You Won’t Believe These Strange Patient Superstitions!

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

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Every nurse has at least one superstition…being afraid of the “Q” word is practically a given! We know patients are bound to be superstitious, too, so we asked our Facebook fans about the strangest patient superstition they’ve ever heard or seen. You’ll get a chuckle out of their funny responses!

I had a patient who swore that if she went into the heat, her breast milk would spoil if she stayed out there too long. Yes, people…the breast milk still inside her breasts!
—Catherine R.

A home-care patient couldn’t sleep in her new hospital bed until the moon was in a certain position.
—Mary M.

I have a patient who is “allergic” to lots of medications. When we give her a med, she has to hold it in front of her. Then, if she falls toward it, it’s okay. If she falls away from it, she is “allergic.”
—Ken W.

I had an obstetrical patient 25 years ago who would not raise her arms above her head, stating, “It will cause the umbilical cord to wrap around the baby’s neck and he will hang himself!” She did not raise her arms for the entire pregnancy….
—Chris F.

I had a friend who did not wash her hair for her entire pregnancy because she believed that if she bent forward, the baby would flip over and get brain damage.
—Sara S.

I can remember an OB rotation where the new dad requested the new mother’s afterbirth to take home and make a soup with….
—Lenice P.

I had a patient request salt packets, which she used to make a salt paste and rub on her achy legs to “draw” the pain out. She swore by that remedy.
—LaDonne D.

I had a patient who always said “BFDF” (“Benadryl/flush, Dilaudid/flush”), or the “stuff wouldn’t work.”
—Lisa W.

What’s the strangest patient superstition you’ve ever heard or seen? Share your responses in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.
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Scott Braden
1 year ago

Never use the “F” word …….(fall)

Lela Davis
2 years ago

A patient in labor put a knife under her back. It will cut the pains she explained

3 years ago

I worked in a nursing home when I was pregnant, heard all the ones listed along with…. if you cry your baby will be ugly, if you break a dish you baby will have a birthmark. I was only 18 when I had my daughter, was breastfeeding, not a nurse, knew very little but knew I was going to breastfeed. Well my daughter projectile vomited every feeding and my mother and grandmother said I was too nervous and I was causing my breast milk to be spoiled. Ok I know it’s dumb but I didn’t know better, so there I… Read more »

3 years ago

Ever heard of not holding a new born baby if you are on your menstrual cycle? Old lady told me it will give the baby colic and csuse contipation.

3 years ago

I had a dialysis patient who swore if your blood pressure dropped during treatment you needed to eat a gingersnap cookie and a peppermint candy. I let him eat it but still gave him saline to bring up his pressure!

3 years ago

I had a white male patient express an allergy to penicillin. When asked what the allergic reaction was, he stated that it made him “turn white.” As opposed to?…

Dana Monroe
3 years ago

what is the ‘q’ word?

4 years ago

During a super busy E.R. shift, a distraught patient came in complaining loudly that he was “full of electricity” (no electrical shock mind you). The patient was obviously “not right”. I handed the chart to the overwhelmed E.R. Doc and with a smile on my face I said “here is one you’ll want to see right away”. The doctor took one look at the chart, slammed it on the desk and said “what the h— am I supposed to do with this?”. To which I replied “we just need to get some metal he can drag around to ground himself”.… Read more »

Crime Dog
4 years ago

I had a patient with a rash, and I told her that I would get some samples of a steroid cream for her. She replied,” Aww, that’s okay…I’ll just put gasoline on it!”.

4 years ago

I had a patient whose daughter wore a red string around her waist her entire pregnancy. She said her grandma had just died and would haunt the baby

4 years ago

My own grandmother believed a pregnant woman must not raise her arms above her head or the baby would be strangled with the umbilical cord. She screamed at me when she saw me hanging laundry on the clothes line. I thought she would die from fear. Not my patient but a weird superstition.