Daily Laugh – Absurd Nursing Orders


A compilation of the absurd orders nurses have encountered… Enjoy! ūüėČ

  • Pillow therapy
  • Push this 500lb patient over to admitting
  • Use flu swab to help with hiccups
  • Please admit 18 year old to NICU
  • Remove chest tube accidentally placed in the spleen
  • Place two foley catheters with 10ml bulbs in nose and inflate to stop bleed
  • Blood glucose = 65, doc ordered 12 units Novolog
  • Make scrotal sling and have fan blowing on area
  • Powdered Tide laundry detergent to a Stage II. ¬†Pharmacy and central supply were going back and forth over who was going to provide it. ¬†Ultimately, the family brought it in but I refused to use it on my patient citing that my patient was dry and clean only.
  • Patient with diarrhea ordered mag citrate
  • The patient was vomiting so they wanted me to put the vanco in a rectal tube.
  • SCDs to both arms.
  • A fentanyl patch was ordered for a patient whose admitting dx was ODing from eating fentanyl patches.
  • 30mls of beer q hour x 48 hours.
  • Was told to warm an enema up to 212 degrees.
  • Do a CT for dissection on a patient presenting with flank pain and a history of kidney stones
  • Discharge a patient with bactrim PRN for infection
  • When we had the whole unit holding down one patient and I got the most ridiculous Ativan dose.
  • Please try redirecting patient and a warm glass of milk
  • Please provide pants for patient. ¬†The patient had literally 13 abdominal drains, pouches and bags. ¬†Not counting foley, gtube, jtube, peg tube. ¬†Pants were the least of our issues.
  • KCL 20meq IVP.
  • Pharmacy order for “chewing gum”
  • Regular diet tray through a PEG. ¬†Yep. ¬†That works!
  • When residents admitted patients and did their intake on one patient’s face sheet: “Allergies: Certain Drugs.” *facepalm*
  • Called an oncologist regarding rectal bleeding. ¬†She said apply direct pressure. ¬†We promptly hung up and called someone else.
  • In an adult ICU: Please place bandaid on patient’s nose. Both this order and the bandaid were unnecessary.
  • Haldol IM q15m scheduled for the next 5 hours for agitation. ¬†(I think I just sat down.)
  • Nursing Communication: Ambulate patient TID. ¬†Patient is paraplegic.
  • Provolone boots. ¬†(Bahahhahahaa. Cheese anyone?)
  • Deep digital rectal stimulation BID. ¬†I tried to make the person with the longest fingers working that shift do it.
  • Lovenox 700mg IM x 1
  • One resident asked how fast we could “bolus potassium” into a patient with low potassium (how fast do you want me to kill them?!?!?!?!?!?!!)
  • Give milk of mag for low magnesium serum. ¬† No, we are going to try PO mag first. ¬†He was amazed.
  • Lung x-ray on every patient on a stroke ward for an entire summer.
  • Patient wants a blanket.
  • Resident ordered a hard boiled egg with extra salt for a patient with low sodium.
  • Kayexalate enemas q4 until goal of 4-5 BM per shift. ¬†This was on an intubated ARDS patient maxed out on 4 pressers that kept trying to die on us if we even turned the patient slightly or raised/lowered the HOB.
  • My vented, sedated patient was ordered to get up to chair and ambulate with PT.
  • Green Jello. ¬†Cubed.
  • 3mg melatonin IVP.
  • Place TED hose and skuds to both legs, on a patient with… no legs.
  • Move patient to a room with a warm bathroom. ¬†Seriously?!
  • Give sleeping pill to patient who was considered brain dead.
  • Apply the nasal caniculi
  • Nursing to serve patient a meal that is palatable. ¬†Written by a cardiologist on my STEMI patient who refused to eat post-acth because he “only likes fast food” and his cardiac diet “sucked”
  • “Sprinkle probiotics on mothers nipples”
  • 1/2 banana to correct potassium of 3.4.
  • The doc did a rectal exam on the wrong patient with a sterile rectal probe (back in the day, now they are disposable) and when he realized it – knowing he had to go do the right patient, he told me to “rinse it” ….
