Nurse Jack: True hospital stories, hospital covering up a rape, crime, drug abuse, tragic loss, and comical stories
I am a nurse, a registered nurse to be precise.
Throughout my career, working in general hospitals, psychiatric wards, community-based nursing, and prisons, I’ve heard my colleagues say, “You could write a book about this place,” usually after a stressful event that most people wouldn’t believe could happen, or would be shocked by if they witnessed it. So, I have been keeping track of these events, with the idea that, maybe when I retire, I will write a book about these very events. And guess what? I did just that.
I have tried to make these stories amusing, but not all of them can be; some are very sad, and some are criminal in nature. One thing that I would like you to remember is that I have always tried to treat my patients with respect, so when I am telling a funny story, please understand that I am not making fun of the patient, even though the story may be humorous. I bear no prejudices whatsoever, but some of the stories I’ve included are about racism and inequality.
Allied health is a term that refers to all the other professionals, besides the nursing staff, who are involved in the care of patients: licensed vocational nurses, nurse aides, social workers, physiotherapists, and doctors. Notice I did not list doctors first; this is the way a layperson would usually make the list, but doctors are only people, too—some great, some not so great, and some absolutely terrible. You will hear about all these professionals in my stories.
What follows is a sampling of the many stories I have heard and experiences that I have had while working as a registered nurse. Some of the stories are my own and others are those of my co-workers. In all of the stories, the names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.
I must point out another very important fact: none of these stories, or anything in them, should ever be taken as medical advice; go to your doctor for that. When I refer to medical procedures and lab values, or
describe various disease processes, it is only enough to make sure you know what I am talking about so that the story makes sense. There are huge gaps in some cases that would describe the entire illness; these stories are only meant to capture the gist of what happened.
I hope you enjoy these anecdotes I have gathered over my 30-plus years of experience.