1. I have a recurring nightmare where I tell a pt “let’s get you on your feet,” and I pull back their covers to see that they’re a double amputee. The two double amputees we have had where I work I avoided like the plague.

  2. I once tried to give a brochure to a blind woman. After she said she was blind I said “maybe your son could read it to you”. She then told me he was her husband and not her son.

  3. I sorta did something similar. I asked a 47 yo woman’s “kids” to step out of the room while I gave her a shot in the ass. She proceeds to tell me “that’s not my kid, that’s my boyfriend”. To be fair, dude was only 26.

  4. I tried to show one of my professors one of those magic eye 3-D posters. I said “sometimes it takes a while to see it” and he said, oh, hey, do you need two eyes for this?

  5. I sorta did something similar. I asked a 47 yo woman’s “kids” to step out of the room while I gave her a shot in the ass. She proceeds to tell me “that’s not my kid, that’s my boyfriend”. To be fair, dude was only 26.

  6. Patient had his leg burned when his girlfriend threw gasoline on him and set him on fire. She wouldn’t talk to him after he got discharged from the burn unit so he downed all his pain pills and drank alcohol. He kept pleading with us to call her and I would redirect we should wait till he was sober before making that decision.

  7. We had this frequent flyer who has no fingers on one hand. I was getting blood sugars one night and wasn’t even thinking when I asked “do you care which finger?” and he goes “I used to” 😂😂

  8. I accidentally told my patient who was getting a bowel resection and colostomy surger, yayy this day is finally here!! All chirpy, thinking it was my other patient who was having a reversal of colostomy surgery after waiting six months due to covid and cancellations. Needless to say, my mouth still tastes like my feet.. where r u in mexico?

  9. I worked ER for years. When I was at triage one day I had a skinny early 30's female checking in for abdominal pain. She had a very protuberant abdomen and I stupidly asked "how many weeks pregnant are you?" She proceeded to inform me that she was not pregnant and had ascites due to alcoholic cirrhosis. I quickly learned to phrase my questions differently and now use "Is there any chance that you're pregnant?"

  10. I’m a nurse but I recently had a bad miscarriage that had already been confirmed by a scan in the same hospital, I went to a&e literally haemorrhaging blood and booked in with triage under miscarriage and the next nurse asked if there was any chance I was pregnant 🙈

  11. Hahahaha! I did that to a former classmate! She had a belly and was waddling (quite a difference than her graduation weight). I asked her when she was due and she replied “due what”. That was the worst scrambling I’ve ever done to remove both feet from my mouth. To top it off she was visiting her sick parent who was our ED patient and they had just come from the funeral of her grandparent.

  12. Told an ambulatory young patient that I would hang her chemo and if she didn’t need anything else, I would “stay out of your hair” the rest of the time. Homegirl was bald.

  13. I did just that at my ER! This sweet cancer patient and her husband came in, I did what I needed to do..and when leaving the room, told them " I will get out of your hair now". They both started to cry. I m still mortified thinking about it!

  14. I was taking care of a teenage girl who was HOH. For some reason, I asked her if she could read braille. Very quickly she said "I'm deaf, not blind". I will never forget that for the rest of my life.

  15. My most recent goof was when I was helping a double amputee pack her belongings. Offered everything in the cabinet above her reach from the chair. A few items were up on the counter next to the cabinet, also out of reach from the chair. I held up a pair of grippy socks still in the bag. "What about these?" Pt responds, "well, I don't think I have a need for those..." uugghhh see you in Mexico

  16. Tried to high five a guy with no hands. I turned it into a forearm bump but fuck that still haunts me.

  17. Was drinking coffee out of a mug while working triage that said, "All bleeding stops eventually" .... as a father checks in with his hemophiliac son ......

  18. I told my above the knee double amputee patient that we do safety rounds at night, so I don’t want to close the curtain all the way because I want to be able to see your feet…🫣

  19. When I was in nursing school in my psych rotation, I took a patients BP on his right arm but I wasn't satisfied with the BP result. Being a good student i wanted to compare BPs w/ his other side. I asked him to pull his left arm out if his shirt (cause he was holding it in his shirt). When he pulled his arm out. It was just a stump. HE HAD NO L) ARM. I died. I asked a psych patient to show me his amputated arm.

  20. I once transported a patient to hospice when I worked on the ambulance. This guy was hours if not minutes from death.

  21. Listen, I have chronic foot in mouth syndrome. I say the stupidest shit sometimes and I hate it (I think it's the ADHD). I usually try to recover with some form of, "well would you look at the that, I've decided to say things with my idiot mouth instead of the normal one. You ok if I try that again?"...

