again!”
– Wendy N.
I was pregnant and looking after a lady who was so, so sick. She was on dialysis, had to have a leg amputated and a PEG feed, as she had lost such a lot of weight. No one was expecting her to pull through; she was waiting for a kidney transplant no one thought she would get. After returning from maternity leave, I was on the ward, and someone called my name. I didn’t recognize the lady walking towards me at first – then realized it was my former patient!!!
She’d had her transplant, a prosthetic leg, and was a healthy weight! Such an amazing, brave lady and it was a beautiful moment to see her life completely transformed.
– Anna H.
That one patient who never pressed the call bell…
– Reena S.
Multiple GSW, into the heart, arrested twice on the table, got 50+units of blood and plasma, young mother of 18-month-old. Two days later sitting up in the ICU bed chatting on the phone! Really, a miracle!
– Marnie A. R.
Mom who had an emergency c-section, baby coded, and she passed an amniotic clot. Went into DIC, came to ICU and was mass transfused on 3 pressors. Taken back to OR for cauterization and 2.5 liters evacuated from her abdomen. She and her baby made a full recovery.
– Sara E.
After 6 hrs of arguing with docs, they finally agreed to take a patient (who had just had his 8th heart attack) up to the critical care unit; he wanted to fight because his wife had Alzheimer’s and he didn’t want her to be on her own. He survived and came back to the ward. It was a fantastic feeling discharging him.
– Helen C. M.
I was doing an immunization clinic and had just given a 5-year-old boy his shots for school. He wasn’t happy but he wasn’t crying. As he left the room, he said, “I am going to have my dad shut this place down.”
– Janet T.
After getting a very confused patient with MS settled and comfy after his meal, I asked him if there was anything else he needed or wanted before I left. He said no. I turned to leave when suddenly he grabbed my arm a little too hard and said, “Thank you for everything you did for me. What’s your name?” I told him my name. He loosened his grip on my arm, smiled and said, “I hope I never forget you, but I know I will as soon as you leave.”
– Abby P.
Nursing is anything but predictable. A big thanks to everyone that shared their patient experiences. These responses have been edited for length and clarity.