Nursing comebacks I wish I could say


Y’know when some patient or family member says something you’ve heard at least a hundred times? Y’know when they think it’s funny? Y’know all those things you wish you could say back?

I do, and I’ve collected some of them here.

Them (as I’m preparing for something routine, like an IV start): “Have you ever done this before?”

Me (cheerfully): “Nope!”

Them (a family member or visitor): “Hey Nurse! Gimme some of that pain medication!”

Me: “Sure, honey. Just as soon as I’ve had my dose.”

Them (usually from a little old, possibly demented patient): “Isn’t Doctor So-and-So cute?”

Me: “When?”

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Agatha Lellis
Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at

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