  22. My go to when I make bad jokes that don't land or get taken wrong is, "Sorry, that was funnier in my head!"

  23. Not a nurse but this one is actually very acceptable! It’s widely accepted amongst blind people that this is just a phrase and doesn’t actually entail “seeing” anything. (Just like how you say it when you’re hanging up the phone)

  24. We all say stupid shit. I was making an SCDs joke about how old people can’t hear and they ask if they have the STDs. Patient in a different area was being worked up for HIV. This was two years ago and I still think about it.

  25. I started calling them “skids” to anyone who could possibly misinterpret it. But my coworkers haven’t caught on to it yet.

  26. Had just finished emptying a patient’s foley AND colostomy and asked, so when you have to use the bathroom, how do you get up?

  27. I once walked in to a theatre where they were operating doing a BKA, one of the nurses asked me “are you here to lend a hand?” And without thinking I replied “I don’t think they need a hand, I think they need a leg”…the patient was under sedation but the looks I received from everyone was very mortifying.

  28. Eek I had a similar one. I told my HOH patient that his room at the end of the hall was great because it's quiet. Thank GOD he didn't hear me and said "huh??"

  29. Not medical but I was checking out at the grocery store with only two items and when the one armed guy who was scanning them asked me if I wanted a bag I said “nah, I have two han—….” Fuck.

  30. I once said, "We really shot ourselves in the foot with that one!" to a man who was on the neuro unit for attempting suicide by shooting himself in the face.

  31. I have a friend that had a really bad stroke when he was young. Deaf in one ear, blind in one eye. I always feel like the biggest asshole when I go to hand him something and stand there wondering why nothing is happening just to remember that's his blind side.

  32. I was doing an admission and asked a patient with no legs how tall he was. Fortunately he thought it was hilarious. I also asked a lady with her lower arm amputated if she needed a hand with something.

  33. Had a woman once who had elective breast augmentation (not related to cancer, merely a plastic surgery elective procedure) and both the patient and husband were asking me very specific questions as if she'd just undergone open heart surgery (like, I get it, you paid for this, you want it to heal really well) and I dont remember what they asked me but I started my response with "it would be breast...I mean best..it would be best" ............

  34. I worked on burn and was talking to a pt family about 4th of July and I referenced a funny meme. Now they were funny people and I had a good rapport with them and they knew me for months so it didn’t get awkward but I wanted to die. It’s so easy to do on burn. So many faux pas are possible

  35. I walked over to the resource nurse who was sitting in front of another patient's room, and she asked how things were going, and I said, jokingly, "I'm dyin' over there." She was sitting in front of a patient's room waiting to help out with post-mortem care. The parents were still in the room.

  36. Transferring trauma pt to floor from ER. Not my pt, so I didn’t know the details. “Should have seen the other guy, right?” Pt replies, “actually, I was in an accident and the other guy passed away”. Patient was a drunk driver and would be discharged to jail. I left the room without a word and never went back. I cringe about this regularly.

  37. It's ok. When I was a second year nursing student, I had a pt on a surgical floor. She was going to go down for surgery at some point that day. Surgeon came in, marked up her legs and she was crying. I didn't know anything about the pt except that she was for surgery. The nurse I was shadowing told me to go over and comfort/talk/etc.

  38. I asked a patient with bilateral BKAs (old BKAs, that wasn’t why they were there) if they walk to the restroom…. They gave me a look and I immediately tried to save myself by saying “oh some people walk with prosthetics. I wasn’t sure if you do.” I felt like a moron.

  39. In my ICU it’s reasonable to assume that every single patient is unconscious. On more than one occasion I’ve been helping another nurse and said things so atrocious that I have literally blocked out what I said from my consciousness. In my experience, a genuine apology is all it takes to fix it.

  40. No one noticed! Including the pt, there was myself, another NA, and the nurse doing the wound care. As the other NA and I were walking out of the building I brought it up, and she busted out laughing! It was about an hour or so past our normal shift (volunteered to stay late and help), and I think everyone was just too tired to make the connection.

  41. I complained about back pain to my coworker while taking care of a freshly done spinal fusion patient. The look she gave me LMAO

  42. Okay, but have you asked a victim of a dog bite if they’d like a visit from a dog? My soul left my body as the words slipped out of my mouth and immediately realized…

  43. Today I told a patient to have a nice day around fifteen minutes after we told him that he has a tumour the size of a golfball in his colon. He was on his way out of our surgery and right into the oncology department to discuss his options - and I wished him a nice day.

  44. A patients family said “thank you god” the other day and I accidentally said “you’re welcome” so I’ll be meeting you in mexico

  45. I worked my first job in prenatal care. My third pregnant lady of the first day walked in and I greeted her and happily asked her " Will there be 2 or 3 babies?".

  46. I was getting an ECG on a STEMI patient and said, "I have some bad news, you're dead!" When a blank page printed out. I escorted myself out the nearest window after that.

