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Reality Unscripted
Turning the Tables on Our Docs

We've shared our most embarrassing moments in nursing. We've shared our funniest nursing stories. Now it's time we turn the tables on the docs.

Though usually professional, respectful, and brilliant, even our highly esteemed doctors occasionally misstep. It's only fair we take a little time to share their stories. Here's my favorite.

One Tuesday morning this summer, a patient came into the clinic for an allergic reaction. A SERIOUS allergic reaction. In fact, by the time the doc saw her, she was tachycardic, diaphoretic, and her throat was swelling. The whole anaphylactic ball of wax.

Okay, this is not the funny part.

Dr. "Johnson" ran and got an epipen, as any good doc would do. Unfortunately, I don't think she had ever used one before. She opened it up, grabbed hold, and swung it into the patients thigh. Within a split second, all the epi was unleashed...into Dr. Johnson's thumb.

As she tried to pull it out, she soon realized it was stuck. She quickly tapped on the exam room door across the hall to get the help of another doc. Dr. "Carlton" pulled to no avail. The needle had hit the bone and bent in the poor, now white, digit.

Soon Dr. Johnson was feeling the full effects of the epinephrine. She laid down on the floor of her patient's room as Dr. Carlton continued his quest to get the needle out. Soon another doctor and a couple nurses showed up to help.

All the while, the poor anaphylactic patient is still laying on the table, wheezing away.

Here's the funny part.

While Dr. Johnson lay on the floor, her head under the counter, her feet propped by a nurse, she started yelling orders to the free hands in the room as to how to care for her patient. Despite her dizziness, tachycardia, nausea, etc., she was still able to bark out orders.

In the end, both patients recovered. One had a good story to tell.  The other may be tired of having the story told about her, but is being a very good sport about it.

Any good doc stories you'd like to share with us?

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5 Responses to “Turning the Tables on Our Docs”

  1. Katie Says:

    One of our ER docs went to assess an older, heavy set woman who was complaining of abdominal pain. He began to palpate her abdomen through her gown and came across a very large mass. Stunned, he asked if she knew the cause of the mass. The woman’s eyes narrowed as she calmly said, “That is my breast.” It took the doc a couple of seconds before he could continue with the exam, while the nurse in the room was turning red in the face from trying to keep from laughing.

  2. Karin RN Says:

    That is so funny.

    Can’t top that. When I have something, I’ll share.

  3. Elliot Says:

    Working in a small military ER, I would like to share a story about a brilliant, but sometimes “over enthused” doctor who just had himself a bad day. It was a slow day, and I do believe someone used that four letter word, and Dr.soandso was telling stories of his latest golfing trip. As we all were pretending to show interest the paramedic tones went off for a suicide attempt, and at the same time were heard a young child screaming from outside the doors. The paramedics left on their call and I started triage on the hysterical child. He was balled up into a ball and would not move from the seats in the waiting room. The father carried his 8 year old son in and I started vitals on him. After getting him in a room I started setting up the IV and the doctor started barking out orders for labs, pain meds, and to have transport on standby to a real hospital. He was just about to perform a rectal exam when the child let out a record breaking hurricane force gas attack. Although the doctor almost died, the child was deemed fit for discharge. Of course we had a bit of a problem, as he found a small hole in the stretcher and put his finger in it. He wasnt going anywhere.

    As I sat in the room with the child injecting KY with a IV catheter in between his finger and the stretcher, I heard the medics come in with their suicide attempt. I continued as we had other nurses for that until I heard my name being called. The patient who took a whole slew of RX meds, refused the charcol. I had to put an NG tube down why the doctor was screaming at the patient to tell him what he took (This happens as the patient was in boot camp) Apparently I wasn’t pushing the charcol in fast enough as he pushed me out of the way to do it himself. Dr.soinso caused a charcol explosion, and almost everything around the patient, including the doctor, was covered. It took a few hours to get everything in the ED calm again. At 3am the Nurse supervisor for the day came in demading to Dr.Soinso that he discharge a patient in the ward who was a civillian and wasnt supposed to be there. He explained that he knew nothing of the patient, so he couldnt discharge him, to wait for the admitting doctor in the morning. She again demanded his compliance. That is when the nurse’s bad day started.

  4. selms312 Says:

    I remember one young physician who was rotating through our facility from the phycician group we are associated with. He stopped my tachycardic, hypotensive patients digoxin, and wanted me to give him IV lopressor. I flatly told him “no” and wanted to know why he discontinued his digoxin…. His reply was that “digoxin is going out of style, and beta blockers are really better to slow a heart rate”…..

    never mind that he’s hypotensive.
    never mind that he’s not looking for the source of his sinus tachycardia.
    never mind the patient is symptomatic…

    I ended up calling the cardiologist on call for the day, and we had a nice chuckle about this young mans opinions on fashion in medicine… and the patient stabled out and went home a few days later.

    but still.

    too funny….

  5. selms312 Says:

    *physician group

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