Archive for the ‘Funny’ Category

Miscellaneous Quotes

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Two quotes overheard recently in the department.

Quote #1: Nurse talking on the phone said “Don’t worry, sometimes anal can be a good thing.”
Quote #2: Female tech in room with male patient said “You just put it in the hole and I’ll do the rest. Don’t worry, I’ll hold it there.”

Get your minds out of the gutter.

The nurse was talking to another nurse who called to the emergency department because she couldn’t remember whether the patient received one or two doses of antibiotics before being sent to the floor. The floor nurse was apologizing because she was being so “anal compulsive.”

The tech was holding a urinal for an elderly stroke patient.

Don’t feel bad. Most of the people in the ED were laughing, too.

Primary Care Cartoon

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

After I’ve read through my EP Monthly issue a good dozen or so times, there are a couple of other medical magazines I enjoy. Medical Economics is one of them. I especially like the creativeness of the cartoons.

This cartoon about lack of primary care physicians made me laugh – in an ironic kind of way.


Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Over the police/EMS scanner in the ED we hear the following 911 call:

“I need an available unit to respond to 359 Main Street … 359 Main Street … for a report of a black and white raccoon that won’t come out from beneath a bed.”

I thought the same thing that you’re thinking. Black and white raccoon? Ummmm … does it happen to have really bad smelling farts?

We didn’t hear any more chatter over the scanner about the incident, so we were left wondering. Then a police sergeant happened to come to the ED later that night to take a report from a battery victim and we asked the sergeant about the call.

None of the officers on duty wanted to go on the call because they were thinking the same thing everyone else was thinking, and no one wanted to get sprayed in the face or have to Taser a skunk. Eventually one of them went to the scene and cautiously looked under the bed with his flashlight.

The “raccoon” ended up being an old blanket.

The person making the call was a little old lady in her 70’s. After the officer pulled the blanket from under the bed, she kept telling the officer “I’m not crazy, you know. I’m not crazy.” Sorry, ma’am, but when you have to make that statement more than once, it creates a rebuttable presumption that you are indeed crazy.

Thinking that zebras and raccoons can mate and produce a viable offspring that hides under beds … well … um … you  all can be the judges.

Bad Idea

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

A patient came into the hospital after being bitten several times on the hand by a squirrel.

What caused the squirrel to bite her, you ask?

Well it seems that the patient was in the park and saw the squirrel “limping.” So the patient scooped it up in her handbag and brought it home with her so that she could help the squirrel recuperate.

After further examination, the patient apparently thought the squirrel had broken its leg, so she wanted to fix it.

First, she gave the squirrel some Benadryl to sedate it. Never did figure out how she got the squirrel to drink the Benadryl. Maybe poured it into an acorn?

Then she tried to make a splint out of Popsicle sticks to tape to the squirrel’s leg. The squirrel wanted no part of it. The feeling of popsicle sticks being taped to his leg woke him from his slumber and was not appealing to him, so he bit the patient several times on the hand.

At that point, the woman dropped the squirrel and came to the emergency department. Said squirrel probably then limped to the fridge, got a beer and sat down to watch the Cubs lose again.

Frankly, if someone doused my head in Benadryl and then tried to tape a couple of sticks to my legs, I’d bite her, too.

Why Harriet’s Hemorrhoids Weren’t Getting Better

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

This order was found in her chart.
Probably explains why the white paste in her mouth didn’t grow out fungus, either …










P.S. For those non-medical readers that don’t get it, Anusol is a suppository that is supposed to be inserted in the rectum. This order is for the patient to get the suppository in her mouth.

Late Night Entertainment

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Hey All, it’s ERP from ER stories doing a quick guest post.

The myriad of ways that the staff entertains themselves late at night when there is a lull in the action is boundless. In fact, White Coat has blogged about this.

There is the “Obituary Game” made famous on Nurse Jackie but widely known to have been stolen from Nurse K.  (reading the Obits and taking bets on who the deceased was and what the cause of death was based on their name)

There was “Cane Ball” which we used to play in the ambulance bay in residency (basically stick ball using a cane and a ball of tape).

Saline battles with pre-filled non-sterile flush syringes. (They squirt pretty damn far!)

Recently, we had a sort of “What would it take” game between some docs and PA’s.  Of course it rapidly degenerated into a sexual theme.  Sort of “how much would it take for you to sleep with so and so?” or “Would you sleep with so and so, if….?”   Basically we found quite a variation in tolerances between us.

It mostly revolved around a fairly revolting surgeon at our hospital who is both unattractive physically, lecherous and creepy, and grossly unethical. What we discovered was that the amount required by the women was a minimum of 500,000 dollars providing he wore a paper bag over  his head!

