Hospitals are one the only places in the world where life and death converge.
With such heightened life extremes simultaneously occurring at the same location, you're bound to witness things that can be rejoicing or circumstances you wish you could forget.
No wonder medical procedurals are a popular genre for TV shows.
Curious to hear of unforgetful experiences, Redditor Crouch310 asked:
"As a patient or an employee, what's the most insane thing you've seen or experienced in a hospital?"
You can't always rely on medical professionals to look after you.
"I was in the hospital for an infection in the bones of my foot. I take medication for a heart condition and diabetes. Nurse came in one evening to give me my medication. She brings me strange-looking pills. I ask her what they are. She tells me two medications I've never heard of."
"I tell her she might have mixed up my medication with someone else's. She says no, she's sure, take the pills. I refuse. I ask for a the head nurse for the floor or a doctor. Head nurse comes in, I ask her what medication I'm supposed to be receiving. She checks my chart, confirms what I'm supposed to be taking."
"I ask her to ask the original nurse what medication she has in her hand. The nurses leave the room, and a third nurse comes back in with the right pills. Head nurse comes back in and tells me that the original nurse will no longer be responsible for my care."
"The next day, the nurse coordinator comes in with a digital audio recorder and notepad to go over all the details of what happened the night before. From what I learned later, this wasn't the first incident with this nurse giving out the wrong medications."
"She had done it to a couple of other patients, and I heard she had been suspended pending an investigation. Don't know what happened because nobody ever contacted me after that."
Mom Is Boss
"My brother shattered his leg and the nurses tried to give him the wrong medication on multiple occasions. Thankfully my bada** mother was there to advocate for him. It’s a huge blessing to have someone by your side who can monitor the situation."
"was having surgery for a broken wrist last year and after the anesthesiologist came in and talked to me, he ordered some medicine and left."
"The nurse looked at the screen and then said, 'I'll be right back.' She brought him back, pointed at the screen, and said, 'was this supposed to be for the gentleman next door?' He said no. She asked again and he did a double take. He then said, 'Oh yeah, I got them mixed up. Thanks for catching that!'"
"Then he looked at me and says, 'Don't worry, it was just a muscle relaxer. It wouldn't have hurt you.' We all nervously laughed and he left."
It Pays To Double Check
"When my dad had his gallbladder removed back in the '70s, the hospital staff asked him if he had any allergies, and he told them he was allergic to codeine. They sent him home with pain pills. My mom was a hypochondriac who always had a copy of the latest PDR, and she looked up the pills before he took any. They were codeine."
You would think caregivers have more empathy for the elderly, but not all of them do.
"I was a patient. There was an elderly man in the bed next to me waiting to be transferred to a nursing home. The nursing staff treated him as though he was a difficult patient when, in reality, he was just too frail to do things for himself."
"Anyway, one day, the nurse refused to help him go to the bathroom as she said he was just being lazy. I could not help as I was bedridden myself at the time. He took a fall and hit his head on the floor."
"The male nurse just threw him back onto the bed. His family arrived, and I heard them asking the female nurse who refused to help him. Why their father was so groggy. The nurse lied, saying nothing had happened, and he was fine."
"I called the man's daughter over to my bed and told her the whole story. Needless to say, the sh*t hit the fan."
"My dad was briefly in a nursing home recovering from a stroke, and the sh*t I saw there made my blood boil. I don't understand the lack of compassion some of those people have."
Lack In Consideration
"My MIL is in a nursing home, and the day she was transferred they left her in bed alone that was lifted all the way up. She was disoriented (her memory is still recovering) and tried to get up, and fell smashing her head on the floor. I'm still pissed off about it, because the bed should have been all the way on the floor since she is a major fall risk (recently had to get her leg amputated)."
What The Resident Chef Saw
"I worked as a chef in a nursing home and it was genuinely one of the worst experiences I've had in my working life. The carers and nurses were rude to other staff and had bets on who would be the next resident to pass."
"There was a huge, beautiful garden on the site, but during the month I worked there (April/May time) I didn't see a single person out there enjoying it. They were all stuck inside watching TV looking miserable."
These are pretty wild and unforgettable incidents. You just can't make this stuff up.
What The Baby Ate
"Posted this in another thread before: Weekend afternoon, one of the first nice days of spring. Slow day in the ER for the most part, when in comes a distressed younger couple with their infant baby. Mom is hysterical, and dad is barely keeping it together. Dad gets it out that baby is 'bleeding from his mouth.'"
"I'm skeptical, because the baby looks quite happy, but I do see a slight reddish/pink tinge inside his mouth. I take the child and put him down on the exam table, all bright lights and tongue depressors to get a good look in the baby's mouth. Sure enough, evidence of blood, but again, no baby distress."
