Nurses share the 12 funniest things they've heard patients say

David McNew/Getty ImagesPatients tell nurses the funniest things sometimes.
  • If you’re a nurse dealing with one patient after the next, you can usually find humour in some of the lighter scenarios.
  • Whether they’re waking up from anesthesia or being totally honest and frank, patients can say the funniest things.
  • We asked nurses to let us in the most memorable things a patient has said to them.

If there’s one person who’s most likely to have seen and heard just about everything, it’s a nurse. And we’re not just talking bodily fluids and things stuck in places they shouldn’t be.

“Some patients have absolutely no filter when they’re talking to us,” veteran nurse Gail told Business Insider. “People trust us and they open up to us, which can lead to them coming out with some really memorable lines.”

To find the funniest things patients have said that have left their nurses in stitches, Business Insider spoke with four real nurses and scoured the depths of the internet for more tales.

Here are 12 of the funniest things nurses have heard patients say.


Tales of pure filth

“It was my first patient with a colostomy. He was this old, grumpy man sitting up in bed. I started taking off his bag and it smelled so bad my eyes were watering. I kept telling myself to think about his feelings and to not let anything show on my face. He looked at me and said, ‘God, you’ve got bad breath!'”

– Nancy, a nurse with 45 years’ experience


Labour pains

Svetlana Iakusheva/Shutterstock

“One patient was fully dilated, she started pushing, then changed her mind. ‘I don’t wanna do this, I’m going the f— home,’ she said. And then tried to get off the table.”

Redditor jinx614


Interesting last words

“We had one little, old lady on our floor that was so fixated on her bowel movements. When she passed away her family wanted to know if she said anything. We had to make something up because her last words were ‘Haley’s M-O’, the name of a popular laxative.”

– Nancy, a nurse with 45 years’ experience


The surprising effects of an IV

ravipat/Shutterstock

“We were getting a lady ready for surgery once. She was embarrassed but told one of the nurses that she had an orgasm every time she got an IV started. She just wanted to give us a heads up. None of us wanted to start her IV. One of the other nurses finally did it. We always try to get a vein in one stick, but this time I think that nurse was really motivated!”

– Nancy, a nurse with 45 years’ experience


Cops are always on the job

“I was working in the endoscopy recovery room. The procedures are usually brief and only require light anesthesia. One of my patients was a police officer. The first thing he said as he woke up was, ‘OK, so what’s your story?!'”

Quora user Alice Boswell Vallejo


The truth about apple juice

“An orthopaedic patient had had surgery during the day. I had him on the p.m. shift, and he was struggling to pee. His doctor ordered him to be catheterized by 8 p.m. if he couldn’t urinate. At 7:30 p.m., he proudly showed me his urinal with sufficient output. Just as I was about to go home he called me back in. He was in misery and confessed it was apple juice. Guess who got a catheter?”

– Nancy, a nurse with 45 years’ experience


An ode to laxatives

Roman Tiraspolsky/Shutterstock

“I had a patient on heavy narcotics singing about Miralax to the tune of ‘Silver Bells.’ It made me laugh for the entire shift. ‘Soon it will be pooping tiiiiime!'”

RedditorBleachFrappuccino


Post-surgery indignation

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

“A patient waking up post-surgery got annoyed with me when I asked him how he was feeling. I continued to ask him if he was hurting because he was just going around in circles about how it’s ‘not fair’ and ‘this is ridiculous.’ Then he looks at me square in the chest, and states, ‘I haven’t even looked in the refrigerator yet.’ Then he proceeded to flop his head back down and drift off.”

Redditor mphelp11


Strange advice

ANDREA DELBO/Shutterstock

“One day as I was running around to get the supplies for one of my residents who was coding, his wife stops me as I head back to the room and says, ‘Ohh, he’s just faking. He’s been talking about finding some way out of this hell hole. Just slap him hard a few times and he will wake up.'”

– Jenny, allnurse.com


An interesting take on intimacy

Tyler Olson/Shutterstock

“I’m a midwife, and I asked one of my patients if her partner would be at the birth. She said ‘No f—ing way. I don’t know him well enough.'”

– Glenys, a nurse with 22 years’ experience


A resilient sense of humour

“We were extubating my really sick Whipple patient. He’d gone through a major surgery, and, when we got him off the ventilator, the respiratory therapist gently reminded him he was in hospital. He replied ,’no s—!’

“Then when I asked him if he wanted me to fetch his wife, he asked ‘which one?!’ It was amazing to see he still had such a sense of humour after everything he’d been through.”

– Liz, a nurse with 2 years’ experience


An attack on personal hygiene

mlasaimages/Shutterstock

“I once had the daughter of one of my patients march up to the nursing station, slam the vitals chart down on the desk, and yell at me, ‘How dare you say my mother stinks!’

“I’m utterly puzzled by this as no one had said anything of the sort, and I asked the daughter to explain what she meant. She grabs the chart, points to the row of ‘BOs’ recorded on it, and shouts, ‘Here you even had the nerve to write it down!’

“I explained that ‘BO’ meant ‘Bowels Open’ not body odor before escaping to the staff room to laugh my head off.”

Redditor witchgytha

Responses have been edited for clarity.

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