  • I need a stat temperature.
  • Provide patient with gummy bears. — Uh? Where would you like me to find these gummy bears?
  • Administer tylenol PO rectally PRN for temp greater than 100.3
  • SHHHH protocol (Do not disturb unless necessary) on a 1013 patient.
  • Verbal order for a STAT breakfast tray for a patient while I was bagging my treated, vented patient with sats in the 50s. ¬†I politely told her I prioritize according to ABC and B did not stand for breakfast!
    Pt refused golytely for bowel prep so on call physician ordered 60ml lactulose now and q20m x 4.  Shot time!
  • IV Lactulose.
  • Administer 1000mg tylenol to R nostril.
  • “His BP is 50/30″… “Put him in reverse trendelenberg”
  • Diet as tolerated when alive on my new admission from ER. ¬†So, I’m admitting a dead person but if they come back to life I can feed them? ¬†Right. ¬†It was definitely written as alive. ¬†lol!
  • Force patient to shower daily.
  • Doc walked out of the patient’s room, sat down at a computer and entered order: Give patient cup of water STAT. ¬†Then got up and walked back into patients room to finish what he was saying (sans water). ¬†Guess someone’s arms magically stopped working that day.
  • We have a doc who orders UA’s on literally everyone. ¬†Kid with cold sx? UA. ¬†Little lady with finger injury? UA. Pt states they just used restroom prior to arrival, refuses cath. Because he will also suggest cathing these people for it. ¬†NO!
  • Rectal tube to LWS. ¬†Surprisingly enough, it worked! ¬†Score one for major teaching institute!
  • Therapeutic rest for a pregnant woman who was just uncomfortable and not wanting to be pregnant anymore. ¬†Subq morphine 10mg q4 on a labor and delivery floor so she could sleep.
  • When I was asked to sugar a rectum… takes the cake (badum ch!)
  • Please keep central lines out of diaper.
  • Please provide receptacle to patient for emesis. ¬†Thanks Dr. Obvious! ¬†At least you said please.
  • Wine TID. ¬†(Amen! How about for the nurses?)
  • Fleet enema to right eye BID.
  • Bladder scan a patient with a catheter every hour.
  • Rectal tube in the vagina.
  • NPO except ice cream.
  • Pour lemon juice in patients mouth to stimulate saliva production (pt had oral abscess, lemon juice ordered, no antibiotics.)
  • Wound care. ¬†Not where, not how, just “wound care”
  • Tape the patient’s testicles to his thighs using paper tape.
  • 15ml whiskey q4h for pt withdrawing who used to drink a fifth a day.
  • Another patient, on comfort care, 1 beer QID PRN
  • Post op patient has spent last 12 hours vomiting but surgery doesn’t want NGT. ¬†Chief resident orders to keep HOB elevated. ¬†Thank you, because I was just gonna let them choke.
  • Honey, milk, and lukewarm water as an enema.
  • An MD ordered an antibiotic that the patient had an allergy to, “when he has the reaction, don’t give him benadryl, call me first”
  • D5 1/2NS with 10meq KCL and 1:1 heparin to transduce CVP.
  • Giant marshmallows for a patient with an ostomy. (Apparently this slows down motility so patients can change their bag without a mess – who knew!)
  • Milk and molasses enema for a child with a sugar allergy.
  • EKG on a dead person.
  • A resident once wrote “patient UDS+ for marijuana and cock. ¬†Please ask patient to sustain from both.”
  • Change shits BID.
  • Urine hcg on a patient currently on fetal monitoring.
  • F/C to suction.
  • Milk blowholes PRN
  • The doc ordered a test that required us to travel with the patient who was on vv ECMO, vent, CRRT, OGT to LIS, 6-8 cardiac drips. ¬†Errrrrrrr “Can we postpone that scan please thank you have a nice day.”
  • Patient would like small bowl of cashews to snack on.
  • To make my IV flushes with free water because the patient was hypernatremic.
  • Fresh fruit basket to the bedside STAT.
