Monday, February 10, 2014

Random Repost: Top Ten Ways to know the nurses hate you.

Every now and then I run across an old post that I'd completely forgotten about. And so. That inspired me to occasionally re-share a throwback post with you.

Funny I should run across this one today. I recently saw one of the nurses giving a doctor the thirty-second stare every time he said something. Which doesn't guarantee but could possibly mean that, well, the nurses hate him.

Just maybe.

Kind of made me reminisce about one of the most EPIC-ly failed commentaries I've ever heard an intern say to a nurse. It happened circa 1996 on a med/surg ward in Cleveland, Ohio after my friend (who shall remain nameless) punctuated his request to a surly senior RN with the following statement:

"That's an order -- not a suggestion."


This is really me as an intern in 1996 overhearing that.

Man. They hated his ass after that. Talk about a long few years.

 His final residency stats with the nurses:
  • Number of phone calls he got in the middle of night: Seven hundred and sixty two trillion
  • Number of times it was emergent: Two
  • Number of stool softener and tylenol orders that mysteriously fell off of medical admin record in the middle of the night or busy call: Nine hundred and seventy seven kabillion
  • Number of IVs that curiously fell out at three a.m.: four hundred fifty four gazillion
  • Number of attempts made by senior nurses when they heard it would help him: Zero
  • Number of eyerolls per hour when near any nurse on the unit: Too numerous to count
  • Number of cups of coffee and extremely cold Diet Cokes thrown away for being left at the nurses station: five point seven trizillion
  • Average number of seconds before said coffee or extremely cold Diet Coke was pitched in the trash "you know for OSHA reasons and Joint Commission rules" after being sat down on the nurses station:  one point two nanoseconds.
  • Number of bagels, cookies, perfumed lotions, sticks of chewing gum or pieces of pizza offered in the rest of his entire residency: Negative four.

He should have read this. But then again by the time a person sees these signs it's probably too late to be saved.


February 10, 2011

Top ten ways to know that the nurses hate you  (especially ICU, ER and inpatient nurses):

This one's for you, On Call RN. . . .

Way #10

They scowl and answer every single one of your questions with, "Wh-aat?"

Way #9

They don't save you when you're getting ready to majorly screw up in front of the attending (unless of course it involves a patient's safety.) Otherwise, you're on your own. Oh yeah, and if they really hate you, they ask a question on rounds in front of the attending that they know 100% for sure that you don't have the foggiest notion how to answer. (Note: Usually involves dropped balls or screw ups on your part.)

Way #8

They page you every hour on the hour between the hours of midnight at six A.M.

Way #7

They don't offer you any of their food. (The nurses always have the best food--especially ICU nurses!)

Way #6

They approach the attending or the fellow with all of their questions or suggestions instead of talking to you.

Way #5

They approach the medical student with all of their questions and suggestions instead of talking to you.

Way #4

They start off all conversations with you by saying the words, "Look, I'm not sure if you realize it, but. . . "

Way #3

The nurses lounge gets quiet every time you enter.

Way #2

The nurse stands there staring at your for thirty seconds after everything you say, kind of like you're stupid.

and . . .drum roll please. . . . the #1 way to know for sure that the nurses hate you. . . . . .

They tell you.


Pearl of wisdom from a doctor who has usually made good with the nurses:

Love thy nurses. Why? Because NURSE = butt-saver, hands-on-deck, extra-brain, person-who-remembers-next-step-in-a-code, shoulder-to-cry-on, cheerer-upper, differential-diagnosis-suggester, back-into-reality-smacker, team-mate-extraordinaire, knower-of-fine-details, wind-beneath-tired-wing, wingman-or-wingwoman, explainer-of-drips-that-you-are-clueless-about, teacher, and best of all, friend. 

So here's to all the nurses. . . . . .and to those of us who work with them.  May they always share their food with you and never hate your guts!

Happy Monday. Feel free to anonymously share this with someone who hasn't gotten the memo that we need our nurses to survive.


  1. AMEN!!! Love nailed it!! This applies to clinics also.
    Dee in San Diego

  2. I loved this post as you can imagine. We nurses love you, but yes your list of ways to demonstrate the Hate was priceless. Did you see the book review in the NYT Review of a book by a 90 yr old doctor who JUST now realized how much nurses contributed to health care. I can't even imagine where he has been for the past 60 yrs??? It got a few choice comments from my fellow nurse friends.

  3. Great post! It is so true that nurses can make or break you and only idiot residents haven't already figured this out in medical school. I knew an intern who when a nurse came up to her and said "Annie, could you please..." the intern interrupted "That's Dr. Smith to you."

    Yeah, they hated that intern. And deservedly so. She wasn't even particularly hard working or attentive. Nurses will forgive a certain amount of arrogance if the doc is actually taking really good care of patients, but arrogant and useless? You are toast.


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