A variation of this was “Would you Rather?” where you have to make a choice between two very unpleasant options – basically the lesser of two evils.  Some choices we were given:

Would you rather fracture your penis or your femur? (I chose the femur)

Would you rather get pancreatic cancer or glioblastoma? (I chose GBM)

Would you rather get a chest tube or a DPL with no Lidocaine? (I chose the DPL)

And of course the old classic, Would you rather be beautiful and stupid or brilliant and hideous?  Man, that’s a tough one!

Anyone else have any good late night time-killing games?

Murphy’s Law of the ER

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Hey, it’s ERP from ERstories.net doing a guest post.

The other day during a shift I said to myself “Dang it, it’s Murphy’s Law again” when something went all FUBAR. That made me decide to compile a little list of how that law applies to my job.

1. The GYN cart will only be stocked with the extra large and “virgin” sized speculums when you have a normal-sized patient to examine.

2. The GYN speculum light will not work and you will need to have your chaperon use the odoscope.

3. You will have three or four pages out to various doctors for an hour and no one calls back. The moment one finally does, so do all the others. They get annoyed being on hold and hang up.

4. There is guaranteed to be an issue whenever a patient needs transcutaneous pacing. Of course everything worked fine on the practise, model patients, but the moment you need to use it, the thing does not sense or the wires are not compatible with the pads.

5. The IV is going to blow the moment you have to push Epi – even though it was working fine for an hour before hand.

6. The nurse you need for a patient is always on break.

7. The nurse tells you that the patient in room 15 is getting annoyed waiting for an hour with pelvic pain. When you finally go into the room, the patient is either in the bathroom, waiting room, or fully dressed in a wheelchair.

8 There is never a nursing home’s number on their transfer paperwork, making history taking on a demented, bedridden patient a true joy.

9.The SMA-7 on a critically ill patient is always haemolysed.

10. The rate of RN, tech, and unit secretary “sick” call-ins is directly related to the niceness of the weather outside.

I am sure there are many more. Feel free to submit your own!

WhiteCoat Challenge #6 – Odd Chief Complaints

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

I was going to just make a post about a weird chief complaint that a patient had recently, but then thought that we haven’t had a good WhiteCoat Challenge in a while.

A middle aged female patient presented at the registration window demanding to be tested for “aluminum toxicity.”
When she got back to the room, she stated that her genitals were inflamed and believed that it was caused by aluminum in the whisk that she uses in her kitchen. She called the manufacturer of the whisk and confirmed that the metal portion of it was indeed made from aluminum.

The nurse didn’t really understand why the patient thought aluminum toxicity might be inflaming her genitals. So, to make small talk, the nurse asked the patient what she had been baking. The patient cast her a strange look. She wasn’t using the whisk for baking. She was using it for … um … how should I say … um … autoeroticism.

So here’s the challenge …

List the strangest/funniest chief complaint that you’ve had.

Top three as judged by EP Monthly editors get a choice of any one product from EP Monthly’s online catalog. We’ll also try to publish as many of the top entries in an upcoming issue of EP Monthly’s print version – which is distributed to more than 25,000 emergency physicians around the country.

Contest goes through midnight Monday, June 7, 2010.

Make us laugh.

Videos to Watch

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Had to share a couple of videos. One has repeatedly entertained our staff. One repeatedly entertains my kids.

One video has been circulating around our ED staff e-mails for a few weeks, although it has been circulating on YouTube since 2006. Totally bizarre. Lots of swearing and f-bombs, so you have been warned. But still funny. Allegedly this guy was dropping acid and sitting in a closet when his roommate taped him … or not.
Now we’re all making little quotes in the ED from this throughout the day. Not once, not nevah. Not my chair, not my problem, that’s what I say.

Then a video forwarded to me a couple of days ago that my kids play over and over again. Kung Fu Panda has nothing on this bear. Amazing.

Finally, can you say “Do NOT Touch Me“?

Placebo Power

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

This is a repost from a couple of years ago.

I actually had a new post planned, but had to reference something on this post. When I moved from my old blog to EP Monthly, this post apparently didn’t get transferred.

Some fond memories below.


The effect of a placebo is based on someone’s belief that an inactive substance is going to help them. This belief can actually cause the brain to release chemicals that mimic the effect of antidepressant medications and/or analgesia.

