Things That Annoy Nurses and Doctors the Most.

Hospital care is unpredictable, except for shift change.  That's guaranteed to happen at the same time every day and every night.  Right after  Ativan and Haldol, shift change is the second most thankful aspect of a nurse's job.  As a patient in the hospital, you should be nice to your nurse.  They are your strongest advocate for compassionate care in a scary, unpredictable and frightening environment.

Always remember that your nurses have an extremely difficult job.    After praying for a bunch of easy patients, but instead, ending up with some of the most needy, complex, and time consuming call light riding patients and their families, your nurse just wants to get the heck out of the hospital and get home before the ER calls at five minutes before the hour with a new admission.  Those bastards. Who do they think they are?

If you're a patient, I highly recommend you don't interrupt your nurse during shift change.  Find out when that is and use that time to disappear.  I don't care what the problem is that you think you have.   You wait until shift change is over before asking for help.  Shift change is sacred time for nurses.  If you interrupt them, this will annoy them and nurses have a tendency to never forget anything that annoys them, forever, as these crude original Happy ecards explain.

"Be nice to your nurse.  They are your best advocate in the hospital.  (Except during shift change when they just want to be left the f*** alone.)"

Be nice to your nurse.  They are your best advocate in the hospital except during shift change when they just want to be left alone ecard humor photo.


"The waitress gets you a glass of water and you give her 15%.  I clean your ass, scrub your feet and sprinkle vag powder in unholy places and you yell at me?  WTF?"

The waitress gets you a glass of water and you give her 15%.  I clean your ass, scrub your feet and sprinkle vag powder in unholy places and you yell at me?  WTF? photo.


"I wine a lot because it helps me show compassion for alcoholics.  Just so you know."

Wine a lot to show compassion for alcoholics nurse ecard humor photo a574d2e8-323a-4780-8f3b-f2a5b98cef64_zpseeeb70c7.jpg


"I got 5 patients asking for Dilaudid.  Ain't nobody got time fo dat."

Dilaudid ain't nobody got time for that nurse ecard humor photo


"Stat orders shall be reserved for unstable patients and unstable doctors that you want to leave the floor.  Stat!"

Stat orders shall be reserved for unstable patients and unstable doctors that you want to leave the floor stat nurse ecard humor photo.



What else annoys nurses and doctors?   The Happy Hospitalist asked his faithful Facebook readers to provide insight into the daily annoyances of life in the hospital.  They didn't disappoint.  I have put together dozens of examples describing things that annoy doctors and nurses, all provided by readers like you.  Make sure to leave your own example in the comments below as a patient education resource. You know, to help them understand how to make the life of a doctor or nurse easier.  Because that's really how things move downhill in healthcare.
  • When you have to gown, glove and mask to go into a patient's room and said patient puts the call light on 30 seconds after you leave the room and you have removed all your gear  and does this repeatedly throughout the night.
  • Coworkers who don't care and are just there for the paycheck.  Said people would do well to remember that without patients, none of us would have a job.  People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
  • When a patient comes in the ER for a migraine and we play the game of "first shot never works" and go through the entire routine three times until the patient gets the amount of Dilaudid they came in for.
  • Cath lab team shows up in ED to get my pt without any notice.
  • When someone gets admitted at 3 am for abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting and all they can tell you is how they are starving and haven't eaten in nine hours and will surely die without a delicious tray.
  • "Administrators, management etc" who haven't worked at the the bedside for 20 years, if ever, making policies and procedures.
  • I've often thought my day would be less frustrating if we kept free pregnancy tests in the ER waiting room.
  • When a patient tells me that they have a fever when the reading is 98.0 because their baseline is 97.0. Grrr!
  • Let's see, the fact that people have NO desire to work and help themselves but instead rely on the rest of us to provide for them and their many children.  And refuse to treat a simple thing like a cough, cold, or fever at home but run to the ER "because I can't afford Tylenol, ibuprofen, or cough medicine and this is free.  Oh, and can I get a script for the Tylenol, ibuprofen, and cough medicine?"  It wouldn't be so bad I guess if it weren't for the fact that it's not free, I'm paying for them to use my services.  And if they'd at least dress their kids appropriate to the weather and act like they actually cared for said children.
  • When day shift gets boxes of doughnuts or other snacks from doctors or families and they eat 97% of it, but leave just enough behind that one.  We get to see what they had and didn't get and we have to clean up the mess after them because "there was still some left".  A half of a jelly doughnut does not count my friends.
  • When I lift up a shirt to place somebody on the monitor and see dirty glue tracks from four hospitals worth of electrodes.
  • Family member, beating on sedated/paralyzed patient's chest: "DAD! DAD!  Wake up!  Can you hear me?  DAD!"
  • Nurses and doctors who complain throughout the entire shift about how picked on they are or how they hate the patients.  #1 they chose this career.  #2 a paycheck shows up for your efforts and #3 we make a whole lot more $$ than so many people who work so much harder.  Suck it up or find a new job.
  • Feeling like I'm enabling opiate addicts and listening to their 'act' to get the PRN.  I'm more like, spare me the dramatics, here is your pill , now go away so I can take care of the real patients.
  • When patients refuse tests, refuse medications, refuse everything under the sun and then complain that we're not doing anything for them!  Why come to the hospital?
  • New patients at shift change.
  • When day shift comes in and flicks on every light in the unit all at one time. "GOOD MORNING".  Ugh.
  • Patients thinking they know what they have and what treatment they need to fix it because they Googled their symptoms!!
  • Complaining about 12/10 pain while playing on cell phone, iPad and watching television.
  • Families of 97 year old demented one eyed one-legged toothless GOMERS who insist that grandpa was perfectly fine last week and they want everything done!  He even went to Home Depot last week!
  • People who use the ER for anything but an emergency!  Ear pain for one year, mosquito bites, sun burns.  If you are not dying why are you here?
  • Q2 Dilaudid, Q4 Benadryl, & Q6 Phenergan on a patient that is raiding our pantry and walking around with their IV pole.  h and they can't have a PCA because it "doesn't work for them."
  • Family or patients who expect me to talk for a very long time each time I approach the bedside.
  • Meetings.  Yes, meetings.
  • Asking me every 5 minutes 'When will the doctor see me?', 'When is the test?', 'When can I  eat?', 'When can I go home?'.  
  • Cross cover calls "just so you know" and middle of the night request to come and talk to a family member about what's going on after the day shift has being trying to get in touch with them for days.
  •                  "I love nurses who don't call with stuff just so I know.  Just so you know."
    I love nurses who don't call with stuff just so I know.  Just so you know doctor ecard humor photo



