Open Mic Weekend


I’m going to be away at a wrestling tournament with the family for the weekend. Hopefully Junior WhiteCoat will do well and we won’t be back until Sunday evening.

So this weekend will be devoted to your questions, comments, rants about anything medically-related that interests you. Just leave a post in the comments section. Other readers feel free to chime in and answer, comment more or rant more.

Only rules are that comments have to be medically-related and that there are no personal attacks.

Hopefully I will be back Sunday to respond to all the questions/comments.


  1. Tap…tap.. This thing on ?
    Okay Nurse K- we have heard your rants about doctors- now lets talk about ER nurses that drive us nuts.
    The Operator- spends ALL her time on the phone. All.the.time. Then sets her cell phone by you so it can ring at full blast while you are trying to talk to the trauma surgeon.
    The Chimney- smokes 5 packs a day- you can never find her/him.
    The Milkmaid- sits on her patients for hours. And hours. and hours……
    The Doctor- knows everything- argues with you in front of patients about the treatments. Usually wrong but never admits it.
    The Bitch- you cringe when you see who you are working with that day. This one usually gets promoted to supervisor.
    The Saint- Unflappable, never mad, worth their weight in gold.
    Bambi- new nurse right out of school complete with the deer in the headlights look in their eyes.
    Now, lets hear yours !

    • The Gestapo Doc Office Manager- one cannot be self-motivated, efficient in her eyes. One *needs* her direction and micromanaging to get the job done.
      Heaven help the lab tech who does all the supply ordering, exam room stocking, vaccine management, SOP writing, QC and patient triage when necessary!!

    • The Savior – similar to The Saint. When you come into work and see this nurse, you know that no matter what happens during the shift, everything will be OK.

      The Room Hoarder – Waits forever to discharge patients, and then shuts the curtain and leaves the name on the board (so it looks like she’s busy)

      The Excuse Generator – Nothing gets done in a timely manner on these patients and there’s always an excuse.

      The Drug Addict – self explanatory

      The Hypochondriac – I’ve seen more breasts, rectums, and vaginas of hypochondriac nurses than I will ever be able to forget. And no, you don’t need an antibiotic for your URI either.

      The F-Troop – A shift when you have to work with The Bitch, The Operator, The Milkmaid, The Room Hoarder, The Excuse Generator, and The Chimney

      The A-Team – A shift when you work with The Saint and The Savior. When you work with the A-Team, the shift is invariably slow.

      • How could I have forgotten?

        The Over-Triager – There are several subtypes:

        CP Obsessed: Every patient gets asked if they have CP and if they do, they have to brought in right away. Example: 20yo with no PMHX falls and twists ankle. CPO nurse asks about CP and patient says yes. Why? Because the patient also happens to have viral bronchitis and every time she coughs her chest hurts. The patient hadn’t sought medical care for the viral illness because the patient is smart enough to know that it’s a virus.

        Chatty Kathy: Proper note: Trip and fall. R ankle pain. Verbose note: I ran out of phone minutes, so I decided to walk across the trailer park to talk to BillyBob because the health department called me to tell me I have chlamydia and I wanted to tell him that I might have given it to him before he had sex with his wife but when I got there she overheard the conversation and I had to run home because she was chasing me with a shot gun and while I was running, my flip flop fell off and I stepped in a divot and then I flew threw the air and did a back flip with a twist because I was dodging the buck shot, and I stuck the landing but then I twisted my ankle with I tripped on my trailer steps.

        Great comic relief, but it takes more time for her to type it and me to read it than it takes to treat and release the patient.

      • I forgot some too.
        The Triage Nurse from Hell- EVERYBODY needs to come back “RIGHT NOW!!!”. Puts earaches in the trauma room- which immediately causes an ambulance to call with a trauma. “Well, get off your ass and see them Doc and get them outta here ! We got a trauma coming in !!!!”. She packs all the rooms and hallways and even puts patients in chairs next to the desk (really) and then decides she “needs to take a break”. Even the nurses want to kill her.
        And why is it once they become a supervisor or director, they are no longer “allowed” to physically touch a patient or help ?

      • Crazy triage nurses who rush back a “critical” fever of 103F (and don’t bother to give an antipyretic). Or “severe” hypoxia of 94% (who are 99% and calm when the get back to Peds). Our (incredibly fantastic do-no-wrong Peds ED) nurses go crazy when this happens. Our triage staff is petrified of children and send back everything even when we have no beds. I can’t say anything bad about our regular Pedi nurse staff.

    • I dunno if this one’s as much a pain for the docs as the nurses who have to work with them but…

      The Panicker – easiest/lightest patients on the ward, spend a lot of time running around talking about how much work they have to do, asking for help, not a lot of time spent actually doing anything.

      Haha, I love Bambi. That was me until my first resus came through (VT w/ pulmonary oedema). Still the only time I’ve ever felt like I knew what I was doing.

    • oh man… nothing good will come of bashing nurses. but here goes.

      the worst of all of them is The Clipboard- a nurse that has risen thru the ranks that she no longer remembers thing one about clinical nursing, and yet somehow manages to sit in a board room full of other clipboard nurses and make decisions at high levels that will impact the care physicians can deliver. they all nod in agreement about how great their ideas are without for a second considering the impact their decisions will have.


      my clinical nurses are great though.

  2. Since it was just that time of year, Dr. Whitecoat and any other Physicians who wish to answer-Did you have a good Match Day? Like to tell a little about it?
    (No, i really don’t know where this obsession came from…).

    • Not a Physician Yet on

      Yep! Staying at the same place I went to med school to do my residency in med-peds. Should be an interesting 4 years.

    • One of our close friends who we have known since before she started babysitting for us at age 12 matched in California.
      Congrats, Lizzie!

  3. I’m a nurse – I’ll bite. 🙂

    These are hilarious. I have worked with every single one of these nurses.

    Let me add one: the “I’m not the doctor” nurse. He/she is the one who, when you get report from them and you ask, “What did the CT show?”, answers “I dunno. I’m not the doctor.”. Okay, let’s try an easier one: does the patient have neuro deficits? “I dunno. I’m not the doctor.”
    Thanks, genius, for the least helpful shift report ever.

  4. Hi, apparently I’ve been working all weekend.

    One random nurse that irritates me is Nurse Three. Nurse Three doesn’t understand how to assign acuity scores and makes everyone an ESI-3.

    20-year-old with a URI: 3. STD check: 3. Patient with acute facial swelling, raspy voice and hives: 3. 80-year-old with h/o 4 MIs and 20 stents complaining of chest pain and diaphoresis: 3. COPDeur with sats of 60%: 3. It doesn’t mean that Nurse Three doesn’t bring people back appropriately; just when she’s in triage, you have no clue where the sick people are because your entire board is a ‘3’.

    • Haha, we have one of those. I looked at our ED register one day and it said the following:

      Pt A: CC – chest pain, Triage cat 2 -> Home
      Pt B: CC – chest pain, Triage cat 3 -> Admit

      (Both were anxiety attacks.)

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