The top 10 worst orders you’ve ever read!


Doctors are more than just a necessary evil, right? Don’t ask these nurses! On Scrubs’ Facebook page, nurses discussed the worst orders they’ve ever received. See the outrageous answers that topped the list and be glad for all the great doctors you get to engage with at work!



1. “Fix this chart,” after the doctor dropped it on the floor and messed up all the sections, then threw papers back in there and put it in the order rack.
—Stacy Carroll

2. “Squeeze balls at bedside PRN.” (Those pressure/stress foam balls…LOL!)
—Janna Lynn Garrison

3. “Keep stool away from open wound at all times.”
—Jennifer Chase-Smith

4. “Cough and breathe deeply” to a two-month-old!
—Debbie White

5.  Once had a resident order a suppository orally…ugh!!!
—Susan Williams

6. “Walk the patient two flights and if she passes out, give her 10 mg of Valium and get her dog.” Seriously—not kidding!
—Lisa Barnum

7. “Crispy bacon in AM for breakfast.”
—Robyn Royer Coker

8. “Give patient a shower. If patient continues to smell, surgery is going to be canceled.”
—Haidee Gordula Bersamin

9. “If patient has episode of involuntary moment, someone take a video of it with their cell phone and show it to me.”
—Keri Geier

10. “Withhold medication if patient becomes diarrhea.” LOL, we all had a great laugh at that one!
—Tricia Escalante

What’s the worst order you’ve ever read?

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35 Responses to The top 10 worst orders you’ve ever read!

  1. LPN

    Not really an order however, doctor saw his patient who was dying of cancer and apparantly taking too long to pass on. He wrote in the chart in his progress notes……STILL ALIVE.

    • ksokia

      Had a doctor write ” Right BKA (below knee amputation), stump with sutures intact. Physical therapy ordered for stump shinker and assist with ambulation”. Physical therapy arrived and stated they were confused because the patient definitely had 2 legs. Paged the doctor and said you know Mr ________ who you charted on how great his stump looked. He replied “Yeah”. Then I said “his leg grew back”. LOL.Surgeon then realized he had charted on the wrong patient (and the guy with the stump was not even at our hospital).

  2. beliefnhope Caption Contest

    Love them! The worst order I ever had couldnt be read by anyone on the floor. We were able to decipher the part that said remove the foley at 6am, but after that we had no idea. Since it was the night shift we all decided it wasnt worth calling him in the middle of the night and let day shift figure out what the rest of the order was, lol.

  3. skoenlaper

    The “worst” or best (depending on your perspective) order I have ever seen a doctor write is “P.O.F.” It was a particularly whiny and bitchy little woman who was mean to everyone. The doctor had written a long list of orders and in the midst of them was this one. When we asked him what this particular one was he said, matter of factly, “Pillow over face” ! The entire nurses station erupted in laughter.

  4. chainmailnurse RN

    mine isnt an order either, but in the patients history and physical, the doctor wrote “patient allergic to sulfa, PCN, and moles.”

  5. ashlirn

    Pt was bradycardic, Order read : 2 Mtn dews

  6. ElizabethEby RN

    “Soap Suds Enema HHH” I was new – the charge nurse made me call the attending who said “High, Hot and a H_ _ _ of a lot!”

  7. LindaRN7962

    This is in response to comment #7. I have worked in several NICU’s over a period of 28 years related to my husbands job relocation and I have never met a doctor that would take a nurses word for seizure activity. They have to see it for themselves and I haven’t always had a cellphone. In fact, they are outlawed in any unit.Trust me, i have seen many funny and stupid orders, just can’t remember them.

    • rsatta RN

      Similarly- I needed a stat Benadryl telephone order for a grossly dystonic patient taking Haldol who had a severely swollen tongue, torticollis and ocular dystonia. The doctor later charted “Benadryl given for possible EPS.” Here’s the rub: I trained her as a med student on how to assess for EPS.