  • I should point out that I don't mean when we discuss these little pet peeves.  I mean that one person who complains about EVERYTHING.
  • When a patient has been in the ED all day but absolutely needs to come up to the floor at 18:45.
  • Patients who treat the provider as the little inconvenience to getting the treatment they have picked through an internet search.  Make me really happy.  Go get your own degree. You CAN do it.
  • When a patient is sedated on a vent and family is in their face trying to get them to talk.  Ugh.
  • When people don't do their jobs because they know the nurse will wind up doing it because if it's not done, she can't care for the patient and her ass will be in a sling.
  • Addicts with shooters abscesses complaining about how much pain they are in and demanding a ton of drugs.  Oh, and when their friends visit them and they are found unresponsive because of whatever they were given.
  • The way all the responsibility gets piled on the bedside RN--does anyone keep track of all the stupid stuff they expect us to do with absolutely no allowance for OT-- it's amazing I can keep my eyes on the important issues like keeping my patients safe and alive with everything I have to sign and check and initial and DO other than bedside nursing.
  • You folks send these kids home with these intoxicated parents?  Yeah it even more of a pain to make the call to CPS but a well check can make a big difference in these situations.  And it's our professional duty.  Some day soon a $2 medicaid co-pay will have some limiting effect on non essential visits. $2 for each kid for each visit $2 for each med.  Parents will need to make the same kind of decisions parents with commercial plans have to make.  How necessary is the visit?
  • Those that complain about being in the hospital, refuse all tests, personal cares, and all medications except the pain ones.  Then go AMA.  If you don't want to be admitted, don't sign the consent for treatment, don't allow yourself to be admitted, and really rethink coming to the ER.
  • When the patient uses the call light to ask for help changing the channel.
  • Scheduled procedure in the hospital and patient comes in filthy, wearing dirty underwear.  Patient doesn't know what procedure they're having or what medications  they are on.  Who gets up at 4 am, drives to the hospital without knowing why?
  • Families.  Enough said!
  • People who mistake the hospital for the Hilton.
  • When parents of a febrile child tell me 'Wal-Mart was out of Motrin'.  Right.
  • When I get constant texts of rashes. Or random strangers in the store ask, "Will you look at this"?
  • My first is the non compliant frequent flyers.  No matter how much teaching you do, they arrive on a weekly basis with a blood pressure of 300/200, blood sugar of 1,049, and have skipped two out of three scheduled dialysis appointments that week.
  • Honestly? Other nurses complaining all the time about their day.  Hey, you signed up for this.  If you don't like it you can go back to flipping burgers!  It is called work for a reason people!  And work will always suck, just deal with it and move on!
  • When you tell them they have a viral illness and they tell you that you are wrong because they read it on the internet.  Shoot, I should have saved all of the time and money I spent on my education and just consulted the internet.
  • Patients trying to tell me how much they know about all things medical/health related.  As in "My cough would be gone by now if the doctor would have given me (insert name of antibiotic)".
  • How about the little old lady with a hip fracture wearing filthy $5 pants who wails nooooooooooo when you ask her if you can cut them off.
  • Family members that come in during visiting hour and have to tell you everything the patient needs done right away like you only care for needs while they are there. Water, pain medications, potty.  Then they won't stop staring at the nurses station. 
  • I didn't want to give my child any medications because I wanted you to see how high the fever was.  Really?  Do you do that for your doctor?
  • Redundant charting.  
  • Bitchy people.  I just want to slap them across their face.
