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Common Nursing Phrases You're Tired of

Common Nursing Phrases You're Tired of

What are you tired of hearing?

Hamsa Ramesha | NursingLink

July 27, 2010

4. “I Don’t Mind Changing the TV Channel For You … Again.”

One of the less serious reasons a patient may ring for you again, and again, and again is just to change the channel on the TV in their room. Besides finding a universal remote, there’s not much you can do but grin and bear it.

5. “Doctor, I’m Sorry to Wake You, But…”

Nurses often have to act as the messenger between patients and doctors. You keep patients and families posted on their condition and update doctors on a patient’s vitals, even in the middle of the night — and doesn’t it seem to be always in the middle of the night? In a crisis, it can often be up to you, the nurse, to make a life or death decision, and that includes knowing when to call the attending doctor — no matter how annoyed they might get. Doctors are very touchy, right?

6. “This Won’t Hurt a Bit.” OR “You Won’t Feel a Thing.”

From delivering shots to nervous teenagers to distracting upset toddlers, we know you’ve said this more than once to reassure a wary patient. Babies and adults alike have funny quirks when it comes to the hospital and especially when it comes to pain. However untrue this white lie may have been, it’s worth the amount of emotional grief it helps you avoid.

7. “No, I Will Not Give You a Sponge Bath.”

You’ve heard this before, more likely from patients who think they’re being hilarious than those trying to be rude and disgusting. This joke was old decades ago. Sponge baths for babies and disabled patients are one thing, and requesting sponge baths from busy nurses when the patient is perfectly capable of doing it himself is quite another. Don’t let a patient harass or bully you — you’re the medical authority here. If things get too uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to take it to your supervisor. Ugh!

You’ll be a part of countless crazy situations in your career as a nurse and hear some pretty outrageous statements. From answering insane patient requests to repeating the same answer for the millionth time (“The bathroom is that way sir,”), don’t let the stresses of the job get to you. You can do it!

What nursing phrases are you tired of? Join the discussion!

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  • Jj_on_rock_wall_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I agree with pecanpeach. I have been nursing for twelve years and I have never said this won't hurt a bit. Usually I tell patients to brace themselves, this IV i'm inserting is going to feel like a nail being driven up their arms. That way, when it is not as bad as I made it out to be, they are pleasantly suprised. One phrase I can't stand is when a patient calls for pain medication. Upon drawing it (and they do specify which one they want) and you are able to be sitting up, laughing, texting, surfing the web, walking around the room. And when asked to rate their pain on a scale of one to ten, they state 9 or 10 (ten being the worst pain imaginable). When asked to describe their pain (location, severity), the answer is "you know, it's just kind of all over". Not in my dictionary! I once had a patient stand at his door bouncing his cane up and down on the floor screaming "where is my nurse, I need my @*&% pain shot now!" At the same time, he saw every nurse on the floor running into one room with the crash cart because a patient was coding. I know this is not unique to just our floor. From what I have read lately, there seems to be an increase in patients that are drug seeking. My philosphy on that subject is that if your doctor orders it and you say you are in pain, I will deliver said medication. But good grief, if you see a world of chaos going on outside your door, please be patient.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    “This Won’t Hurt a Bit.” OR “You Won’t Feel a Thing.”

    "we KNOW you’ve said this more than once to reassure a wary patient"

    WRONG. I hate it when assumptions are made, I can tell you that in 14 years in healthcare (5 as a CNA first, and 9 now as an RN), I have NEVER said this to a patient, since it generally is a bald-faced lie (since things that won't hurt don't need that said). I'm guessing I'm not the only one who's never said it.

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