15 Things No Nurse Ever Wants to Hear

1. You’re being floated to another unit

Even if it’s your turn, even if it’s been 6 months since you’ve been to another unit, you just don’t ever want to show up to work to be told you have to go somewhere else… Bummer. 

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2. Your IV infiltrated

No nurse wants to tell a patient that they’re going to have to be stuck again. And it’s just an additional, unexpected task that’s suddenly at the top of your priority list, even if you have 300 other things you need to be doing.

3. We had a call-in

Nurses live in varying states of short-staffedness, so when there’s a call-in on an already semi-short-staffed day, it’s a total bubble buster. I’m not saying they not really sick, I’m just saying our first thought is “are theydying?!?”

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4. Your patient wants to speak to the charge nurse

It doesn’t matter if you gave care that would have given Mother Teresa a run for her money, when a patient asks to speak to the charge nurse you instantly question every comment, look, and gesture you gave to your patient and every single one of their visitors. You’ll analyze the look of the charge nurse when she walks out of your patient’s room—did they have to listen to a complaint, or a compliment? For the record, I hope it’s the latter!

5. You’ve got something on your scrubs

And they’re probably new! But no nurse likes to hear they got something on their scrubs because, a) they were expensive, and b) it’s probably something gross, like urine or blood.

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6. Your patient has [insert any contagious disease here]

We know we’ll be careful. We know we’ll wear the right protective equipment. We will diligently wash our hands. But regardless, we do.not.want.to.get.sick. We’re not afraid of getting sick ourselves; we’re usually afraid we’ll bring some life-threatening illness home and spread it around like pollen to our families. And we don’t want to be the nurse in #3.

7. Mandatory call

One day a month of mandatory call doesn’t sound bad, until you actually have to work it. Then we’d rather have a root canal or sit through a marathon of Telletubies (in French).

8. Someone’s been in the employee bathroom

This is never good. People don’t know you’re not supposed to poop in the employee bathroom. Unless it’s you, of course, and you just really… really have to go.

9. Where are you? You’re on the schedule to work today

The dreaded morning wake-up call. A fire couldn’t get you to jump out of your bed any faster.

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10. We’re getting an admission

It’s irrelevant if the unit is busy or not. An admission means work. I’m not trying to imply that nurses don’t like to work, I’m just saying that 5 minutes of peace never killed anyone. But when you are busy (and you probably are), it just sucks even more.

11. You forgot to clock in

Nooooooooooo.

12. The cafeteria is closed

Of course it is. It’s like an unwritten rule that the moment you finish assessing all of your patients, the cafeteria rewards you by closing its doors. Thanks for that.

13. We need the code team

No one wants to have to get a crash cart or call a code… EVER! It’s one of the hardest parts of our job.

14. Management will be here early (or be staying late)

They don’t even have to be bad management… Good or bad, you don’t want them around. It’s like having your parents chaperon a school dance.

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15. Your coworker is being peer-reviewed

No nurse wants to know that one of their coworkers is having to go before a group of people for all of their actions to be reviewed. The only thing worse is if you’re the one being peer-reviewed. Definitely not something any nurse wants to hear!

Until my next delivery ❤

Previously published in Mighty Nurse.


8 thoughts on “15 Things No Nurse Ever Wants to Hear

  • November 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm
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    All applied to me as an ED nurse! Such memories!

    Reply
  • November 29, 2015 at 6:20 pm
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    I really dislike floating! It makes me feel like a new grad all over again ??

    Reply
  • November 30, 2015 at 3:55 am
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    Love it. All so true. I didn’t mind floating from our go risk labor unit to ICU or ER. I hated the floors.

    Reply
  • November 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm
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    It is common knowledge on your unit (we do med/surg and OB together) that working Friday day shifts are the worst because all the docs wait until then to do all their discharges and then we immediately fill up with repatriations, transfers and admissions…

    Also hate being transferred to another floor! Feel so useless!

    Great post it gave me a good laugh.

    Tori
    http://www.themamanurse.com

    Reply
  • November 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm
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    It is common knowledge on your unit (we do med/surg and OB together) that working Friday day shifts are the worst because all the docs wait until then to do all their discharges and then we immediately fill up with repatriations, transfers and admissions…

    Also hate being transferred to another floor! Feel so useless!

    Great post it gave me a good laugh.

    Tori
    http://www.themamanurse.com

    Reply
  • December 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm
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    Great post. Also hate it when the entire facility is going through it’s yearly review.

    Reply
  • January 4, 2016 at 12:59 pm
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    what is the most frustrating thing in the world is not only there is an admission, you are the charge nurse who gives the assignment to the nurse who then whines and complains. Being a charge nurse is the toughest thing to do in the world. you have to get very good at telling the doctors yes of course everything that happens with the nurses is your fault and yes you will make sure their patient delivers at the exact time they want it done. Or you have the nurse that stalls on her patients because she just doesn’t feel like doing a delivery instead of actively doing things like position changes to help her patient. Sometimes patients are going to have a c/s for FTP, but too many times its the pt that you are responsible to do what you know how to do to prevent them from getting one. In ways with no VBAC deliveries, you are now controlling how many kids they can have and how much risk is she will have with each one.

    Reply

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