nursing bloopers

Humor breaks the silent tension that comes with the work-stress of nurses,  just trying to do their “job” saving lives.

This is my beloved collection of bloopers from myself, students, patients and co-workers that I have gathered over the years…with my shameless commentary.


The patient was given a referral to Dr. Robinson for cecal inflammation.  The irate patient called back to tell us that Dr. Robinson was there but there was “no Dr. Cecal at that number!”

Patient claims that she has not taken any “ibu-propane” today.

(Phew!  Thank goodness she is a non-smoker.  Next time she should take ibuprofen.)

After prescribing a steroid nose spray for a patient’s allergy induced anisomia (inability to smell things) I remarked,  “I hope you are smelling better in a couple of weeks!”


One of patients told me that she had been given “crows feet” for her reflux and heartburn in the past, but couldn’t find it in the store.   After checking my holistic medication books to no avail, I finally realized that she had been given carafate – pronounced care-a-fate, a prescription medication that coats the stomach.

One of my patients reported that her “Indian Cologist” was following her closely for her hard to control diabetes…

(This endocrinologist was actually of Italian descent, but what did she know.)

My staff reported to me that “there was a mix up with the confusion.”

(No kidding.)

Student intern reviewing an x-ray result with me.  Result read: congenital bone spur.  My intern remarked, “So I guess he’s had this since birth, huh?”

(Yes, genius.)

Patient, while getting weighed.  “This isn’t my real weight.  I have three pounds of excrement in me.”

(Definitely TMI!)

Patient reported (prior to the referral to the nutritionist), “I typically eat something wheat for breakfast, like oatmeal.”

One teen, commenting to another during a visit, “You’re ignorant!”  The other teen replied, “What does that mean?”

(This conversation could  have gone on forever…)

Patient reported that she got her “ka-lona-scope” at the GI.

(I see the similarity to a kaleidoscope in many ways…)

Patient complaining about a problem with overactive sweat glands making her “aspire.”

(Down south, ladies glisten, but clearly aren’t quite that motivated in the heat…)

My most common request from patients is for me to “subscribe” something to make them feel better.

(Usually, I want to recommend a light magazine, like People, but I hold my tongue.)

I overheard the patient telling the med tech as she was getting her ready for her physical,  “I don’t like getting naked, but I don’t mind getting naked for Dr. *!”

(Yes, you did say that out loud.  No, I will never reveal which doc she preferred!)

Patient shared, “I get my GYN done at plant parenthood.”

(They plant a few seeds, pull a few weeds..)

Patient reported, “I got my annual monogram last month.”

(That explained the tattoos on her chest..)

Patient told me she had already seen the gastronomical doctor for her stomach.

(He was probably a “big” help, though that could have applied to the bills for many different specialists.)

Don’t forget to order the book, Nursing Chose Me!  


The “Plan Co-Pay” amount listed on the bottom of patient visit check out sheet, coincidently right after the institution of Obamacare, $1,003,935.00.

(Talk about paying your fair share!)

One college physical form carefully asked for the examiner to check off if the patient was “missing an organ”, but left no space to say which one.

(Just a little detail.)

Managed care referral form: Referral reason: “herniated Nurse Protrusion C6-7.”

(Talk about sticking your neck out for patients…)

Patient listed under prior surgeries:  “glad” bladder removal.

(Clearly relieved that was over.)

Patient listed under prior injuries:   torn “legaments”

(As opposed to those upper extremity injuries, armaments?)

Patient listed under recent procedures:  “Dexa scam

(Some patients like to call ’em like they see ’em!)

Patient listed under family history:  Grandmother had “John Hodgkins” disease.

(You know, that disease named after the hospital...)

Don’t forget to order the book, Nursing Chose Me!


Nursing student noted on chart:

  • “Patient has a “staff” infection.”(From hanging around the nurses station too much?)
  • “Long term goal:  Patient will come to accept that he has a terminal illness and that life doesn’t have to end because of it.”
  • “Dehydration has been corrected as evidenced by left leg edema.” 
  • “Patient depressed.  States she “wishes it was over.”  Nursing Care Plan effective.”

Office staff notes passed to me:

  • Patient here to “rule out pregnancy, 35 minutes late.”(Not sure if our tests detect pregnancy that quickly.)
  • Patient “needs refill of generic volume – would like today, only one left.”(Freudian attempt to get a larger bottle of valium.)
  • Patient needs a note stating that she can NOT run the cash register (for work) along with a note stating that she CAN play softball.(I see…)
  • Patient’s mom called looking for “referral to psyco” for her son.(Which explains the reputation of psychiatry for the last century!)
  • Patient requesting a blood “lyme tighter” to be drawn following a recent tick bite. (Tick must have been difficult to pull out.)
  • Patient has a question about some over the counter meds to get rid of “mugus”.  (Sounds more like she needs insecticide?)
  • Patient requesting “Whoopie Cough shot.  Travelling to Alaska to see newborn grand baby.”(Clearly in celebratory mood!)
  • “Patient took a dramamine early this morning for vertigo.  Patient swallowed it instead of chewing it.  Can she take another later?” (Hmmm..)

Nurse note passed to me :

  • Patient doing the nasal “salvage” but it isn’t helping. What next?(Try a lavage next time?)
  • Patient here today for abdominal pain.  Has period with a lot of clogging.
  • Update on Bipolar patient:  “No change.  Slight improvement.”

Staff entries that patient’s needed appointment for:

  • “lump on his limp nodes”(We all feel that way sometimes.)
  • hopital” patient follow up(Funny as it was around Easter bunny time.)
  • blood in butt“(Some words are worth a thousand pictures.)
  • chrooping” cough
  • “diarrah”(Wins award for most commonly misspelled word in medicine.)
  • “congestion, coughing; 18 months pregnant”(Was she having an elephant?)
  • evaluation for a tuballigation(A sterilization procedure done by a lawyer?)
  • evaluation for a corporal tunnel(Perhaps we can beat their wrist to death.)
  • “Bug flew in ear last night.  Killed by drowning.  Should he come in to have it extracted.”(Who?)
  • Reason for visit: No fault, DOA, ER Follow up(Sounds a little late for a PCP visit…)

Primary care transcribed note review:  

  • “13 year old right handed female.  She is an eighty grader in High School.”
  • Attention headaches.”
  •  Hospital Diagnosis on print out:  “Hand cuffs stuck on wrists”Condition on Discharge: “Improved”Follow up:  “As needed”

    (Really?  That’s the only part of the story we get?)

  • Personally signed letter from respected dermatologist.  “I saw your patient.  We’ll plan to remove her two things that she would like removed.  I’ll be happy to send you a follow up report.”(Hmmm…there are a lot of things that come in twos on our bodies..)
  • Personally signed referral letter from a plastic surgeon.  “I very much appreciate the faith you have placed in me taking care of XXX.”    (Actually had XXX’s in the note.)(We can’t always blame the transcriptionist!)

Don’t forget to order the book!

Kindle 2 cover 6 x 9 page

Artwork copyrighted.
May not reproduce without permission of Victor Juhaz.


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