  • Oh and these same parents smoke like chimneys and are obviously gorked out of their minds and intoxicated.
  • Appeal for discharge? (Mostly by drug seekers).
  • When people call my office 17 times in a two hour time frame, knowing that the doctor they see is in surgery, wanting the answer to a non-urgent question, such as "Can I go back to work two weeks from yesterday?".  I am not calling a doctor in the OR to ask that question.
  • Patients scheduled for procedures who neglect to take the meds they were advised to but eat or drink.
  • Tolerating warm fuzzy BS in the name of "respect".
  • The shocked expressions on faces when it's revealed that Albuterol does not, in fact, cure everything.
  • Blood glucose checks. FML.
  • Insane visitation and satisfaction scores because we all know everyone should be happy except the nurses or the ones who are really sick, alone and need us.
  • And another personal peeve is families that believe they know more than I do about what is going on with there family/loved one and are telling me what treatments to give them (even pronouncing them incorrectly) because so-and-so's granddaughter's college roommate's mother's neighbor's best friend is a nurse at some tiny little hospital on the Montana/Canada border (nothing against Montana or Canada.)
  • When you have to keep stopping what you are doing to re-page physicians who do not call back. We have tons more to do than to beg a physician to do their job.
  • When you have educated the family of a baby and the doctor comes in on his high horse and complains that was his job.  Do it then!
  • When the patient tells you one thing -"I have so much pain I can't possibly do anything today to help myself" - but when the doctor swings by at 5:30am, they are just fine, and deny any problems, so it takes many pages and much time to get it addressed.
  • "Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  The ones who also have "fibromyallergies" "My doctor thinks it's lupus but the tests are all negative" and "multiple neurosis".
  • Mine is when the stupid heart surgeon thinks he knows more than you just because he's a surgeon, when really his skill is to cut, and yours is everything else.
  • Patients who when you ask them "What brings you in today?" reply "Isn't it your job to tell me?"  And family members who stand at the door of the room even after you informed them of what was still pending and searched the department for an extra chair so they could sit down and stop staring at the nurse's station.
  • When you're crazy busy, short staffed, go on diversion, and you have that ONE nurse that is so miserable with her own life that she makes everyone else on the night that much worse just because she can! Ugh.
  • Dilaudid, families, CPOE.
  • People who are late for their appointments! It puts my entire day behind schedule!
  • When diabetic patients tell me we don't give them enough food, even when their blood sugars are significantly better when they are hospitalized.
  • "I gave them tylenol for it as we left the house to come to the ER".
  • "They had a temperature so I just brought them in".
  • In the ER - "My child had a temperature (some number of time ago).  No, I did NOT take the temperature.   They were 'hot' so they have a temperature."
  • When a nurse who has virtually no experience thinks she knows everything and is very condescending toward the staff, including the doctor.
  • When you have a decent discharge plan in place and family calls from 1000 miles away to tell you it's not going to work.  Really?  You are clueless. You haven't even seen my patient in six months and as long as they are alert and oriented, your opinion doesn't matter. Or you can come and take care of them yourself, but we know that won't happen.
  • Administration.
  • I learned how to refill the free coffee machine in the doctor's lounge this past weekend. Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • The only way I know "what's going on" is by reading the chart.  Do they really want to talk to ME?  Uhg.
This post is for entertainment purposes only and likely contains humor only understood by those in a healthcare profession. Read at your own risk. 

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