Thursday, January 31, 2008

Watch your Language

I had a moment today that would make Etotheipi proud.

Our head nurse was talking with some tight assed looking lady as I started my shift this am. The tight ass looked like a typical clip-board carrying high heeled nurse that only appears in the daylight.

About the same time I got to the desk, one of the nurses knocked over a big cup of ice water which spilled over a couple of charts and onto the floor. I quickly reached out and grabbed the cup saving almost a teaspoon from pouring out.

As a way to "impress" her fellow clip-board nurse, our head nurse pointed a finger at me and said: "That's why you don't leave cups laying around without lids on them"!

I turned to face her and informed her "That wasn't my goddamn cup, I just reached out to catch it".

To further impress this unknown person, our head nurse again brought out the finger and said "watch your language in patient care areas".

I couldn't resist! I said: "I'm sorry. You're right. I should have said 'THAT'S NOT MY FUCKING CUP'"!

Man did that conversation come to an abrupt ending!!!

I later found out that the clip-board carrying tight ass was some senior VP of something. She reportedly wasn't very pleased with me and didn't find my attitude very positive (or humorous). I've worked at this hospital for 3 years, and I've never seen this bitch before. I'm not too impressed with her importance.

The point wasn't my cup!


  1. On that note, I saw this the other day and I can't keep it to myself anymore.

    (Also, this is the first time I've experimented with leaving coded links in the comments. I'm really sorry if I just funked up yer page. I found the instructions here.)

  2. Harrumph! Drinks and food should be kept out of patient care areas and only allowed in patient rooms.... Come on!!! Gold I tell you! Pure comedic Gold!! I mean really, shit like this could only make sense to someone who works for the government (or aspires to).

    I hope that clipboard nurse gets a short in her vibrator. If you have the chance doc, next time she's around the ER, grab her and tell her she's needed for a peds code that just rolled in... she will shit herself then faint and THAT'S why clipboard nurses are mandated to wear depends in all patient care areas goddamit!

  3. Miz-tight-ass is a low-level bureaucrat (doesn't matter high far up she's crawled) of near-normal intelligence who learned her social skills observing the socially ambitious wife of the mayor of a very small town populated by people she holds in contempt: She's immediately recognizable, whether in a hospital administration, state government or as head waitress of the fly-specked diner down the alley. She's frequently the butt of endless insults and jokes in any setting. Your response to her spitefulness, which she confuses with superiority, probably sounded pretty mild to her.

  4. Well done...

    The F-bomb always works. Drop the C-bomb and you can REALLY make some enemies.

  5. This whole post made me laugh. I love it! I love how quick you think because I probably would have been speechless at someone treating a doctor (or any adult really) like a child and then later thought to say what you said.

  6. You should insist that the tight-ass VIP come to one of your shifts at say between 23:00-02:00 to discuss your attitude and the attitude of the ER in general at a busy, high volume time. Maybe you could ask her to help out too. Jeez, I hate jerk admin (that includes the head RN)

    anon a$$hole clean-scrub doc.

  7. You should insist that the tight-ass VIP come to one of your shifts at say between 23:00-02:00 to discuss your attitude and the attitude of the ER in general at a busy, high volume time. Maybe you could ask her to help out too. Jeez, I hate jerk admin (that includes the head RN)

    anon a$$hole clean-scrub doc.

  8. 911: good point. Maybe "bad language" should only be authorized in non-patient care areas and patient rooms too!

    cleanscrubs: you are absolutely correct. These low level people appear in the ED once every few years during the daytime and then sit in meetings for years and profess to know what we do, and "what it's like".

    Last summer, we had a door problem. The automatic door got stuck open on a Friday night. Our A/C barely cools the department in the summer as it is, but with all of the warm air rushing into the department, it was miserable. When I showed back up for my night shift on Saturday, it was almost 90 degrees in the department (I had assumed someone would have fixed the problem between Friday night and Saturday night).

