What's the dumbest thing you've said to a patient?

Dan216

Forum Crew Member
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I was taking a SAMPLE history the other day in the back of the bus, and asked the patient if they had allergies.

They said, "Nope, no allergies.. I am diabetic though."

I then said, "Oh so are you on albuterol?"

"What?"

"Nevermind."

I'm pretty new so I expect this will happen more. What's the dumbest thing you've ever said to a patient?
 

Medic Tim

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
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Back when I was a student I told a pt that was signing AMA she should eat something.... She would feel better .. Etc. turn out we were at a rehab facility for eating disorders..... I never realized until we were back in he truck and my preceptors broke out laughing what I did. It was 3 ish am and was our 17th call of they day. I was in the back and never heard the dispatch info. I thought we were in a drug rehab facility.

my preceptors told everyone they ran into that night. Hey out student told a bulemic girl to eat a sandwich .

Maybe you had to be here but it was humiliating and I feel really bad about it.
 
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Dan216

Forum Crew Member
79
1
6
Back when I was a student I told a pt that was signing AMA she should eat something.... She would feel better .. Etc. turn out we were at a rehab facility for eating disorders..... I never realized until we were back in he truck and my preceptors broke out laughing what I did. It was 3 ish am and was our 17th call of they day. I was in the back and never heard the dispatch info. I thought we were in a drug rehab facility.

my preceptors told everyone they ran into that night. Hey out student told a bulemic girl to eat a sandwich .

Maybe you had to be here but it was humiliating and I feel really bad about it.

:rofl:That's awesome Tim!
 

Meursault

Organic Mechanic
759
35
28
A recent stream-of-consciousness moment. Middle-aged male, no history, suddenly became incredibly dizzy while snowblowing (my money was on BPPV, but just an ambulance drivah, etc.).

"Any history in your family of arrhythmias or sudden death? Wow, that sounds really dramatic when I put it that way."
*looks up to see his wife turn a shade paler*
 

wannabeHFD

Forum Lieutenant
128
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18
I told a new mother of a something month old baby that had a febrile seizure that she was being erratic. Poor, poor choice of words....She *****ed me out good saying "Sir, I am NOT erratic! You would KNOW if I was being erratic!". I was too terrified to even apologize after that.
 

chaz90

Community Leader
Community Leader
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I told a new mother of a something month old baby that had a febrile seizure that she was being erratic. Poor, poor choice of words....She *****ed me out good saying "Sir, I am NOT erratic! You would KNOW if I was being erratic!". I was too terrified to even apologize after that.

Huh?
 

Handsome Robb

Youngin'
Premium Member
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Asked a Ground level fall patient with a massive hematoma on her forehead and a blown vessel in her eye if she hit her head when she fell.

I was a whiteshirt at the time, she looked at me like "aw cute he's a student and he's learning", fire laughed at me and my preceptor just shook his head and walked off.

This was after working as an I for about 5 months so it wasn't nervousness or inexperience. It was just a downright dumb question.

Asked a meth "OD" if he had done any drugs, after he told me he smoked a bunch of meth. What I meant to ask is he had done any other drugs. He didn't find the humor in my mistake, got angry and promptly got darted.
 

chaz90

Community Leader
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I was trying to calm down a mother of a young child who just had a seizure. Calling her erratic was worse than telling your wife she looks fat in that dress while shes on her period.

I understand the problem in saying anything to a mother in that situation. I was really nitpicking the use of the word erratic more than anything else for no good reason. Sorry about that :/
 

chaz90

Community Leader
Community Leader
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Standing there with my handy-dandy notebook, "...aaand when is the baby due?"

She wasn't pregnant..

In my personal life, I won't even mention the "p word" unless she says it first. Just not an encounter I wish to experience.
 

Household6

Forum Asst. Chief
Premium Member
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In my personal life, I won't even mention the "p word" unless she says it first. Just not an encounter I wish to experience.

I thought I was being all professional with my stethoscope around my neck, I had my smarty pants glasses on the end of my nose.. Nope.. I LOVE LOVE LOVE obstetrics, I got all excited that I had a pregnant patient..

images
 

TheLocalMedic

Grumpy Badger
747
44
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During my internship I provided my preceptor with many great opportunities to laugh at me...

To a pregnant woman with abdominal pn: "And... How did you get pregnant?" (instead of when)

"What kind of bee stung you?"

And the all time winner: "How old were you when you were born?" (in my defense it was 5 AM and I was very tired...)
 

Cody1911

Forum Crew Member
55
0
0
When I first started I asked a patient who was disabled about his medical history and I was using medical terminology which is a big no no. I forgot what I said but he looked at me and said "I don't know what that is."

At least I learned to only use medical terminology with co workers etc. We all learn from mistakes.
 

Sublime

LP, RN
264
6
18
I'm sure i've said many dumb things to patients, but one in particular comes to mind.

As an EMT student my preceptor was showing me how to listen to fetal heart tones. The fetal heart monitor was low on battery and turned off as I was trying to locate the heart tones.I blurted out "I think it's dead" as I still had the probe on her abdomen.

The young girls eyes got huge and my preceptor said "The machine not the baby" and gave me an odd look lol.
 

Handsome Robb

Youngin'
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Asking the male in the house how old his mother is. He said she is my wife. There was at least 35 year age gap between the two. Now I always ask, How are you related to the pt. before asking more detailed questions.

That's their problem not yours. You add age differences in like that and you have to expect mistakes like that.
 

Achilles

Forum Moron
1,397
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Asking the male in the house how old his mother is. He said she is my wife. There was at least 35 year age gap between the two. Now I always ask, How are you related to the pt. before asking more detailed questions.

Hehe, I've done this. :blush:
 

1979nd

Forum Probie
22
2
1
During my internship I was getting my sample opqrts on a pt that was
"just feeling weak" nothing else.. I asked her " on a scale of 1-10 how weak are you?"
God I felt so stupid when I realized what I asked her. I then looked up at my preceptor with him shaking his head at me trying not to laugh... Lucky my preceptor jumped in and redirected the conversation after that...
 

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