  47. Well, the old way to do it was to visit a graveyard and look for gravestones of babies who were born around the year you were, but died shortly after and apply for a birth certificate, because anyone could ask for a copy of the birth certificate. Then you could use that birth certificate to get more ID. They've blocked that loophole now, though. Maybe it still works in Mexico

  48. I once told a post-op gastric sleeve patient that the sleeve was reversible. To this day I don't know why I said that, I knew it wasn't. This was years ago and I still think about how dumb I looked when I said it.

  49. Okay, but nothing beats "Is this your grandmother?" And the person is their mother, or worse, their wife. Or "Is this your daughter?" And the person is the wife. I have never wanted to fall through the floor more than the look like I get after that. I would rather make Burning Man comments to every burn patient than make those misidentification mistakes again.

  50. A patient's family member at the bedside asked if the intubated, sedated patient had done anything while they stepped out for a smoke break.

  51. Thankfully this occurred about 3 hours after the pt normally went to bed, and they didn’t notice or didn’t register what I said. If they would have said something, I probably would have just jumped out the window, stripped off my clothes, and ran away screaming. I could claim temporary insanity or something when I returned to work.

  52. That’s ok. Had a blind pt for several days. He was also fairly creepy so I would make conversation to keep his comments from spitting from his mouth. He was wearing a star wars shirt.

  53. In the ICU had a patient pass and as their son and husband walked out of the room they thanked me for the care I provided.

  54. My first semester in nursing school a patient took out his phone to use as a voice translator. I introduce myself and ask if I can get him anything. He’s just staring at me confused at this point, so I look at the screen and under the English side it starts with “ok, f*ck you…” Mans bursted out laughing as soon as I did

  55. I was giving our new hospice volunteers their required PPD injections. “Ok, hold still or I will have to cancel my 100% money back guarantee”. He said “I can’t hold still I have Parkinson’s.” Yeah. My family still tells that story.

  56. I was preparing a family for discharge of their baby from the NICU and while leaning over showing dad how to burp a baby my cough drop fell out of my mouth and landed on his knee. He was so nice about it but I was mortified.

  57. I have had nurses and doctors say all kinds of weird things my last doctors visit, my doctor said my 3 day extremely traumatic labor followed by a completely mismanaged c section where a lot of very bad shit went down followed by a long hospital stay and months of severe pain - was a 'misadventure' .... I didn't have to heart to correct him though it was really the wrong word. The important thing is, if you realize it's bad - correct yourself and say I am sorry, if they call you out, say your sorry and don't be the nurse that argues with a patient about it - then you need to go to south America - Mexico ain't far enough.

  58. This will probably not help, but "misadventure" is a clinical term used in medicine, defined as injury to a patient as an unintended consequence of a procedure (surgery, etc). Typically it refers to serious injury or death.

  59. I told one of my cancer patients who just recently lost all her hair due to chemo that after I get her vitals I’d “get out of her hair so she could get back to sleep.”

  60. Honestly, if I was that patient, I would probably be madder about the pain I'm in from laughing so hard. That would probably shock me into laughing, and it's just...really fucking funny, really darkly hilarious. Sometimes those moments are so surprisingly helpful to people. Some of my funnest, and funniest, moments were working in hospice. Never underestimate the power of an unexpected laugh.

  61. The pt didn’t seem to register what I said; neither did the other NA or nurse in the room. With pt, it could have gone either way. I could always make them laugh and cheer them up, but they weren’t in the best headspace yesterday.

  62. I told a patient on the cardiac floor for a suspected heart attack, who’d had two heart attacks already I might add, that third time was the charm.

  63. Once one of my cancer patients came in for a shot of neulasta. He was a young single, newly divorced, VERY Christian father of small children. As he was leaving, I said “if ya need another good poke, you know where to find me!” He stared at me silently in the doorway of the room, and left.

  64. I sat down to do a Pap smear once and was idly making chit chat and said “I’m so hungry” (it was lunchtime) but AKWARD!!

  65. After my crani patient had just finished wailing over seeing her half-shaved head for the first time, I told her I’d get out of her hair. 🤦🏻‍♀️

  66. I once told a woman with cancer on the BMT unit I would soon “get out of her hair”. There was no hair to get out of.

  67. I told a bilateral above knee amputee that they would be "running marathons next week" after their UTI treatment is complete.

  68. I told a quadriplegic patient not to worry about a thing. We’re a good team we’ll get him back on his feet… I didn’t know what quadriplegia was at the time.

  69. I asked a new (male) tech I was orienting if he knew how to put on a condom cath. I stopped as soon as I said it and he said “yes, i believe I do”

  70. One of new (male) techs was going to put on a condom catheter on an obese uncircumcised pt. The dude was so big it was basically an inny. The tech looked where the penis should be, looked at me, back to penis, then says really loud “where do I put it?” Me and the pt laughed so hard we cried!

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