  8. keeper3102

    While working on surgical post/op floor, I had and order for “Vaginal exercise” twice daily, when I opened the patients med drawer on the med cart it had a brand new boxed dildo (manually operated,,NOT battery, of course) The patient was in her late 50’s,,,after I gave her oral meds I handed her a packet of KY, the box,,and a brief description of the DR’s order and told her I’d be back for it later and to “Knock yourself out” This particular Gynecologist had an awesome reputation,, and a waiting list a mile long,,,, Go Figure!!


    In the last 20+ years I’ve seen many a funny order, progress note, and H&P. Here are 2 of my recent discoveries:
    “No ice PO” (How else would one take/get ice?)
    “Pt fell down the stairs in an inappropriate manner” (What would’ve been a better way to fall down the stairs?).

    • Granny RN RN

      I suppose the appropriateness of the fall depends on one’s ‘style’.
      As in: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, etc.

  10. luvnicubabies RN

    “Get computer in room 2 fixed.” -written on a baby’s chart in our NICU.

  11. Kwalpaws APN

    molasses enemas till clear! When is molasses every been clear!!!

  12. Elysium

    The worst order I have ever read in a chart was “Pt is Hospice care ONLY. Discharge to home. Advise Pt not to call 911 for chest pain.”

    Really, Dr?

  13. tiaj72187

    A DKA pt that was incredibly non compliant with diet:

    “please escort patient outside, watch her smoke, then escort her back”

    right ok…i’ll get right on that…

  14. GarnerRN RN

    The worst order I had is a toss up. 1. Head 15-20 minutes QID 2. Stat Prozac (which takes two weeks to work, lol!)

  15. dmyers

    On a Superbowl Sunday, one of our ortho surgeones wrote an order. Do the X-ray only during halftime ONLY!”

  16. amazing

    Not an order, but this was written on a prenatal record. “Pt has history of multiple sexual partners but is now in a monotonous relationship”.

  17. sunny striefel

    The funniest order I’ve received was regarding a patient of mine who had the notorious reputation for multiple falls daily. After a head to toe assessment which usually showed a minor skin tear at worse, incident report filed, phone call to family,and an fyi fax to his doctor. One day this same patient showed signs and symptoms of a UTI. After faxing his doctor for a prescription for an antibiotic, the doctor faxed back, “Tell patient to wear a helmet.” He apparently didn’t even look at my fax, but just assumed the patient had taken another fall. We all had a good laugh…but obviously I had to fax the doctor back for clarification!!!!!!

    • sunny striefel

      The best order I received from a doctor was regarding a different patient, to which he ordered: one 6-oz glass of wine PO qd at evening meal.

      • Granny RN RN

        The issue of chronic alcohol use when someone comes in for, say, cardiac bypass surgery is an old one.
        Back in The Day we had a marvelous protocol which utilized D5 and alcohol IV to keep people from going into DTs and it would also stop premature late term labor. (Lots of happy mothers to be!)
        We once had a patient in Neuro ICU who ‘HAD” to have 2 glasses of vodka Every evening. So after the doc evaluated her the order was written and pharmacy sent up 2 cups of vodka at happy hour every evening.

  18. acates11 Caption Contest

    Worst and very deadly Dr. order. Give 60 mg potassium IV push between units of blood. No kidding!! He actually meant to say lasix.

  19. ktkachuk2021

    order read: NPO while sleeping.

  20. pasmith

    2 BANANAS STAT! for a potassium level of 2.5

  21. kidnurse03

    A pt who had been bitten three times by his cat with three subsequent hospitalizations, had the ID doc write in his orders to “euthanize cat.”

  22. trucol

    How about this one!
    Give 50mg Demerol for blood sugar <60.

  23. Julia

    On my brand new CABG pt, don’t wake at night for vitals! Yeah right. Not gonna happen Doc.

  24. EmpoweRN

    Not an order:
    But one time I had a pt. admitted for: Shortness of Breast.

  25. nightshiftnurse

    Had a patient come in with respiratory distress…resident looked at me and said “give him arousal therapy” I just looked at her and said “not in my job description” turned and walked away.

  26. Deb Hodnett Walker

    From a medical student, hand written orders: ” please record all eyes and nose and then empty urinal, thank you”.

  27. tinathecma

    Thanks for the great laff! =)