    I called the admin on call, and he said "we've got the door people coming first thing Monday am". I asked the logical "what are we supposed to do in the meantime?" question, for which there was no answer.

    I suggested he get his ass out of bed and come down to the ED to help out since the staff was working at about 1/2 speed and we needed help.

    Less than an hour later, a huge portable A/C unit appeared in the middle of the department spewing chilled air all around!

    The moral of the story is that getting out of bed is a last resort for any administrator!

  9. Oh great. I was laughing so hard that I knocked over my fucking cup.

  10. Hi, stupid here.

    What is a clipboard nurse?
    Whatever that is, your response was priceless!


  11. I've been reading your blog for a while now. I'm finally leaving a comment...
    Your blog is a daily source of priceless humor for me.
    Amy in Austin

  12. Amy, you came to the right place! I can give you the definition which you seek.

    A "clipboard nurse" is a an administrative person with an RN degree.

    If they have ANY clinical experience beyond nursing school (i.e. ever actually touched a patient), it is always limited and was in the very distant past.

    Sometimes, these people were so bad clinically, that they are actually "promoted" to administrative positions to get them away from patients.

    In almost every case, they have taken lots of extra classes and therefore have tons of meaningless letters after their names. They use every single degree or certification they have ever obtained in a sea of letters after their names. I have a theory that the more letters after a nurses name is inversely proportional to their usefulness.

    But I digress.

    These nurse-administrative types always think that they "know how it is" since they have the RN degree and at one time might actually have started a successful IV.

    They work Monday thru Friday from 8 to 5 with an hour for lunch, and spend most of their days in meetings.

    Their sole purpose in a hospital system is to justify their own existance, so they spend their non meeting time devising protocols and writing memos.

    They can easily be identified in any hospital marching around in business suits with high heels and clipboards.

    They earn AT LEAST twice what a working, useful nurse makes, but they don't know how to take a temperature, start an IV, or give medications. Don't ever call them to help if you get busy!

    These "clipboard nurses" at their midlevel administrative positions are not always bad folks and not always useless, but in my vast experience with them, they almost always are! I always assume they suck ass until they prove otherwise to me (but that's just my bias).

    I hope this clarifies the term for you!

    I'm glad that I got to define this for you in my own gentle and understanding way before 911 did since his opinion of "clipboard nurses" might be seen as objectionable or offensive!

  13. couldn't have said it better myself. plus, they breed like cockroaches and are harder to kill. in the spirit of this post i happened upon a bit of wisdom that pertains to all us citizens of the USA to be posted now.

  14. Thanks to both of you :)


  15. HaHa especially ironic since most Nurses language would make drunken sailors blush. During one particular hellish OB call of my transitional Internship, i felt the call of nature and scurried to a restroom literally 20 feet from the delivery suite. Of course in mid-BM i get a "stat" page, pinch it off, don't even wipe,(since I'll be putting on gloves)and sprint to the L&D desk. "WHERE WERE YOU?!?!?" bellowed the Nurse, who was 250lbs if she was an ounce. "Ummm...I was taking a shit" I said in my best Jack Nicholson, somehow, no other phrase seemed appropiate.

  16. The "Dean"(Actually he was the Assistant Dean, the one who enforced academic disciplinary Matters)at my Medical School was sort of a "Clipboard" official. He was a biochemistry Ph.D. but loved to wear a whitecoat, call himself doctor, and use medical slang. I still remember the time he asked my class how this "call" thing worked. Tuesdays was his day to showup at the hospital, across town from the basic science campus, where he would attend several Grand Rounds and various meetings. Somehow, during my 3rd year surgical rotation I was at a code, performing chest compressions, when he appeared in the room, complete with clipboard toting flunky. The surgery resident was handling crowd control, and asked for all non essential people to leave. The Dean and his flunky remained."I SAID GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE IF YOURE NOT ON THE CODE TEAM!" bellowed the resident, who was from a neighboring state, and didn't know the dean from adam.

