Health care is often a very serious business-but once in a while, it does an allied health care professional good to laugh. In that spirit, here are ten hilarious health care stories!
1. During a patient’s two-week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications. “Which one? ” I asked. “The patch. The nurse told me to put on a new one every six hours and now I’m running out of places to put it!” I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn’t see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! Now, the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.
—Submitted by Dr. Rebecca St. Clair to Ridiculously Funny Medical Stories
2. I was performing a complete physical, including the visual acuity test. I placed the patient twenty feet from the chart and began, “Cover your right eye with your hand.” He read the 20/20 line perfectly. “Now your left.” Again, a flawless read. “Now both,” I requested. There was silence. He couldn’t even read the large E on the top line. I turned and discovered that he had done exactly what I had asked; he was standing there with both his eyes covered. I was laughing too hard to finish the exam.
—Dr. Matthew Theodropolous, Worcester, MA to Coffee Swirls
3. When I was doing home health, I had a patient who was very demanding and could be outright rude at times. At one point she had a terrible stomach virus which made her a daily patient for a while – of course I got stuck with her while she was daily. One morning I went in and she was sitting at the kitchen counter looking positively green around the gills. I said, “Are you alright?” She looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Hell NO! That Dr. is going to have to do something about these damn pills he gave me. They are too big to swallow and I have to cut them in half, and to top it all off, they are slimy and make me gag when I try to get them down!!” I nearly died laughing when I realized that the “pills” were glycerin suppositories.
—from Nursing Forum
4. I was working in a Long Term Care facility and there was a celebration for one of the residents. It was her 100th Birthday. She was quite somnolent as the party began so I spoke to her reminding her that this was her Birthday Party. I then asked if she know how old she was. She said, “No, how old am I?” When I told her that she was 100 years old, she quickly replied, “Well, no wonder I’m so tired.”
—From Nursing Forum
5. One day, we had a very confused patient sitting at the nursing station. We kept her near the nursing station so we could monitor her safety. The woman kept insisting to all who could hear that she was pregnant and in labor. Our medical director came walking down the hall just in time to hear all the commotion. He began to assess her and interview her regarding her “labor pains”. He asked the patient exactly how she could have become pregnant at her age. She gave him a very bewildered look and said matter-of-factly ‘Why if you don’t know by now doctor, I don’t feel like it’s my place to tell you!’
6. A man comes into the ER and yells, ‘My wife’s going to have her baby in the cab!’ I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady’s dress, and began to take off her under-wear. Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs — and I was in the wrong one.
—Dr. Mark MacDonald
7. When I was in nursing school, I took care of a little old lady one day who was a diabetic and had been for many, many years. She had a prosthetic leg. On our first day together, I was assisting her out of bed to get ready for her day. As I reached over to grab the “leg”, I noticed that there was a band aid on it and I couldn’t help but ask, “What is the band aid for?” She looked at me in all seriousness and replied, “I cut myself shaving.”
8. Had a female patient of mine get quite upset because the hospital would not let her bring in her own medications and the hospital did not supply the special herb that she had been taking for years. When I asked her what she was taking this “Herb” for she replied, “I take it for my prostate!” Had to have a little anatomy session after that one!
9. I was caring for a woman and asked, “So how’s your breakfast this morning?” “It’s very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can’t seem to get used to the taste,” the patient replied. I then asked to see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled “KY Jelly.”
—Dr. Leonard Kransdorf
10. A woman in Arkansas brought her baby in to see the doctor, and he determined right away the baby had an earache. He wrote a prescription for eardrops. In the directions he wrote, “Put two drops in right ear every four hours” and he abbreviated “right” as an R with a circle around it. Several days passed, and the woman returned with her baby, complaining that the baby still had an earache, and his little behind was getting really greasy with all those drops of oil. The doctor looked at the bottle of eardrops and sure enough, the pharmacist had typed the following instructions on the label: “Put two drops in R ear every four hours.”
—From Café Mom