Medical Professionals Share The Cringiest Experience They've Had At Work.
From people coming back from dead to say goodbye to living people seeing and living in peace with ghosts, these stories will show you a side of hospitals you might have never witnessed before.
I was doing nursing clinicals at a small hospital that used the same type of telemetry throughout the entire building. Occasionally patients would be put on some other equipment if they had specific needs. The standard telemetry would not make any sounds in a patients room, but some of the other options that were used did.
So this one morning I am walking down the hall and I hear "Beep, beep, beep, beep" going super fast like 160BPM coming from a patients room. A moment later I heard it start to slow down "beep... beep... beep... ... ...beep" and then it just stopped!
I ran into the room expecting to find someone dying or something and I see the patient was watching "The Price is Right" with the volume cranked and someone had just spun that stupid wheel.
I am a night nurse for 4 years now at an old folk's home. We had a person on palliative who couldn't sleep because of incredibly vivid hallucinations. She would describe voodoo people around her room that would just stare at her waiting for her to die.
I didn't take it seriously until the lady across the hall, who rarely ever spoke, starting seeing them in her room too.
Legitimate shivers. The worst part is they 100% believe what they are seeing is real.
ER nurse here.
We had an old lady come in by ambulance, she was near death. She was on a 'do not resuscitate', so we weren't going to do much for her. She didn't have any family that we could find. The hospital was full, so we had to keep her in the ER for the night.
Again, she was near death. When you've seen enough people die, there's no mistaking it, and she was almost there. Barely responsive; pale, cool, breaths were really irregular. Heart rate was up and down, too. We just turned the lights down and kept an eye on her monitor, basically waiting for her to die.
About an hour later, she's standing at the door of her room. She'd gotten up and put on all her clothes. We were all like, WTF? One of the nurses went to check on her, and she said she was hungry. Not knowing really what to make of things, we got her a chair, a bedside table, and went to the cafeteria and got her a tray of food.
Lady sat there, ate all her food, talked with the staff a little. After about an hour, she told her nurse that she was tired and wanted to lie back down. We helped her back into bed, and within 30 minutes she was dead!
This was the weirdest thing I've seen.
When I was a student, I got called in on a stroke patient. She had coded and they were doing cpr. They worked for 45 minutes, but she died.
They cleaned her up, and called on the family to say good bye. By the time the family left. She had been both brain dead and without a pulse for more than 45 minutes. Blood had filled her brain, and she was completely grey and started to smell. Suddenly, She sat up, and called for her family. The nurses rushed to get monitors and equipment back on her. Started working on her again, she stabilized, said goodbye to her family, and promptly died a second time.
I used to work in a skilled nursing facility and was usually assigned to the Alzheimer's ward. One night I'm in the linen room, stocking my cart, and I hear someone shuffle up behind me, then I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around and there was no one else in the room. The door was still shut too.
The same night another lady started to complain that a man was coming into her room at night (again, Alzheimer's so I didn't think much of it) so to reassure her, I told her I'd check on her throughout the night. She complained of this man for every night for 2 more weeks, and when I asked her to describe him to me. She goes like, "He's real handsome, wears a black suit. And Oh. He's right behind you now, honey."
That freaked my gut out. Of course there was no one behind me.
She died the next night, in her sleep.
A Paramedic here. We got a call to go out to a scene for an elderly woman with chest pains.
We arrive at the house, the front door is open. We knock, hear the old woman calling out from the back "I'm in the back room" in a very monotone and calm voice. My partner and I go to the back of the house looking for this woman, and that's when we smelled it. Nothing prepares you for the smell of rotting corpse. I've smelled it a dozen times, and it never gets any less disturbing. We radio for police and ALS backup as we move through the house. We opened the door to the master bedroom, and there is our patient.
She is approximately 80, and she is staring at the master bathroom with these cold, dead eyes. She never once looked at us as we approached her and began talking to her. I got to the bedside and got in front of her gaze, and she just looked right through me. I turned around to see what she could possibly be looking at, and there was the source of my smell.
A man, about the same age as my patient, is on the floor with very little left of his head still attached to his body. A shotgun lay on the floor next to him, and most of his head was strewn about the walls and bathroom counter. We loaded the woman up in the ambulance, and our police backup pulled up. I don't think that woman blinked once the entire time she was in our care. This totally messed me up for a long time.
We later found out he shot himself, and she couldn't grasp what was going on.
Verifying death is always sad but my friend told me the funniest story about how creepy his first verification of death was. This is not meant to disrespect anyone; dark humour is a huge part of doctors' coping mechanism.
He was on a night shift a few weeks into his first job as a qualified doctor and got a call from a ward to say a lady had passed away- an expected death hence he hadn't been called about her before- and could he come verify and do the paperwork. It's a busy shift with lots of sick people to see first so he takes several hours to get there.
