Friday Funnies: Calling All Nurses!

U.S. Nurses playing cards, reading, and relaxing circa 1918.  U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command Photo.

U.S. Nurses playing cards, reading, and relaxing circa 1918. U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command Photo.



Something magical happens when nurses get together to share stories so funny they make us pee in our pants, double over in stitches, and send tears streaming down our face, as we release the tension of caring for some pretty f’d-up patients.  I have experienced this kind of laughter over the years and it’s like a great orgasm: deep, rich, and leaving you wanting more.

With that said, I would like to invite my fellow nurse readers (if I have any) to submit your funniest story, or one you’ve heard and think is worthy of retelling.  Each and every Friday I would like to post these stories to the ‘Friday Funnies’.  You can publish your story under your own name, your nom de plume, or remain anonymous. I’ll fill in my own stories if I don’t have any friday guest authors.

The only thing I ask is that you abide by the HIPPA laws, and use your artistic license to change any part of your story that might identify someone.

You can send your submissions to

Happy story telling!

Jiffy Lube Day Spa

Day At The SpaPhoto by Jean James

Day At The Spa
Photo by Jean James

As a critical care nurse I’m always on the move; but that’s nothing compared to being a mother.  On the run and always short on time, we moms are a very impatient breed (as I’m sure any of you with children can attest to.)  We like fast service, fast food, and fast cash.  Having to wait for anything makes us irritable.  If we could conduct all of our business through dive thru windows, we would.

When it comes to car maintenance we are no different.  In New York we have this place called Jiffy Lube where you can bring your car in for an oil change (or other service issues) and be out in fifteen minutes. This got me thinking about quick service day spas for moms on the run who don’t have the time or the cash to spend whittling the day away in a bathrobe and slippers, sipping on cucumber water.

At Jiffy Lube Day Spa (JLDS), no appointment would be necessary.  You just show up, pick your service selection off the menu board, plug-in your time allotment, and get ready for the best fifteen minutes of your life.

I see the JLDS menu board looking something like this:

  1.   High Gloss Polish

Manicure/Pedicure in need of repair
Don’t fall into a deep despair
With our quick drying polish, and pressurized air
You’ll be out in a jiffy
With money to spare.

2.     Jiffy Pube

If your hair down below
looks like miracle grow
Try our lube and a wax
From your head to your toe
A fresh trimmed up bush will make you feel flirty
And we’ll have you out in just under thirty.

3.     Brow Inspection

Eyebrows a bit like old Ebenezer:
Come in for a five-minute Jiffy Lube Tweezer.

4.     Fix a flat Lip Repair

Labium looking a little deflated?
Our quick acting Botox will have you elated.
A couple of sticks with our numbing enzyme,
And your lips will be plumped and looking divine.

5.     Body Shop Special

Total body in disrepair?
Experiencing dimpling on your derriere?
A body scrub is what you need.
Our techs will do the job with speed.
With skin so soft and fresh to touch
Your satisfaction guaranteed!

6.     Face Wash

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
we can make those large pores small.
Oily skin or flaky mess?
Try our facials,
They’re the best.

7.     Realignment

Back out of whack?
Try our chiropractic crack.
Guaranteed to get straight
Any stray vertebrate.

When you walk in the door with children in tow,
fear not the receptionists sarcastic glow.
At Jiffy Lube Day Spa, some think we’re deluded,
but care for your children is always included.

Well…one can dream…

Medicine vs. Surgery

Has anybody else ever noticed the difference between medical doctors and surgeons, or is it just me?  If I had to put them in a boxing ring it would be like watching Woody Allen vs. The Rock.  Why is it that most surgeons keep themselves fit, stand tall, and exude confidence, while their medical counterparts appear a littler rounder, stand a little shorter, and secrete a schmear of smarminess?

I wonder what kind of split happens in medical school that leads one to the operating room and the other to the patient room.  Is it like high school all over again?  The jocks vs the nerds?  Or perhaps it’s more sophisticated than that, a secret initiation that we’re not privy to?

