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Do Patients Know What Might Annoy Their Nurse?

Updated on January 21, 2016

We've all been there, either as a patient or a visitor. We've all probably met some less than helpful staff or those lacking in the 'bedside manner' perspective. But have you ever wondered what patients do or say that really drives doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals wild? Well, I'm about to let you in to a few trade secrets... simply so you'll know how to drive them completely insane next time.

1. When describing your medication, NEVER refer to them by name. You must only describe them by colour, size and shape ie 'Two little blue round ones in the morning doctor'. Medics do like a little guessing game!

2. When asked about your medical history, be sure to start at age two when you had a sore throat...oh, and don't forget the bruise you got when you fell off your bike when aged five, even though you're fifty-seven now. Medics do like a thorough history.

3. When recounting a previous admission, be sure to point out that you weren't merely taken to hospital, the obligatory term is 'rushed to hospital'.

4. Describe how you once fractured a bone, but didn't break it. Insist that there is a subtle difference between the two and explain it well because the medics believe that the two terms mean the same thing.

5. Be aware that the medics really want to know in how many places the bone was broken. 'Broken in fifty places is far more impressive than the one break you actually got and you don't want to appear to be a wuss do you?

6. Gentlemen, you didn't have your prostrate removed, it's called a prostate.

7. Ladies, you didn't have a 'hysterical rectum', we call it a hysterectomy.

8. Be sure to ask exactly how many stitches you had in that wound. Medics love counting games and we know how important it is to recount in the pub that night.

9. When offered a bedpan, always say that you didn't think cooking in the bed was allowed. We've never heard that one before.

10. When handing over a full urinal to be emptied, always say 'I bought you a pint', we've never heard that one either.

11. Always remember to state that yours was the biggest/worst that the medics had EVER seen. We get a lot of biggest/worst. Someday soon, they'll be so big they won't fit through the doors.

12. When going to get your blood pressure checked, be sure to wear at least four layers of the tightest fitting clothes you can find. It's fun watching somebody trying to imitate Harry Houdini, hey, the other patients can wait!

13. The needle wasn't really a foot long, now was it?

14. When you say that you've a 'bit of trouble down below', never divulge below what... Down stairs? The cellar? Australia?

15. Remember all things you don't like, and say that you're allergic to them...cabbage, pork chops, bottled water...they all work.

16. Always ask the nurse what is wrong with the patient in the next bed, we know you'll need something to talk to your visitors about.

17. Use your call bell at least 12 times while your visitors are there, even though you never need to use it at any other time. We know how important that sympathy vote is.

18. In the morning, always ask the night staff if they had a good night's sleep.

19. When we say that we're going to take your temperature, be sure to ask if we're going to sell it on ebay.

20. When blood samples are taken for alcohol levels in the A&E Department, always ask what the 'normal' reading is.

Well, I hope that's given you some inspiration for your next visit to the hospital and you can spread some cheer among the grumpy staff. Let's just hope that whatever the reason for your visit, it's a minor one...and remember, laughter is the best medicine!

Good health!


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