There’s a lot of talk about how nursing is hard on your body. It’s true: Nursing can be very hard on your back (especially), your hips (secondarily), your arms (oh Lord, let’s not even talk about it) and even your neck. Feet are an entirely different subject, and one that deserves its own book. I’m not going to bore you with statistics about how lift teams can make all the difference in keeping nurses healthy, or how nice it is to have a Hoyer on every floor—oh no. I’m here to tell you stories, my Chickadees, of the most amazingly random things I’ve ever seen anybody, including myself, do.
1. I won’t even mention the time I walked into a room that had fresh (and very slippery) stripper on the floor, and how I skated on one foot and, with arms flailing, right into the lap of my patient. Nice way to put down warning cones there, floor guys.
2. One of my coworkers once broke two toes by dropping an IV pump on her foot. This doesn’t sound so crazy until you learn that the IV tubing was still in the pump and the pump was still in use on a patient. At least the pump was cushioned enough by her feet that none of the alarms went off.
3. Another person I know (cough, cough) had several chunks of ponytail pulled out when she walked into the MRI room, having removed all metallic articles from her person except for the barrette holding back her ponytail. There’s a reason I rock a pixie cut now: Barrettes can lift and rotate in a truly astounding manner.
4. Another coworker dropped her beeper into the toilet by mistake, flushed without realizing it, then sprained her ankle trying to get out of the bathroom as the toilet overflowed. It was a long time before we let her forget that.
5. Once, a brand-new nurse I worked with had, for some reason, taken the top and foil cover off of a bottle of tube feeding…and then dropped the bottle. It was like something out of a horror movie, seeing the ProCal fountain up out of the bottle and cascade over her. We had to find a pair of shoes for her in the lost-and-found after she changed from the skin out. It wasn’t an injury, except maybe to her dignity.