  17. "i get a "stat" page, pinch it off, don't even wipe,(since I'll be putting on gloves)"

    LOVE IT!



  18. I know I'm a member of the fairer sex, but what the fuck? Wipe your damn asses if nothing else, you animals.

  19. Umm, I usually DO wipe, quite obsessively, actually, I've used entire rolls to avoid the dreaded ass pruritis from insufficient wiping.. You see, I had that Intern mentality, convinced I would be blamed for some obstetric catastrophe for showing up 20 seconds later. OB nursie made the mistake of asking a question she wasnt expecting to have answered. Women do that alot, like asking what a guys been doing in a locked callroom with an issue of People magazine.

  20. nurse k

    Sometimes it really does break off clean.


  21. Yeah, but you gotta at least do a test-wipe to make sure.

  22. Once my manager caught me saying I was "busting my ass". She was alllllupon my shit. I wanted to tell her she had some kinda balls, considering she is widely known as a stealth farter.

    Shari Ann

  23. During one case when I was passing gas, I REALLY passed gas, it wasn't even a SBD, but with the noise from the monitors and ventilator, nobody noticed. Not for awhile, anyway, it was some kind of belly case, and the chief resident spent a good 10 minutes looking for the bowel perf, he was certain he had smelled.

  24. anonymous farter,
    that is very funny. so funny, in fact, that i audibly chuckled at the end of a miserable overnight shift with a whole bunch of morons shooting each other and crashing their cars. thank you for that. it also reminded me that one of the great things about working in the ER is that you can fart at will and no one will notice... smells better than the ER most times.

  25. 911doc, i've got a million fart stories. 3rd year OB rotation, the attending was this yankee liberal female, a real patient advocate, made us go to the pharmacy to get the patients discharge meds etc..rounds were in front of the OB board, very formal, white coat(buttoned) and tie required, unless you were doing an actual delivery. It was one of the rare all-male rotations, and my classmates looked like a slightly older version of the Delta fraternity from animal house. During a presentation, someone emited an SBD. The proverbial elephant in the room, noone dared crack a grin, although the smell was so rude you could almost see it. It took all my self control, and the thought of the horror of repeating the rotation, not to bust out laughing. I'm still not sure if Mrs. Dr. patient advocate smelled it.

  26. One last fart story, during Internship I was assisting another Intern in floating a PA catheter, on a moribund, comatose, patient in the ICU. Mid-float, an overwhelming stench filled the room. (undoubtedly from the patients broad-spectrum antibiotic assaulted colon) "JESUS CHRIST ****(my name) DID YOU FART!?" asked my colleague, in his deep-woods Mississippi twang. "He who smelt it, dealt it" I cleverly retorted. We had a good laugh, and finished the procedure, confirming the patients septic shock as the etiology of his hypotension. Imagine our horror as we pulled back the curtains to see almost the entire Internal Medicine department, complete with distinguished visiting professor,medical students, and residency applicants, waiting to round on our patient. We both got a meeting with the ICU director to discuss our professionalism.

  27. To his credit, the ICU director took it in good humor, and wrote both of us letters of recommendation in our quest for gas-passing positions,(although he may have just been wanting to insure we left after the year). He talked to us about patient awareness under anesthesia (or in this case, sepsis) and to pretend in the future, that our mothers were in the room, watching over our shoulders.

  28. Wow did this post take a turn!

    Dear would fit right in as a regular poster here! Get a user name so we'll know it's you and pass along more of your stories. You'll still be anonymous, but you'll become a known quantity and people will know who is posting. The Anon label just puts you in league with the idiot who couldn't understand the validity of the Crockett story on the next post.

    Nurse K: I'm not advocating this, but I'm just puttin' it out there for consideration...if we didn't wipe...wouldn't our hands be clean?

