Things only nurses understand

EP 129: Things Only Nurses Understand

Every career has its own insider information, and moments only coworkers can relate to. Nursing is the same way.

We have our acronyms and struggles, but there are a lot of funny aspects to being a nurse, and only nurses understand. Nursing can be so stressful sometimes and all you can really do is laugh.

Code Browns

Sometimes as nurses, we are the bowel movement supervisors. A code brown is different from other codes but is definitely the smelliest one. Every nurse will experience a code brown.

A code brown is a situation that all nurses will find themselves in, it is a situation where a patient has made a large fecal mess in the bed. A code brown usually calls for a clean-up crew.

Don’t deal with a code brown alone; get your coworkers involved. They’ll love it. 

Tips on feeling with a code brown

  • Double mask
  • Vics vaporub
  • Mouth breathing

The Q word

No one is allowed to say it; we don’t even like saying it at home. The Q word is worse than swearing, and no one is to mention it. The Q word puts negative energy in the air and usually curses the unit.

Everyone knows remembers who said it and what has come of it. It’s a weird nursing superstition that, unfortunately, comes true more often than you like.

Nurses are not supposed to mention a slow shift. I think it is a yin and yang thing, stillness and chaos. One comes with the other. 


Sometimes Little Old Ladies will make you laugh out loud. Only nurses will believe you when you tell them how your 87-year-old female patient weighing in at 45 kg tried to take on the whole unit. It is always the little old grandmas that cause the most destruction.

These innocent ladies can be their loving selves during the day, but once it starts to get dark, their minds may follow. The hardest sundowning patients we’ve dealt with have been little old grandmas.

The only compliment a nurse will give

Nurses don’t complement their patients often, but you’ll hear one compliment “nice veins”. And this is something that only nurses understand. We love good veins because it makes their lives a lot easier.

ometimes we just place a peripheral IV because we can. It’s also a compliment you’ll only hear in the hospital, and we mean it. 

Magical powers on micropore tape

Just like Frank’s red-hot nurses put micropore tape on everything. Securing limbs for line placements, holding dressings in place, taping foleys, and everything in between. We use micropore tape for everything.

Full moon

When a full moon is present, every nurse is on standby. This is one of those times when you are not just expecting one patient to go nuts; it’ll be a portion of the unit.

Somehow the bright light of a full moon wakes up the worst in our patients. Make sure to pack some extra snacks or extra coffee because it’s going to be a long shift. 

Mysterious frequent fliers

This will forever be a mystery. We cannot understand how patients keep coming back with the same problems, and we offer the same solutions.

A patient comes in, we fix their problem, give them instructions on how to move forward, tell them exactly what made them sick, and still, they come back.

We don’t get it. Do people not want to live?

Shift swap curse

For some reason, when nurses adjust their schedules and swap shifts, they end up getting the short end of the stick. No one knows why it happens, but for some reason, when you try to accommodate your social life, you end up paying for it.

This is why it is important to choose your schedule wisely and try to not switch it once it is finalized. 

Learn about the things that only nurses understand here 😎👇


0:10 Things only nurses will relate to
1:53 Code Browns
3:43 Tips on feeling with a code brown
8:20 The Q word
9:45 LOLs
13:23 The only compliment a nurse will give
16:01 Magical powers on micropore tape
18:02 Full moon
23:04 Mysterious frequent fliers
26:38 Shift swap curse


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