"Oh wait - there's something near the back of her mouth, kind of a darkish red color. A blood clot maybe? Not sure. Have a coworker firmly immobilize the head, and with hemostats, go in and pluck out the object. Amazingly, it comes out in one piece, and looks like a plump, slightly larger sized raisin."
"I can't figure out what it is, but it's definitely not a clot. In to the specimen bag goes the squishy thing. No distress for the baby, vitals normal, breathing easily, happy demeanor, good color, etc. Time to get more of a history from mom and dad."
"First day outside with new baby and their dog, enjoying the weather. Baby's on a blanket - giggling as the dog runs around him. Wait a sec, did you say. . . a dog? Lemme take a closer look at the 'thing' in the specimen bag. Sure enough, suspicions confirmed. It's a tick."
"Deflated to be sure, but a tick that recently had a large meal of the red stuff. Baby must of pulled it off the dog, and then done what babies do by putting it in his mouth."
The Dead Pool
"I'm a third-party contract cleaner at my local hospital. We basically clean all the public spaces and non-patient areas. The morgue falls under us. Well, like many morgue, we have a walk-in freezer/ fridge. Well, one morning, as a supervisor was walking past, there happened to be water on the floor coming out of the morgue. It turns out a cooling pipe broke was leaking pretty bad."
"So we call the maintenance and repair people and get the water shut off to that area. There was about two inches of water throughout, so we cleaned that up, and because the cooling pipe broke, we had to open the fridge and transfer the bodies to the second spare fridge away from the broken pipes so the funeral people could come and pick them up without going around ladders and construction."
"We crack open the door to the water tight fridge, and because it was water tight, we didn't know that a second pipe had also broken. Turned out the fridge had flooded as well.. Have you ever seen a video of someone cutting a pool and the water running out, as well as everything that was in the pool?"
"Well, the water was so high that the bodies were floating, and we had that sliced pool effect as soon as that seal was broken and the door was unlocked. So not only was 5ft of water rushing out of the fridge into the morgue and into the hallway, but whatever was floating in that water did as well."
"There were sheets and gowned bodies that ended up all over the floor, and one actually made it into the hallway. The basement was flooded once again, and that was one hell of a clean-up. Whenever someone says the word floaters to me, that's all I can think of. This happened a few years back before covid. I almost quit that day."
The Boogey Woman
"I'm a nurse. I've seen some weird stuff, but the one that sticks out is an 80-year-old manic-depressive woman blocking my way out of her room to twerk at me."
As You Were
"Had a C-section after 32 hours of labor; I passed out from exhaustion, slept through all but about the last 10 minutes of the surgery, finally woke up to the doctors trying to figure out the name of the big guy with the weird face in 'Goonies'. I answered 'Sloth.' they thanked me, and went on delivering my daughter."
Animals will always warm your heart.
The Best Therapy Companions
"During my time as a patient, I once witnessed a rather unusual incident in the hospital. While waiting in the lobby, a therapy dog accompanied by a miniature therapy pony strolled through, bringing unexpected joy and laughter to everyone."
"It was a unique and heartwarming moment that added a touch of positivity to the hospital environment, making the experience more memorable amidst the usual medical routines."
Rules Are Rules
"I was brought to the ER by ambulance. While I was waiting for a room, another patient was extremely drunk and waiting for a bed nearby. He asked the EMT if he could vape in the hospital and they told him he couldn't."
"He proceeded to pull out a vape and try anyways. The hospital staff took it away from him. After about 5 minutes, and when he seemed sure that nobody was looking, he pulled out another vape and tried to take a hit. It was quickly confiscated by hospital staff."
The Purrrfect Refuge
"A rogue, wandering cat behind the counter of the closed-for-the-evening hospital shop."
"There’s a set of shelves built into the wall behind the counter that’s full of teddy bears and other soft toys (presumably to be bought when visiting a patient) and the cat was asleep amongst the toys."
I have PTSD from getting blood drawn after an experience a few years ago with the worst phlebotomist.
She was perfectly lovely and we had a nice rapport as she was prepping to take samples of my blood. "I've been doing this for years," she assured me, unprovoked. Maybe she was trying to convince herself she was good at what she did.
Now, I've often been told by other nurses that I have the best veins because they are prominent and have a nice contrasting hue against my skin tone.
However, the particular phlebotomist missed my vein with the needle and it hurt big time.
She tried a second time. And eventually a third and fourth, after which she gave up and got my general practitioner to get the job done in one easy jab.
I don't need niceties and small talk now when I go to clinics. Just be efficient.