He goes up and they tell him she's in room 8. The door to room 8 is slightly ajar and the room is dark. Now, she was in a side room but most patients there were in shared bays of 6 beds so you get into the habit of not turning lights on. In his nervous haste to make sure it didn't look like he was nervous, he slipped into the room armed only with his little pen torch. The window was slightly open and (he swears) the blind rattled against the sill as he crept towards the bed, the tiny circle of light from his torch picking out the rumpled white hospital blanket, only a very slim rise showing where she lay as she was a tiny old lady, just skin and bone. Finally, the light plays over her face and he has to bite back a little scream, nearly dropping the torch.
For whatever reason, her pose in death is one of a horrified and terrifying snarl - lips drawn back to bare (likely false) teeth, the whites of her eyes showing in a fixed blind stare, and both hands up close to her face curled into claws, slightly over-long nails shining grimly in the meagre torchlight.
Now, to verify a death, the doctor has to listen for heart and breath sounds for two minutes while feeling for a pulse, check for pupil reactions and check for no response to pain.
He flicked the torch dutifully across her glaring eyes, forcing himself to shuffle close enough to touch- first to check for response to pain and then to settle shaking fingers on her throat- so close to those furiously grinning teeth- to feel for a pulse. To get his stethoscope under the collar of her gown under the blankets, he has to lean in even closer, almost nose to nose with her now, unable to draw his gaze away from hers. And he has to stand like that for two minutes. The seconds seem crawl as he stares into that screaming face.
He says there's no way he would have heard heart or breath sounds even if she had been alive. All he could hear was his own racing heart in his ears and, on a loop in his head, "Please don't let her move, please don't move, oh dear god don't make her move"
I am a medical student. While on my Psych rotation, I came across an individual who was a chemistry graduate student. Apparently he had been taking astronomical amounts of ketamine, and was just continuously disassociated.
For the entire time I was on this portion of the rotation (3 weeks) I never heard him speak a single word! 95% of the time we was wrapped up in his sheets like a mummy and would just periodically laugh, a crazy soft chuckle, from under his covers if you tried to talk to him.
The creepiest laugh I've ever heard, I'll never forget that.
I work as a psychotherapist in a hospital system. Creepy is not something unusual if I talk from a perspective of a person living outside of hospital.
The one that got to me the most was a patient who came to us after attempting suicide by sawing both his arms off at the forearm with a table saw.
His arms were reattached, fairly successfully too, with only limited impairments in mobility. All I could think was how bad it would have to be to live in his head that sawing his arms off seemed better than that.
Maybe he sawed them off to stop himself from commiting suicide or maybe he thought the pain from cutting his arm off would kill him.
He did since complete suicide.
About 2 years ago we treated patients during a fungal meningitis outbreak.
Our acute care floor has a census of 20. During this, at least 10-15 were meningitis patients, age ranging from twenties to nineties. There are no shared rooms and all the patients were in isolation, no contact with one another. But strangely many of them had the same hallucinations, children in the corners of their rooms and auditory hallucinations of religious music.
For a moment I thought what if "hallucinations" were actually real things that normal people have the inability to see. Just like how some people can't sense depth or some people can see extra colors. But I hope not!
My mom's a nurse and she told me about this bizarre and somewhat funny experience.
A woman came into her unit and for whatever reason, she had her phone shoved up and stuck in her butt. She was in the room with the patient and the doctors as they were discussing the procedure to remove the phone, and all of a sudden they started to hear a muffled phone ring.
Everyone knew exactly what it was and where it was coming from, but no one dared to say anything. My mom said it was the most painfully awkward experience she's ever had. She had to leave the room and burst out laughing because she wasn't able to keep it together along with the doctor.
When I was on an ER rotation during med school we got a call about a 23 year old girl who was shot in the head, and who was already dead, but was reportedly 5 months pregnant so they were doing CPR until they got her to the hospital to see if the baby was still viable. They got her to the ER and did an ultrasound and turned out the baby was full term and they did a C-section in like under a minute and got the baby out!
It was pretty surreal to see a baby delivered from a dead person with their brain exposed. And she was 23, and only 5 months pregnant!
I was having a part timer signing my patient's admissions paperwork when this happened.
Everything was going normally and she seemed coherent until she looked out her window and asked me, "did you see that?" I hadn't seen anything and she said, "a man just jumped off the building."
Then she shook her head and mumbled to herself how her mind isn't right anymore. This freaked me out and I'm now terrified of getting old and having dementia.
When all my organs were shutting down I was in the process of using my laptop, all of a sudden it looked like everything was in a foreign language. I hit the call button for the nurse, she came and I told her something just wasn't right. She took my vitals said she was going to get someone. Then she stopped, looked at me and said "you're going to be here when I get back right?" I nodded and she repeat slowly "no, you are still going to be with us when I get back, right?" the way she said it made me realize just how serious my situation was and snapped me back to enough strength to stay up until the crash team arrived.
I truly think that one line saved my life that night.
My mom worked night shift at the hospital in Arizona, in a town by the border. It was an old mining town. Well anyway, she's working her night shift going room to room when an old lady who walked the halls due to insomnia told her some weird goatman is trying to get in through the doors. My mom didn't think anything of it, but she is Catholic and had those moments of silently praying to herself.