  • Disregard SLP notes, patient may have meals with thin fluids as he is drinking from the toilet when the nurses aren’t looking. (OMG, this one killed me…. lol!)
  • Have you tried an activity mat? ¬†Suggestion by MD for ETOH pt who had already made one nurse upset with his sexual suggestions and gestures and who was becoming highly agitated.
  • Patient is requiring PRVC with PEEP 8 and FiO2 80%… Sure let’s extubate!
  • Find gallstones, STAT. ¬†For a patient who wanted her gallstones dipped in gold for a bracelet. ¬†She lost the cup she had them in. ¬†(BAHAHHAHAHAH!)
  • Remove turd from right first digit.
  • Patient may smell one alcohol swab q1h PRN
  • Wrap the patient in wet top sheets and place fans in all directions. ¬†Stand there with a mister and keep sheets wet. ¬†We had cooling blankets and tylenol, I think he was just sick of getting phone calls from the night shift charge RN.
  • Patient can eat muffin.
  • Do not let pt pull out IV. ¬†No chemical or physical restrains. ¬†Use creative nursing.
  • Patient may use vibrator while in hospital for “internal itch” and it was the nurses responsibility to make sure they were cleaned.
  • Patient may have coleslaw as his HS snack.
  • Instead of sending a critically ill hepatic encephalopathy patient to ICU, doc orders q1h 1000ml lactulose enemas through night until patient clears up.”…. Pt went to ICU by enema #15.
  • Have nurse check patient for recto-vaginal fistula.
  • Cardiac diet, patient may have hot dogs.
  • Turn off water to room, pt will drink from faucet.
  • OK to use hair brush to scratch himself when itchy.
  • Have overhead light fixed.
  • Incentive spirometer on vented patient.
  • 10mg warfarin daily for 2 weeks then check INR
  • Why do you need another line, we just put in a line, run the meds through there! ¬†Ummmmmm, NO! It’s an a-line doc. ¬†No can do.
  • Orthostatic vitals for a bilateral AKA patient.
  • q1h vitals for 12 hours for a patient who flipped back into chronic afib.
  • Place patient on shower chair in shower for one hour.
  • Discharged a patient once with a script for “a bar of soap” with instructions to use daily with water all over body.
  • In lieu of ambien, one of our docs will literally write orders to “turn lights in room down, give patient warm milk, give back rub, turn relaxing music on.” ¬†Uh, no. ¬†I won’t do that
  • “Can you tell me what pills are in the colostomy bag?” I literally rolled my eyes at the md
  • Had a dr tell me to instruct a pt to “pump and dump” on a postpartum mom after giving orders for pain medication. Umm. No.
  • “Please blow dry under pt’s pannus BID and PRN to keep area dry. Family to provide blow dryer” …. 1.) Pt was 586lbs. 2.) Pt was bald and none of us wanted to tell the family what the blow dryer was for. 3.) Don’t we as nurses do enough? How about a little nystatin powder and pink clothes doc??
  • Cleanse genitals and pat dry and apply Bactrian. On a perfectly capable patient. In the ER
  • 1.5 oz of 5 o’clock Vodka PO q 2hrs
  • Pt may have chocolate milk but not chocolate chip cookies.”
  • RN to hold patient’s hands at bedside every hour
  • Orthostatic blood pressures on a contracted bed bound patient.
  • 250mg levaquin, to be given at start of surgical procedure. Resident ordered it PO
  • “Remove pt from iso pt had a cold pt fine” Meanwhile pt has harsh cough congestion and fever.
  • Urine sample for a patient who is anuric.
  • Looking for a dnr order and got “please clean under fingernails”…….
  • One time I had a resident doctor ask me if I could crush a percocet and push it in the IV because she didn’t want to just give them morphine or dilaudid….that was my reaction to a T….ummmm gahhhhh
  • If I could tubefeed someone through their NG tube and still have it on continuous suction . Uhm what?
