When Nurses Become Patients

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

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We asked our amazing Facebook community why it is that we keep hearing the phrase “Nurses make the worst patients,” and we received a lot of feedback! If you are as curious as we were, keep reading and see what some of our fellow nurses had to say:

  • I think I made a great patient! I kept my I and O, fixed my pump when it occluded, and hardly ever pushed my call light unless my IV went bad. – Teresa F.
  • A lot of times nurses try to do everything themselves even when their current condition doesn’t allow them to. So the nurse who just had a TKA (total knee arthroplasty) thinks they can handle getting up on their own right after surgery and they end up falling because they didn’t call for help. – Devin M.
  • I was a pt on MY unit once (Med/Surg)… I worked nights so when I couldn’t sleep, Id take my IV pole, sit at the nurse station and answer the call lights! Obviously I couldn’t “do” the work, but I took messages! lol This was over 20 yrs ago… I probably couldn’t get away with that these days! I was young and bored. ? – Lynn M.
  • I’m a great patient, but I admit to being “that” family member. when my loved one is in the hospital I expect their nurse to be taking care of them just like I would their family. Take 30 minutes to get my pain pill? Okay you are busy and I know how that goes. Take 30 minutes to get Grams pain pill after hip fracture surgery? Absolutely not. – Ashley Y.
  • I don’t do exactly what the docs tell me to do, because of what I know! I am kind to new or inexperienced staff because I love to teach! I’ll talk them through procedures!
  • Could it be that as nurses we are used to being the “control” of the room and as a patient we feel like we have lost that control? – Leslie W.
  • When I was a patient, I had to verbalize the steps to my nurse of how to put an IV in and where to stick me. I’m an easy stick to, very visible and palpable veins. I then had to hold stuff and help her secure it because she just couldn’t do it alone. She’d been a nurse for over a year. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt.
  • I think I’m a good patient once admitted but waiting in the ER, I’m just as antsy and impatient as everyone else! –  Amy B.
  • It’s because we are picky and know the possible outcomes. Yet we can be super nice and awesome! So we send those caring for us through an emotional/physical roller coaster. ? – Jacci K.
  • My mom is an ICU charge nurse and she was the worst. The IV RN came in and started looking at her arm, poking around for a vein. Mama watched her, unimpressed, and said, “Um, is there anyone else who can do this?” Then all her nurse friends came in to visit and titrated her fluids without permission! – Sofia W.
  • When I had my brain tumor removed I actually assisted in calming down my room mate while she was getting a catheter placed! Once a Nurse, always a Nurse – it will never leave you! – Michelle F.
  • As a student nurse, I like to have nurses as my patients. They teach me many things (the right way) when on the other side, who wouldn’t want the best for themselves. – Socheata N.

Have any good stories? Be sure to let us know in the comments! 



This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

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Rebecca D.
4 years ago

I just had surgery, was discharged, and readmitted a week later due to post op complications for 4 nights. My friend, who is not a nurse, was advocating for me after my surgery. She can be pretty demanding and over-protective. I had a lot of pain and abnormal swelling in my neck, and I almost choked 3 times. They gave me IV steroids. I turned into a grizzly bear. I am sure we were the talk of the unit! I was much better to handle during my re-admission (at the hospital I work at, but a different unit), where I… Read more »