Life as a nurse, doctor or any other healthcare professional can be incredibly rewarding and unbelievably difficult at the same time. There are many pros, but the list of cons can sometimes seem to be equally as long (if not longer), especially after a hard day of helping patients, not all of whom are the brightest of the bunch.
A British nurse, who goes by the nickname GoddessBadger on Imgur, shared her work stories about the most oblivious, impolite, and downright bizarre patients she’s ever had to deal with. Upvote the stories you enjoyed the most, share them with your amigos, and keep on scrolling. While we’re on the subject of nurses, be sure to check out our post about the best and funniest nurse memes — they’re sure to get a chuckle or two out of you.
"We, of course, explain to her that cola is not an appropriate food to be giving to her child."
"Truly amazing how much this gets thrown at us NHS nurses when somebody can’t get their own way... Do they not realise that we pay taxes too?"
GoddessBadger’s work stories were a booming success on Imgur. It even made the front page! Her meme collection got 4,930 upvotes and was viewed over 150,220 times at the time of writing. But these numbers keep on getting bigger and bigger, as the stories go even more viral.
The emergency room nurse from England detailed just how weird her shifts can get: from one patient refusing suppositories because they’re ‘not gay’ to a mother giving her baby fizzy drinks instead of formula. [Groans internally]
It takes the patience of a saint to get through to people who are as oblivious as this. So we’re probably all grateful that there are so many healthcare professionals out there who are patient enough to excuse our mistakes.
Speaking of patience with patients (pun intended), Jacksonville University has some great advice on how to deal with incredibly inconvenient individuals. The most important thing for a healthcare professional is to remain calm and maintain control.
Furthermore, it’s vitally important that nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff be as empathetic as they can. If a patient is angry or upset, they might simply want to complain a tad, so try talking to them, show them that you understand their pain and that you’re on their side. We’re all human beings and we all want to be heard.
"Racism is surprisingly common. I am British but not white so I face a lot of these comments. Sometimes I can be on an entire shift without a white British staff member... If you’re a racist, I have one thing to say to you... 'Grow the f**k up.'"
"We end up giving them an IV instead since they were adamant they didn’t want a suppository."
"After much deliberation and a look through their medical records, we realised they meant “Sickle Cell” as in anemia."
Arguing with patients is also never the answer because it doesn’t lead to anything other than more arguments: it’s far better to be respectful; the ER is not the place for a screaming match over whose opinion is correct. That being said, you have to set concrete limits on how a patient can treat you. If a person is being disrespectful, say that this is the wrong way to treat you and walk away. At the end of the day, if you’re feeling exhausted and emotionally sapped, just remember, that you’re doing this job for a reason and that the temporary inconvenience is worth it in the long run.
"This was truly one of the most bizarre excuses I’ve ever heard for a dildo stuck up the butt. This patient insisted that he was minding his own business, running as he normally does in the morning when a dildo wielding assailant appeared and started chasing after him. He claimed he tripped and that’s when our mysterious dildo man inserted the toy... Did we believe him... No... and they never caught the dildo wielding man."
"These types end up in the ED often and often they just need to go home and sleep it off. Discharge is often queried with “How am I supposed to get home?!” Why is that my problem? The Ambulance Service is not your personal taxi service."