After a few moments, there was a shriek, she couldn't explain it, but that it was a horrible shriek that made your blood turn to ice. She than went to the nurses station to ask if anyone else heard that, in which they did. Come to realize that shriek was heard all around the hospital. Freaking everyone out, especially paranormal religious ladies and men. A few of them go to look out the Windows and see hoof marks by the doors and windows, and the marks had no trail towards or away from the building.
As a tech in psych years ago, there was a seven-year-old kid sent to the floor because the mom didnt know what to do with him. Sadly common thing to happen, even if the kids don't have psych issues. Anyway, the mom was shaking and crying, and they had to take the kid into another room. She was genuinely afraid of her own son.
She had suspected something was wrong when she kept finding mutilated animals in the back yard, but never heard or saw coyotes or anything around. The neighbors' smaller pets started disappearing. The boy had an obsession with knives, hiding them around the house. Denying anything when the mom confronted him. Then when the two started getting into arguments, he would get really violent and hit her, push her down and kick her, threaten to kill her.
On multiple occasions she woke up in the middle of the night
with him standing beside her bed, staring her in the face. She put extra locks on her bedroom door to feel safe while she slept. The last straw was when she lifted up his mattress and found 50+ knives of all shapes and sizes under there. So she brought him to us.
I remember talking to him, treating him like he was just any other kid that came through. He seemed remarkably normal, until you spoke directly to him. He had this way of looking right through you, or maybe like he didn't see you at all while you were speaking. He would respond like a robot, like he was just saying words because that's what we wanted to hear. And he would always put on this creepy, dead-looking smile. Like all mouth and no eye involvement in the smile. Especially when he would get away with something, like taking another kid's markers and they couldn't figure it out. Still gives me chills laying here thinking about him. I had to get up and close my bedroom door.
I believe I met a seven-year-old psychopath.
I am just a volunteer at a local place where people go to die, and I see ghosts on the regular.
I'm generally there at night, and ghosts make the doors open or close or stick together. I offered to help someone and started walking them only to turn around and see that there was nobody there in the first place.
There's a particularly nice ghost who wears a plaid shirt, he moves flower pots away from the edges of the countertops. All in all its a very freaky experience but most of them are nice, just lost.
A motorcycle driver met with an accident, had third degree burns, and arrived hospital DOA. We had to transfer him from ambulance gurney to ER bed.
As we were moving him with a transfer sheet, the liquefied/cooked subcutaneous fat caused the charred skin on his back to separate and his body slipped out of his skin, onto the floor, despite several of us trying to 'catch' him.
There was a woman that came in and sat down across the table from me for her admission interview. She had bandages all over her arms and scotch tape over her mouth and ears.
She looked very uncomfortable and wouldn't really sit still. When the nurse would ask her a question, she would peel the corner of the tape back and answer, then stick the tape back on really fast. We eventually found out that she saw and felt bugs crawling all over her, and they were trying to get inside her body. The tape was to keep the bugs out. The bandages were because some bugs got in and she had to dig them out. She couldn't sit still because she felt the bugs all over her even while we sat and talked. The worst part was, she had some idea that it was her mind playing tricks on her.
Can you imagine going through your life, feeling like someone is continuously dumping buckets of cockroaches on your head, feeling like they're all over you and getting inside of you to the point that you're digging chunks out of your flesh in a panic, all while knowing intellectually that none of it is real?
I was doing CPR on a lady whose heart had stopped.
They initially rolled her into the room unconscious and not breathing. This lady was pretty much dead. However, after a while, in the middle of doing chest compressions, her hands reach up and grasp my wrists and then fall back to hanging off the table. I'll never forget her.
Nothing I can say can possibly describe the year I worked in Psychiatric Intensive Care. Creepy isn't the thing that comes to mind when I think back on, it's heartbreaking and horrifying. Creepiness was just a part of it.
There is always something disturbing about watching someone while they hallucinate. You can tell it is 100% real to them, and something about that makes you believe it, on some level.
A girl spent my entire 8 hour shift fist fighting a ghost. Then she threw a few punches, and landed some knockout blows, so she bends over and twists her hand around like she was wrapping some long hair around her wrist. Then she dragged her opponent down the hallway, gave them a few good kicks, and then set up for a curb stomp.
It starts off kinda funny, then gets a little disturbing when you think about the graphic things going on in her mind, and then just sad after you watch this replay for hours.
A patient had passed away during my shift. The patient was well known and liked on the ward. At handover that evening I mentioned the patient had passed away. The door to the handover room (which I had closed) opened and shut just as I mentioned she had passed away. She was totally saying goodbye.
Later that month on a night we were chatting about the said patient at the nurses station. Weirdly a card which was pinned on a notice board fell just as we started talking about her. I went to pick it up. It was a card from the patient's family saying thanks for taking care of their parent.
I thought it was quite nice.
I was sitting a patient up at the edge of the bed in ICU when she started getting all squirrelly. She didn't speak much English but kept saying "Stand, stand," so I helped her stand up.
After standing for a few seconds something told me to lay her back down. Before her head ever hit the pillow her eyes rolled back and she was gone. She had a massive stroke and was gone on the spot. She all but died in my arms.
Note: Comments have been modified for clarity.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.