The nurse who can smile when things go wrong is probably going off duty.


You can please some of the patients all of the time, and all of the patients some of the time, but you just can’t please the family.

Management truly believes you are overpaid. But would never work for what they pay you.

People farthest from your work area are the least needy - and least afraid of pushing the nurse call. Invariably.

The more minor the injury, the more angry that person is for having to wait. While the little old guy with crushing chest pain says, “Oh, it’s ok, I’ve waited this long already…”

Your patient is finally absorbing their NG feed after days of aspirating - but they pull the tube out just before the consultant does his ward round.

The number of staff to be found on the ward is inversely proportional to the scale of the emergency.

You’ve just given a patient a meal - pie, roast potatoes and a sponge pudding with custard - when the consultant says they’re ready for the operation.

A very healthy patient, when admitted to a very small room, will require a vent, a cooling blanket, hemofilter, six pumps and a digital television before the end of your shift, requiring you to climb over the bed to get out of the room.

The hospital always sends admissions to your nursing home at change of shift on your weekend on - the physician’s weekend off.

The lift always breaks down when the 400 pound patient needs to be transferred from one bed to another.

You tell your patient, “If you need anything at all, just push the button and I’ll be there”. She smiles and says she’s “Fine, thank you nurse.” The next morning she complains to the physician, “No one came near me all night and I couldn’t sleep, because I was in agony.”

In a life threatening emergency, the speed of the doctor’s response is inversely proportional to the speed of the patient’s decline.

That enema you gave four hours ago produces a huge code brown just five minutes before the end of your shift.

The doctor’s just about to examine a patient when you realise you’ve lost your pencil and find a rectal thermometer behind your ear.

The doctor with the the Handwriting from Hell is the one who makes the worst fuss when disturbed at 3am … usually because their insulin prescription could be… anything.

You have been working flat all day without even a coffee break, but the moment you sit down, the supervisor walks around the corner and sees you doing nothing.

You never use foul language, except when the boss is standing behind you.