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Nursing Narratives

True Stories from the front line of health Care

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"I couldn't have made it up if I tried!"
René tells about her uncle, who was a patient on the ward she worked:
He liked attention, as well as being a hypocondriac. A cousin who was also a niece was working on the catering staff. She came to me at suppertime and said our uncle wouldnot eatanything at all. We went together to his bedside and both of us made it clear he would have to eat something and were both very outspoken and direct in our manner. It was months before I realised that the other patients could not have known he was our uncle ... I am sure they have told some tales of the two hospital personell who were a real dose! Regards from Ireland

Becky told us "James is 87, the sweetest of patients, one of nature's gentlemen. Just the other day when I was giving James a sponge bath I stood him up next to the bed so I could wash his privates when he looked down and said "Have you ever seen anything so big?"
I didn't know what to tell him, confessed Becky, all I could think of was there was this guy down in Florida one time ... but before I could say a word, James shook his head and said "my brother in law told me once that, these have got to be biggest damn feet he has ever seen!"

Jo, from Cairns, got egg on her face: "I was assigned to caring for a young man who had been shot three times - he had no life-threatening injuries but certainly severe wounds. I barged into his single room to ask if he’d completed his menu for the following day to find him standing gingerly beside his bed using a urinal. To cover any embarrassment he might feel, I blurted out an old Austarlian expression: 'Oh! The sights you see when you haven’t got a gun!' Needless to say, I blushed!"
Stephanie was triaging a patient in L & D who thought she was in labor. She was doing the pain assessment, and asked her "Is your pain intermittent or constant?" "What?" "Does your pain come and go or is it constant?" "Well, it constantly comes and goes!"
A first year student in her first month of clinicals in a general surgery ward is asked to give a report of her patient to her clinical instructor:
"My patient Mr. x, is a 45 year old gentleman, who has been diagnosed to have a calcium stomach ..."
The instructor was confused, as she had never heard of a calcium stomach. When she opened the patient's history sheet, it turned out to be carcinoma - Ca Stomach.
I was recovering an elderly Cornish female patient who was hard of hearing and who had had her colostomy resited. On awakening both the patient and myself were talking very loudly and the conversation was as follows:
"What's 'e done then?"
"He's resited your colostomy"
"'e's what?"
"He's resited your colostomy"
"Recycled my colostomy! Well, who's got it then?"
One evening while administering medication to an elderly lady the following exchange took place:
"Hi, I have your medication for you."
"Oh, okay."
" I'm gonna give you some pepcid for your stomach, but I'm putting it in your IV."
(patient looked a bit perplexed)
"Okay. Uhmmm... I have a question."
"Oh, what's your question."
"Well, I hope you don't mind me asking, but, I was just wondering ... why Pepsi and not Coke?"
I was caring for a 22-year old newly diagnosed insulin dependent diabetic who was extremely noncompliant. In my effort to illustrate that compliance and good control of blood sugars generally will delay the onset and severity of long-term complications, I shared the clinical picture of a young man who, due to his denial of his disease, by 32 years of age was blind, on dialysis, had lost his testicles and was about to have his feet amputated ... the patient cried out in horror, "How can you live without testicles?".

Compiled through the generosity of members of nursing newsgroups - and others.  

Thanks to: René Poelenjee, Patty B, Stephanie, Sowmya Sowmya, Caroline Wilkinson, Debby Blackman, Debbie,

2 May 2016 | Copyright Andrew Heenan | | Privacy