Thursday, June 01, 2006


Working in a psychiatric hospital is funny.

No, I mean it.

Patients will say the strangest things, and sometimes it feels like I'm walking a tightrope between laughing and running away at top speed. Sometimes when the thing is originally said to you it's not very funny, but when you tell the story in the chart room it becomes one of those "one day we'll laugh about this" things. Except the "one day" is often only a few minutes later.

An elderly lady who had just been admitted (and who I have never spoken to before) walked up to me yesterday morning and said, very seriously, "You shouldn't work upstairs - because if there is a fire, the firemen won't be able to carry you because you're so big and you'll roast in your own juices."

Uh huh.

Well, I put on my biggest "thank you" smile and kindly said in my very best customer service voice "Yes, I am quite aware of that, but thank you so much for your concern." She walked away. Of course after the initial shock wore off (and I've been picked up by enough firemen in my time, in case you care....) I figured it was a funny story and told it back in the chart room.

Today a man known for sexually inappropriate behavior (SIB) walked up to a one of my female co-workers and showed her a picture of a heart. "Look at this" he said:

He proceeded to draw two dots on the heart and turned it upside down.

"Look! TITS!" He laughed.

She sternly reminded him "That is very inappropriate."

He stopped for a second and said "Sorry, I mean BREASTS."
Posted by HypnoKitten at 10:05 PM

Blogger beajerry, at 2:46 AM  

Sometimes you probably wish the floor had a laugh-track.

Blogger Betty, at 2:18 PM  

Do you do your tightrope routine with or without a net? Do you carry a little umbrella too? I'm sorry, I would be falling for sure because there is no way I could keep a straight face on those stories

Blogger genderist, at 4:29 PM  

Classy... I hope you're keeping a notebook of these and other exciting work antics.

Blogger Student Nurse Jack, at 9:44 PM  

Would it have been out of line to point out that prior to the dots, he also had drawn an ass? Sorry - I meant buttocks.

Blogger HypnoKitten, at 10:01 PM  

You can't help laughing sometimes even though you try not to. Like during those "interpretive nude dancing in the hallways" incidents.

Genderist: I thought this WAS my notebook! :)

Jack: I suggested she might have taken the paper, folded it in half vertically, and handed it back to him saying "Now it's a picture of you - a boob."

I wonder if my page hits are going to go up this week when google finds this post... :/ heh

Blogger Too Fat 4 Ponies, at 2:40 AM  

Ha! This student definately enjoyed your post. My first psych assessment included a patient survey of a bipolar (manic phase). His sexually explicit graphic art was a bit much to be posting BUT his theory on the origin of the heart shape was interesting.

I know that tight rope feeling. You chuckle in post conference and struggle to not bust out when interacting.

God love em... I will never be a psych nurse.

Blogger Mandy, at 6:14 PM  

Oh, I LOVED my Psych rotation. You make me miss it. Despite their illness, I find them to be some of the most charming people I've ever met. And definitely hilarious at times.

Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:36 PM  

Good blog! Thanks for the chuckle! I'll be back. If you visit my blog, you'll see that I could use a laugh (kind of depressing, but important). But this is great!

Blogger Austin of Sundrip Journals, at 5:49 PM  

I had one unmedicated Schizophrenic say to me, you must weigh 500 pounds give or take 50. Knowing that she was not in a good space I didnt begin throwing sticks or stones at her. The good thing is, I met her years later and we became really good friends. As long as she was on the medication I didnt hear about the 500 give or take 50 but if she needed an adjustment the give or take was non-stop.

funny blog.
Austin of Sundrip Journals

Blogger unsinkablemb, at 9:59 AM  

Sounds like you're having fun as a psych nurse! :) Thanks for the humor... I've been needing a lot of it lately!

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