    Anon's fart stories reminded me of a story from my IM residency (I don't know why). We had this guy who was a board certified gastroenterologist in Japan...but he had to do an IM residency here to get a licence.

    Dr. Kamakazi (not his real name) was very smart, but had huge language problems. I assume that he spoke Japanese very well, but Engrish was very difficult for him.

    At my IM hospital, we had a standard thing called a "bubble-gum enema". It was 100mg of liquid Colace and 30ml of mineral oil. The Colace made it bright pink thus the name.

    One morning on rounds, our attending (who was very strict and formal) was reading the orders from the night before (when Dr. Kamakazi was on call). We got to one patient's room and the attending froze.

    "Who ordered a 'bubble-gum enema in my unit last night?" Dr. Kamakazi had to translate the question from Engrish into Japanese and realized that he was the culprit. He stepped forward and admitted to the order.

    "What is a bubble-gum enema?" the attending barked. Kamakazi had no answer. In truth, none of us knew what was in it, we just knew to order it if we got a constipation call.

    If the poor guy had possessed a short sword, it would have all been over at that point! Finally, he admitted that he didn't know.

    The attending got right in his face and asked: "what is the most effective treatment for constipation?". The poor guy had to translate the question into Japanese, formulate an answer, then translate that back to Engrish. What we heard was: (please use your best Japanese accent here).....

    "Dig it out is most effective way"!

    I've laughed about that over the years and felt that it was time to share.

  29. Erdoc85, thanks for the warm welcome, I'll be Frank Drackman in the future.

  30. Shoot, I thought I was an outlaw, bringing my 46oz super big gulp into the OR while setting up for the days cases. A few of my class mates would chew tobacco in the OR, literally spitting in the face of the tobacco free JACHO policy.
    Suggestion for a future topic..has anyone rounded on a dead patient? I mean one that you didn't expect to be dead, and had the poor manners to die without telling you first?

  31. Well well, that post certainly did go south. I know what you mean about cursing. S**t. I worked at a male prison for 13 years...kinda hard to lose the lingo it took so hard to learn!

  32. One last fart related story. During my cardiac anesthesia rotation we went to a different hospital to get more cases. One morning I sit down for my morning constitutional and notice the distinctive birkenstocks of the other resident from my program (I'm not a Larry Craig or anything, but I did notice them). I made some typical guy comments about how he was stinking up the facility, and should call a code on whatever was causing the smell, etc. I thought it strange he said nothing in response, oh well, he must have a big case or something. As I'm washing my hands, the stall opened, and one of the top cardiac surgeons in the country, scurried out of the mens room, I'm sure wondering who the hell I was. I guess he scrubbed before doing whatever rediculously complex case he had scheduled.

  33. Speaking of misinterpreted orders, before leaving for the day,the Family Practice Intern rotating on Trauma wrote an order for a patient to have a "Bedtime Snack" a not uncommon order at my medical school, which would result in the patient getting a tasty pastry or baked product around 9pm. Unfortunately, the ward clerk deciphered the chicken scratch as "Bigtime Snake" and called the Surgery resident on duty to verify this unusual request. "DAMMIT, when I order a patient to get a snake, I want the patient to get a snake!!" he shouted in his best George Clooney. The image of a nurse bringing an 8 foot long eastern diamond back remains scorched in my memory. We had a great laugh about it with the originator of the order the next day, and even gave him gifts of cheap rubber snakes at the end of the month.


    I look forward to more from Flatulance Frank!


  35. Frank: BTW...

    I was freakin' busy at work yesterday when I glanced for new posts. I saw yours and wrote a quick reply but didn't have a chance to READ your posts completely.

    I have now done so and am still laughing at the top surgeon's diet and the bigtime snake!

    Great posts!


  36. Nurse K: I'm not advocating this, but I'm just puttin' it out there for consideration...if we didn't wipe...wouldn't our hands be clean?

