Meet Nancy Nurse. She’s going to let you in on a little secret. Nancy is counting the number of eyes that a nurse has in the back of his or her head. It’s true, and those extra eyes come in handy when we are working with drug addicts.


Last weekend, a family dumped off one of their own at our emergency room. This family drove over three hours to get to our hospital, and according to witnesses, they literally tossed their family member out of the car, and peeled rubber out of the parking lot. They obviously didn’t want to have anything to do with her anymore, and it didn’t take me long to understand why they didn’t want her back. I knew that I was going to be in for a rough weekend when the nurse reporting off to me said that she “hated the patient and wanted to punch her in the face.” This statement caught me off guard because this nurse usually has the patience of Mother Teresa, and since our doctor is a pussy about ordering Haldol, I resigned myself to the fact that my entire weekend was going to suck. And, as promised, the next two shifts played havoc with my blood pressure.

My patient hated me. She had a thing about limits and hearing the word, “no.” She hated me even more when she found out that I have eyes in the back of my head. I caught her climbing over the desk at the nurses station during a psychiatric emergency on our unit. I walked in on her while she was rifling through a coworker’s purse. She took a swing at me, and called me old, fat, and ugly. Ouch! She wasn’t too happy when I put her in locked seclusion.

During my report to the oncoming shift, I told the night nurse that I hated the patient and wanted to punch her in the face. So much for emulating Mother Teresa.