Some placebos are not just “sugar pills.” For example, some people with viral upper respiratory infections must have antibiotics to make them feel better. Physicians know (or at least they should know) that using antibiotics for viral infections is a useless proposition. Like spraying Raid on dandelions. But some patients swear that the antibiotics make them feel better and will seek out physicians who inappropriately prescribe antibiotics for their head colds and bronchitis. By the way, this placebo effect wouldn’t be a big deal except that now we have made many antibiotics less effective because we prescribe them so much. MRSA is proof that single cellular organisms evolve faster than the prescribing practices of some physicians.
Vitamins. Supplements. Energy drinks. They all may help cure what ails ya, but is there a scientific basis for the improvement? Or is it the placebo effect? Who knows? Who cares? If you feel better, it doesn’t matter whether you’re popping a couple of M&Ms or chugging quart of snake oil. Go for it.

Lately a lot of patients have shown dramatic improvement in their pain symptoms with the placebo effect in our ED.

An issue some of our nurses have is that they have to get the patient to believe in the effectiveness of the placebo in order for it to work. If you give someone a shot and tell them that it is just some “saline,” you probably won’t get much of a response. If you give someone a shot of “obecalp” (which is “placebo” spelled backwards), and tell them that this is a medication for their pain that may make them sleepy, it might work. Therein lies the problem. How to you get the patient to buy into the placebo effect without lying to them? OK ….. shhhhhh. Can you keep a secret?

If a patient is looking for pain pills, hand them three regular Tylenol pills. If the patients ask what they are getting, they are told they are getting “Tylenol …. number three.” Not a lie. They really are getting three Tylenol pills. Good placebo effect. Probably half of the patients who get “Tylenol … number three” get significant relief with three plain ol’ acetaminophen pills.

One 19 year old kid with chronic back pain (how does pain become chronic at age 19?) came in the other day after running out of his pain pills. The ED doc gave him a shot of Toradol. When that didn’t help, she had the nurse give the kid a couple of Tylenol tablets. He asked what medication he was receiving. The doctor told him it was “acetaminophen.” He asked her “is that like the pain medication in Vicodin?” She replied “Of course. Acetaminophen is one of the active ingredients in Vicodin.” He was happy and pain-free 30 minutes later.

The most profound placebo effect I have ever seen actually occurred in a little old lady that I saw about 6 months ago. She was dancing around the waiting room complaining of severe pain in her hip. Howling (literally) in pain. Like if she kept it up, a rain cloud was going to form in the waiting room. We got her back to a room and she was screaming and rolling around on the bed. She had a medication “allergy” list that was extensive, but that did not contain Demerol. And she needed a pain shot … NOW. I was busy admitting someone and told the nurse just to give her a shot of saline in the butt then I would go in to see her. The nurse wouldn’t do it because she knew the patient would ask her what she was giving her and didn’t want to lie to her.

I looked at her and raised my eyebrow. Then I heard her heel spurs jingle. The theme from “The Good The Bad, and The Ugly” echoed in the distance.
“Feelin’ lucky … punk??”
“Give me that syringe of saline.”
She tossed it at me and I caught it in mid air as I walked toward the patient’s room.
“I’m Dr. WhiteCoat. I was just taking care of another patient, but the nurse told me that you’re in such bad pain that I wanted to give you some pain medication right away. I asked her to give you some strong medicine, but she felt uncomfortable giving this much to someone all at one time, so she asked me to give it to you.”
“Oh, good. My hip is killing me.”
“You aren’t driving, are you?”
“And you don’t have anything important to do today, do you? It might cause you to be groggy for most of the day.”
“No. No. Not at all. What is it that you’re giving me?”
“The chemical name is norMAL SAHline.”
“I’ve never heard of that one.”
“It’s kind of experimental. Oh, I almost forgot. You don’t eat a lot of red beets, do you?”
“Good. Where do you want me to give you your shot?”

I walked out of the room and squinted at the nurse in an “I’ll show YOU” kind of way, then went to see another patient.
When I returned to the desk, one of the other nurses was waiting for me with her hip cocked to the side and a smirk on her face. I was getting ready to tell her to “give it some time” when the patient’s nurse came up and squinted back at me.
“You’re a son of a beeyoch. Her pain is gone.”
I smirked along with Nurse #2, now.
“Go on, tell him the rest,” Nurse #2 said.
Nurse Nonbeliever shot her a scowl and then continued. “Not only is her pain gone, but she wants you to call her doctor to see if he can get home health to bring the medication to her home so she can have some on hand if her pain gets really bad again.”
At that point, I scowled, stopped, turned around, and walked briskly toward the lounge. I motioned for them to come along. The nurses looked at each other and then followed me.
I closed the door behind them.
They were both then treated to a WhiteCoat version of the Humpty Dance.

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