Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Oh Come On!

on November 23, 2019

“I’m calling for the nurse who has the patient in room 329. They’re scheduled for surgery for noon.”

The person answering put me on hold to go get the nurse I needed to talk to.

Two minutes later

“Hello. Can I call you back? I’m in a patient’s room.”

“Sure” I say.

No call back in thirty minutes. I call back.

“Hi, yes, this is Susan. I need report on your patient. They will be picked up around 10:30.”

“Well, I’m in another patient’s room.”

I pause. “O.K”

I get a call back in twenty minutes.“Great! Let’s go! Fill me in.”

“Um, okay. Uh, let me see, um”

Deep breath. Deep breath. She may be having a rough day. “They have been NPO, right? Nothing to eat or drink.”

“Of course not”

“Great. Some history please.”

“Let’s see. She has choleo, um, cholelist..”

Silent groan

“We’re taking out her gallbladder. You don’t have to try to say that word. Any other history? Diabetes? Hypertension? Renal disease? Peptic Ulcers? Abnormal labs?”


“Ok.” We’re getting somewhere. “I noticed she’s under the age of fifty. Hysterectomy?”


“Well, please give her a cup and get a urine sample so you can do a test for pregnancy. Mandatory before surgery.”

“Well, um, she uses a wheelchair to get to the bathroom.”

“Multiple Sclerosis?” I throw other possibilities out to her.

I’m getting annoyed. “Why?”

“Not sure. Let me call you back.”

Five minutes later I get a call back from the nurse. My tone is modulated to hide my impatience. “Well…?”

“Um, she’s a paraplegic. That’s why she has a wheelchair.”

I took a deep breath before speaking.

“I’m concerned that you didn’t know that. That is all I’m going to say.”

5 responses to “Oh Come On!

  1. Gosh, I wouldn’t expect such incompetency to occur in New Zealand. That is quite concerning.

  2. Bonnie says:

    It’s unfortunate the staff nurse has a BSN but they lack experience and a proper preceptor. The Director needs to be informed so she can help

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