All the years I’ve been nursing I can’t help but see this glaring difference.  I know, I know, not all surgeons are hot and not all medicine men are tools.  But on the average…

When I’m in a code there’s nothing sexier than a hot surgeon in form-fitting scrubs coming to the rescue with his adept hands, slipping that central line right where it needs to be; unlike the medical doc’s 1st, 2nd, and 3rd repeated failed attempts to penetrate the right vessel.

Nobody likes sloppy attempts at penetration, NOBODY!

So, though I may be biased and a little sexist, if I had to bet on Woody Allen M.D. vs. The Rock M.D., my money clearly rests on The Rock!

Expiration Date; The Souring Aspects of Growing Old

courtesy of Asli Kutluay

Florence Nightingale courtesy of Asli Kutluay

Did you ever think you’d get to a point in your life when what you have to say doesn’t matter to anyone, anymore?   Maybe you’re already there, or know someone who is.  It’s the sad side to aging when your opinion expires, and the person on the other end of your flapping gums finds you about as relevant as spoiled milk.

I used to think that old people held such great wisdom and knowledge from all the years spent prior on this planet.  I believed in looking up to your elders, anxiously awaiting some bone of advice to nibble on and regurgitate into my own life.

But as I get older, I’m realizing that this just isn’t true.  Not all old people impart wisdom.  But for the many that do, are we listening?

As a nurse of twenty plus years, the one piece of elderly advice I have heard time and again is, “Don’t get old!”  I used to laugh at this comment and brush it aside, but at forty-one, I’m kind of starting to fear this bit of Methuselahian advice.  The physical aspects of aging are scary enough without the thought of gradually being reduced to nothing more than an amorphous cluster of denture cream, depends, and dementia.

We need to respect our youthfully challenged population, for one day we will step into their orthopedics, and it will be our coke rimmed spectacle reflection staring back at us in the mirror.

There’s usually a lesson in a story, even if you’ve heard it a thousand times.  So instead of rolling your eyes and planning your escape route, sit down, pour a cup of coffee, and listen to that old codger, because that might just be the lesson we’re all missing.

I don’t want to expire before my time.  I want to age like fine wine and have that cork popped open, instead of jammed into my doddering old pie hole.  We’re all gonna get there someday…

Just ‘Don’t get old” along the way!

Dead Bodies

Night Nurse Warner Brothers

Night Nurse Warner Brothers

I don’t think you can ever prepare someone for the sight of a real dead body.  I say real because the kind of dead body you see at a funeral home, with all the makeup, hair, jewelry, and fancy clothing looks nothing like a freshly dead corpse.

So, when I encountered my first dead body, I realized that not even nursing school had prepared me.  All that C.P.R. (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) training on a healthy looking dummy became a foggy memory when I was called to the bedside of my first dead patient.

She was a lovely  woman who had undergone hip surgery earlier that day. Other than a little indigestion, she had no complaints.  I set her up for dinner thinking that would help soothe her stomach, then went to the nurses station to chart.  Sometime later, her grandchildren came to the desk to tell me their grandmother ‘didn’t look right’, and could I come down and check on her.

Obviously they too had never seen a real dead body.

I walked down the hall to the last room on the right, entered, and to my horror I realized indeed, she was dead!  I panicked.  I ran out of the room, and back up the hall to find the R.N. I was working with (I was an L.P.N. at the time and less senior.  I was also seventeen years old, and just out of school.)  When I finally found her, the R.N. refused to leave her patient to come and help me.

“What the fuck?!!”

I ran to the next hallway, saw another R.N. I was friends with, grabbed her by the hand and said, “Run!” Hand in hand we ran back to the room, confirmed the patient was dead and called a code blue.  Unfortunately my patient died, and I went home and cried myself to sleep that night.

Many years have passed, and I’ve since become an old hand with dead bodies; I’m more shocked looking at dolled up cadavers in caskets, than bodies of the terminally ill.  But at some point in life we will all have to come face to face with a dead body and nothing can really prepare us for that moment.

We just have to experience that for ourselves.