  • By a neurologist. His craniotomy patient had peri rectal rash. It looked very obviously like yeast. His order was to have us wash it with Dankin’s solution, basically bleach, on raw skin. It’s a human not a test tube. Can you say “burning!!!!”?
  • DC instructions for a frequent flyer tooth pain patient: Brush remaining teeth daily for rest of life.
  • Hearing aids/assessment by pt in the notes written “patient hard of hearing”…..for an already deaf patient … felt bad about laughing but hello couldn’t even stop when i first seen it
  • Pt may have 1 glass of wine with dinner.” She got a little single serve bottle of Riunite on her dinner tray every night for the 90 days she was there
  • Dexamethasone 60mg PO for a six year old…’are you sure?’ ‘Yes I’m sure, it’s a high dose but he needs it’ ‘Are you really sure?’
  • The¬†other day, wanted to give bolus of D10W, but wrote “give sips from cup”…….um no
  • Was asked by a 1st year to “digitally disimpact” a patient who had received realistor and had two BMs from that and an enema, also with results. That was a big no sir.
  • Here’s ¬£10 , go buy that pt a curry from the supermarket then bring me back the change and the receipt ???
  • Hospice with no hydration ‘ for a healthy 40 y o male who was in for his annual PE
  • We have a doctor that orders like a scoop of ice cream QHS. Or writing an order that pt can have ginger ale if requested… haha thanks doc, gonna write an order for toast too?
  • “Does the pharmacy have colace bombs?” Colace and bomb should NEVER be in the same sentence!
  • 50ml bolus for symptomatic 70 SBP. “Don’t you mean 500?” “No, 50.” “You know that’s like, two tablespoons, right?” “…. Let me call the senior resident.” LOVED new resident week when I worked at a teaching hospital…. Btw, pharmacy sent it to us.
  • Real written order from physician: “The patient is not permitted to help with gardening while at the hospital.” …Because apparently when you have septic arthritis and osteomyelitis, you shouldn’t play in the dirt.
  • Standing X-ray on a kid that was intubated and on a 24 hour EEG
  • SCDs for a bilateral lower extremity amputee…really?!lmao
  • Pregnancy test for a male patient.
  • Can you give this 35 year old a fleets enema? (In the ER? Someone who is able to do it themselves at home? Uh, no.)
  • “keep baby happy”
  • Simethicone gas drops IV/IM q6 PRN fussiness, call pharmacy for dosing – plastics.
  • Make sure foley isn’t leaking on floor “


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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Cyndi says:

    Had a brand new intern order a 24 hour urine on a dialysis patient. I asked the patient when was the last time he urinated, to cover my bases prior to calling said intern. Pt replied “any appreciable amount?” Yes sir. ” It has to have been 10 years.” Call said intern and question order and advise that patient is a dialysis patient and hadn’t urinates in 10 years and intern asks me to d/c the order before her resident sees it. Uhmmnm, no you have to d/c the order. Advised her it would look better if she corrected her own mistake instead of having nursing do so.

    1. Ginny Tate says:

      I had one of those orders on a dialysis pt. Explained it to the NP that ordered it and they said to do it anyway. I think we got maybe 30 ccs. Poor lady tried like hell to pee.
      I once had a dream where I received an order that read “sexual intercourse q shift for breast milk stumulation”. IT was a dream. Then I read that one for the vibrator for internal itch and I thought omg somwone really wrote and order for that. Lol…

  2. Colleen Skains says:

    Received order for morphine 10 gm iv, I asked the doctor if he was sure he wanted me to give 10 gms of morphine, he said ” do you think that’s enough ” . I said yeah if you want to kill him.

  3. yamskee says:

    Doctor ordered “start bladder training” (patient on condom catheter)

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