    Hands would be clean, but everyone on Earth would have shit in various stages of crustiness around their anus. In addition to persistent anal itch from lack of hygiene, no one would get laid ever again and our species would die out in one generation. Plus, the world would smell like ass.

    Or if it didn't die out, our species would be made up of people who didn't mind having sex with people with shit all over their bodies. If people also took baths to rid themselves of said shit, the # of UTI would skyrocket.

  37. LOL!

    My ER smells like ass about 1/2 of the time anyway, and I never get laid anymore, so I'm having trouble seeing the downside!!!!

    Thanks for the giggle.


  38. I don't get laid ever anymore either and this is DESPITE not smelling like ass. I smell like Guerlain's limited edition Colours of Love, purchased without the use of the English language on the Champps-Elysees.

    Maybe if I didn't wipe and scrapped the Guerlain, it would be like reverse psychology, and I'd have men pummeling each other to get to me.

  39. dear nurse k,
    not getting laid huh? let me make a suggestion. if you are not gettin' any then one of a few things may be true...

    1. you are really huge and ugly
    2. you are smart
    3. you are a hermit
    4. you require your men look decent and speak with a vocabulary greater than 100 words.

    so, since i highly doubt 1 is true and i know 2 is true i suspect that 3 might be true and 4 as well.

    if you are even moderately good looking here's how to get laid by a man...

    1. go to a bar
    2. look at him

    if you want particularly good sex say the following as well...

    1. 'i'm just in it for the sex'
    2. 'i love football'
    3. 'i hate children'
    4. 'i don't want to get married'
    5. 'my father owns anhaeuser-busch'
    6. 'i do it on first dates'
    7. 'i like small penises'
    8. 'three-ways are cool... do you want me to call my cheerleader friends?'
    9. 'please don't call me tomorrow'
    10. 'i like to sleep alone'
    11. 'it just ain't sex unless there's a BJ involved'
    12. 'i love porn'
    13. 'just shut up and let me do what i want'

    that should just about do it.

    the end

  40. lol.

    It's funny how you sound like my Dad sometimes, 911.

    Just kidding.

    As for picking dudes up at a bar, YAWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNN. Too easy. Last time I went to the bar, I got girls' AND guys' phone numbers. Some chick chased me into the bathroom to hit on me and touch my hair---hair on my head, you perverts. No, I'm not a lesbian, but I'm not going to decline a lesbian's phone number...lesbians can kick my ass, and I'd rather not risk that. Bad for the image.

    A girl like me demands a challenge.

  41. AHA! standards. they will kick your ass every time.

  42. Nurse K, I've had lesbian girlfriends, somehow I never figure out to stay away from the triad of No Makeup wearing, Softball playing, and Melissa Etheridge listening women. I know what you mean about kicking your ass, my last one wore me out playing longtoss in the outfield prior to her games. She'd catch my pathetic throws barehanded just to embarass me.

  43. The second-coolest person I know is a lesbian (the first coolest being myself, of course---heh), and my most embarrassing lesbian moment came when we were both shitfaced and she thought it would be cute to clothesline me off a picnic table bench.

    Of course, hahha everyone laughed and I was drunk enough to only be mildly annoyed. Then she proceeded, after kicking my arse, to beat me at a head-to-head kegstand contest.

    It's like...these lesbians can't be stopped. Later on, after we weren't so wasted, she jacked up my car and put snow tires on for me.

  44. Its terrible being a lesbian trapped in a males body. I love softball, but I have to play with doughy sweaty neanderthals, and its all slowpitch which negates my mad pitching skills. Strange thats its girls highschool softball which features 90mph fastballs from 46 feet, while the mens version is just a homerun derby.

  45. Nurse K: "my most embarrassing lesbian moment came when we were both shitfaced"

    The holes ARE close together, but you should be able to tell them apart by now!!!!!!!


  46. OK, I'm female and I'm OK with you not wiping, but that you didn't admire it, at least for a nanosecond is just unacceptable.