What Are You Struggling With?
50 Most Commonly Prescribed MedicationsGrab My Free CheatsheetDo You Know the 50 Most Commonly Prescribed Meds in the US? Our cheatsheet can help...

Top 10 Most Embarrassing Things Nurses Have Done at Work…#9 is hard NOT to laugh at…

We asked some of our nursing friends to tell us about their most embarrassing moments at work.  

The results were shocking, cringe worthy, and some  . . . just down right funny!

What is your most embarrassing moment?!?! (*hint* we are asking you to share…. in the comments below or on social media )

1. The Carrie Prom Scene

bloody nurse

It wasn’t me but I died laughing and the patient thought it was funny.

We were hanging blood and it wasn’t running well so a coworker went to extend the pole up and wasn’t paying attention.

She took it so high that the line pulled out of the blood and the bag of blood went all over her!  She looked like Carrie from the prom scene. It was so funny we about all peed our pants.

Housekeeping didn’t find it funny though….

2. Emergency

funny story from nurse


I had a patient call 911 on me

3. Warning –  Don’t swing your Foley bag

nurse mistakes

I was removing a male patient catheter and the balloon would NOT deflate! I was told to cut the catheter and instead of cutting at the balloon port I cut the actual tube….balloon still intact!

So now I was stuck with a Foley, no bag to drain into, and very upset on-call urologist. The patient had to be taken to surgery to have it removed.

***side note surgery was eminent anyways bc when the patient came in intoxicated and the ER placed the cath said patient thought it was a good idea to swing the Foley bag around in circles causing an internal “kink”

4. RN Induced Surgery  

anesthesia nurse use suction suck sputum in double lumen endotra

My coworker had a patient that had some sort of esophageal repair and the patient had NG tube that was sutured in.

Somehow it came out, and she instinctively put back in… which caused the patient to bleed, tear the esophagus, and go back to the OR! Ahhh!

5. I meant…ummm…sorry!

Tired Doctor in Hospital Hallway

I called a patient’s wife his mother

6. Paced out of Pacing

Surgery for Coronary Artery Bypass

Once I had a post op CABG that had his external pacing wires still.

I was getting him OOB and one of the wires fell and got stuck in the bed, when he stood up it popped out! So I inadvertently removed his pacing wire early!

I told the CV surgeon – expecting to get yelled at – and he was actually nice about it and said that that patient did go in and out VTACH in the OR and he wanted to leave them in a few extra days….

. . .but it was too late now!

7. Rough Day at the Office

bighead amazed doctor in glasses and uniform

I sprayed chemo pee on my CNA.

8. Code Brown!

I was walking a liver patient in the hall…very confused man.

We called him the pirate because he talked like a pirate . . .

Half way down the hall he starts pooping all over the place. We had nowhere to put him, nothing to stop the mess . . . it was terrible.

9. OOPS!

Real Medical Care

I asked a double amputee where his socks were.

10. Charcoal anyone?!


Once I had to push activated charcoal down an OG tube.  I pushed so hard the pressure caused the OG tube to fly off the syringe.

Black slimy charcoal sprayed all over the patient’s face… and the bed, floor, wall, monitor, etc. The patient was on a vent and we couldn’t get the tubing to come completely clean.

I had to admit my accident to the whole family who was already mortified that their beloved 20 year old was vented, but now she was vented and looked like a horror story.


What is your most embarrassing moment as a nurse or nursing student?


50 Most Commonly Prescribed MedicationsDo You Know the 50 Most Commonly Prescribed Meds in the US? Our cheatsheet can help...
Grab My Free Cheatsheet

Date Published - Apr 5, 2016
Date Modified - May 30, 2019

Jon Haws RN

Written by Jon Haws RN

Jon Haws RN began his nursing career at a Level I Trauma ICU in DFW working as a code team nurse, charge nurse, and preceptor. Frustrated with the nursing education process, Jon started NRSNG in 2014 with a desire to provide tools and confidence to nursing students around the globe. When he's not busting out content for NRSNG, Jon enjoys spending time with his two kids and wife.


  1. Avatar


    Oh my gosh, #9!!!! Hahaha!

  2. Avatar


    I aspirated the NGT while the visitors walked in…the syringe plunger had such a massive vacuum and became disconnected while the family member received 50mls of gastric content sprayed over them. Where to put my face???

  3. Avatar


    My most embarrassing nursing school moment is trying to hook up an EKG wrong in front of the MD.