When the fine folks here at Scrubs asked me to write about the most obnoxious nurse I’d ever met (and yes, that’s how they put it), I had to sit and think for a minute, reviewing the possible candidates.
There’s the guy who never bathes his patients or changes out tubing, yet is always right there to tell you what you’re doing wrong. There’s the woman who plays Boneshooter or Bubblesnooker or whatever all night, then rushes around the last half hour of the shift being overwhelmed. There’s the administrator whose expectations and advice have only the most tenuous connection with past practice or reality. It was a hard choice to make: Which one of these not-to-be-wished-on-anybody coworkers would I immortalize?
Then it came to me: The Most Obnoxious Nurse EVER title could only go to one person.
She’s one of those nurses—you know, the sort who’s always chipper and happy until she’s not, at which point she becomes bitterly sarcastic and snarky, snapping people’s heads off for no reason. She goes behind other nurses and cleans up the extra stuff in their rooms, or turns their patients when they’re behind, then accepts their thanks with a superior little smile. She always has some tidbit of new clinical trivia on the tip of her tongue, and if she doesn’t know everything, she sure gives that impression.
She’s the nurse for whom all the attendings have a nickname, and the nickname varies by the doctor. She’s the one the residents ask for on the phone, and you can bet that those repeated cries for help make her that much more supercilious and hard to deal with.
If she misses an IV start, it’s because of circumstances totally beyond her control. If she gets behind, it’s because she was doing something very, very important that took longer than her great genius brain estimated it might. She has an answer for every situation, and doesn’t hesitate to volunteer it in rounds.
Plus, she never seems to get dirty. I don’t know what it is, but poop sprays and unlocked catheter bags never get on her. She keeps extra isolation gowns in a drawer at the nurses’ station for those times when she might get dirty, because having spots on her scrubs might ruin her image.
She always leaves on time. Always.
The most obnoxious nurse I’ve ever worked with is the one in the mirror.