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Laughter on the ward: nurses’ stories of lighter moments that brightened their day

Nurses’ stories of funny or embarrassing mishaps go to show that laughter can sometimes be the best medicine on a busy ward
Picture of a young female nurse smiling during a conversation

Nurses’ stories of funny or embarrassing mishaps go to show that laughter can sometimes be the best medicine on a busy ward

The nursing profession can be high-pressure and tiring, but often laughter is the best medicine when it comes to working on the wards.

When the Student Nurse Project asked the Twitter-sphere for their funniest or most embarrassing moments at work, the responses certainly raised a smile.

From mishaps to gaffes, here is a round-up of our favourites.

Accidents with catheters seemed to be the most common cause for embarrassment.

One nurse said: ‘I flicked the valve on a catheter bag to open it and the whole

Nurses’ stories of funny or embarrassing mishaps go to show that laughter can sometimes be the best medicine on a busy ward

Picture of a young female nurse smiling during a conversation
Picture: iStock

The nursing profession can be high-pressure and tiring, but often laughter is the best medicine when it comes to working on the wards.

When the Student Nurse Project asked the Twitter-sphere for their funniest or most embarrassing moments at work, the responses certainly raised a smile.

From mishaps to gaffes, here is a round-up of our favourites.

Accidents with catheters seemed to be the most common cause for embarrassment.

One nurse said: ‘I flicked the valve on a catheter bag to open it and the whole valve went flying across the room. My colleague's face as I yelled “quick find the valve”.’

Another said: ‘I've done that! As a newly qualified nurse I was emptying a catheter and I wasn't quick enough... I couldn't get the cap back on... it overflowed... I got very wet socks! I took a spare pair for weeks after.’

The nurse who broke a door handle and trapped herself in the ward storeroom

Other nurses told how they got trapped, or got their keys stuck in awkward places and had to call for help.

One nurse said: ‘It was when I was a healthcare support worker in the community. Left my coat in a patient’s house who was profoundly deaf. Took me two hours for them to answer the door... had my keys for my car and my house in. Let's just say the office had to do some rejigging of calls.’

Another said: ‘I was trapped in an off-ward storeroom after a door handle came off in my hands. Had to send an email using the computer to the ward’s staff to let them know my predicament and that I hadn’t just gone home. Luckily someone saw my email and sent maintenance to get me out.’

Finally it can be the things we say, rather than what we do, that leave us red-faced.

One nurse said: ‘Not me, but a work friend, became very panicked by a patient's weight deterioration since admission…turned out the patient was two weeks post-op after a double below-knee leg amputation..’

And this nurse said: ‘I once asked someone with jaundice if they had been away…’


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