Monday, 8 May 2017

Black ( or was that brown?) Humour


I worked all yesterday on day shift, which was a change.
A nurse, who I hadn't worked with for an absolute age asked me what I would miss about work once I retire in nine or so shifts time....and without thinking too much, I told her honestly
" Nurse humour"

Nurses' humour is notoriously dark.
It is dark but never bleak, and can be rude to the point of making a docker wince.
It also can seem terribly irreverent to people " not on the same wavelength" , but it is not designed to be listened to by non nurses....nurse humour is for nurses only!

I've told this story before, but I remember my mother recalling an overheard whispered conversation between three nurses at the end of their terribly hard night duty shift.
One nurse hurried to the nurses' station and hissed at her colleagues" I've just found another one dead!" To which all three burst into nervous laughter!

I've seen alot of this kind of behaviour over the years.

Years ago a rather nasty neurologist who had come to the ward on which I worked to re assess a patient that was in a vegetative state, rounded on a sister who he thought didn't quite show him the respect he expected. After making a fool of her he then asked her if the patient had changed neurologically since he last visited
" He spoke briefly after you saw him" she said seriously
"And exactly what did he say?" the consultant snarled
" Don't let that rude twat visit me again" she replied.

It is well know that a "code Brown " means that help is required with a full bed of poo and rose cottage is the nickname for the mortuary, but these are the polite areas of nurse humour.
The hidden reality is much, much darker.......
.......and so much funnier!


46 comments:

  1. 1- I think many men who become doctors already have an arrogance that just gets fine tuned once they become doctors and lord it over everyone else.
    2- Many people, probably most people, are not good at being In Charge and The Boss/Lord of all he rules ... and Doctors are in that category of some are wonderful and many are a**holes. If they were auto mechanics, they would still be a**holes .. it is the man, not the job he does.
    Love, C, sister in law to a Dr.

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    1. Your second point is very true.

      Some professions had enormous respect and social standing in past centuries or even in past decades. Doctors, pilots and military officers come to mind.

      Now these fields do not command the same respect, but the mindset of these people has not changed a bit.

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  2. As much as I'm sure you all do a wonderful job, I do hope I don't end up as a 'Code Brown' patient.

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  3. When Shirley and I got married we had to walk through a human corridor of raised cardboard bedpans.

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  4. Hilarious, both that awful gif and the rude twat story!

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  5. I had loads of code brown to clean up re:Dad. It didn't bother me, but several carers couldn't face it; a couple of them actually ran outside and puked up! Lol. (Nothing seemed to phase the district nurses though.)

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  6. OMG! That giff is gross. I like black humour.

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  7. Love the rude twat story.
    Hope you enjoy your retirement - I retired 1st Nov last year and am loving it.
    I don't miss bedpans, brown bums or the humour. I thought I might - but as said, don't.
    So enjoy!
    Anna :o]

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  8. Don't worry, after you retire I'm sure all your puppies will have a daily "Code brown" to keep you busy and nostalgic!

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    1. lol, I think I will remember that when I get a pup ... code brown !

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  9. My daughter's boyfriends family live in a cottage called "Rose Cottage". I didn't say anything. :-)

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  10. I like dark humor, but not the brown stuff.
    I imagine you are counting the days.

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  11. My mother works in a health clinic and they have their terms too. But that picture at the top?!?!? Who needs coffee today. *slowly puts coffee away*

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  12. I love irreverence. and what a great comeback.

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  13. Love it...it'll get you thru it!

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  14. I would have guessed that without this kind of humour many jobs and many tragic circumstances and situations would become almost impossible to deal with John.
    Only nine more shifts to go? You are nearly there.

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  15. Sorry, but the video's crap. Nurses deserve better.

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    1. Humour is not easy in this format. Maybe I should have used one of these things :)

      First sentence is a double entendre. The second follows.

      John, I've no finesse. I only know A&E nurses.

      Delete
  16. My humour tends to be very black, in fact someone once asked me if I was a nurse for precisely that reason.
    The best nurse joke I ever hear was .
    'What's the difference between god and a doctor?'
    'God doesn't think he's a doctor!'

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    1. I love it.

      C ... sister in law to a Dr.

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    2. the version in my hospital is

      God doesn't think he's a surgeon!

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    3. 50 and counting ... I love it. love love love it ;)

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  17. I would imagine that you would need a sense of humour and the ability to be able to switch off when you get home.

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  18. Bravo nurses, what would we do without you ?

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  19. Before I got into the dental hygiene program at our community college, I took several courses alongside pre-nursing students. When they found out what I was going to be, they all made a face and said "I'd rather clean up poopy bums than work in someone's mouth!" To each her own. :)

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  20. Work place camaraderie and humour is unique and wonderful. One of its greatest features is never having to explain.

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  21. I think you'd have to have a sense of humour (and a strong stomach) or you wouldn't last as either a medical professional, personal care worker, or mortician!

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  22. After 40 years we still miss the humour and the stories. We still remember losing a porter one day. He was found sitting at a table in the mortuary.....playing cards with 5 'occupied ' coffins. Happy days.....enjoy your retirement.
    Kathy

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  23. A very special lot you nurses are!

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  24. My shift partner retires in September and is gleefully counting her shifts and planned erm, sick days.

    So, to be a mature grown up nurse, I've moved to another ward. It won't be the same without her. She understands why I've left her, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

    But I'll miss the old bag.

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    1. Losing a coworker with whom you have worked for so much time is hard. Hope you have a great time in the other ward.

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  25. Black humour has kept me afloat for many a long year.

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  26. My sister relayed the story of the very old gal with extremely long white hair who dies on her shift. Somehow someone produces long white lillies and the put them in her hands, arrange her hair just so and have a small procession to the morgue. Very macab

    You do what you have to do to get through.

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  27. every job has its own special language. and I do love dark humour.

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  28. Congratulations on your impending retirement Jon.

    I am sure you worked with the same zeal and fun that I saw on your blog. Hopefully you won't retire from blogging too soon, and we all will get to enjoy you and the Prof and all the animals for years to come

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  29. My sister on night duty had a newbie rush up and confide that the patient she had was crawling with pubic lice, what should she do. My sister said, "put your glasses on, they all had rice pudding for tea".
    But my sister's best was after getting new teeth, standing waiting for Matron to check the ward, she sneezed and shot the new teeth straight down the floor to land at her feet.
    Or how to not cause a riot. When a patient goes outside the locked door and says he's not coming back, you do now ring for security and the swat squad. You sit him down, says it's okay and keep giving him biscuits and tea,knowing all the time the only toilet was inside that locked ward. She won, no fuss, just clear thinking.

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  30. You are so right about the humor shared amongst coworkers in the med field, it can be hilarious.

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  31. My bestie, Sharon is a neonatal icu nurse of 35 years. The humor she sometimes shares with me is hilarious but can be very dry and dark too. It's like life isn't it?

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  32. OMG, that gif is horrible. But hilarious. ha!! Code Brown? Rose Cottage? TOO funny. We have to laugh don't we? I love how certain industries have their own lingo.

    I work in insurance and don't have any cool code words like that.

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  33. I think our dog had a "code Brown" on the patio last night. That'll teach him to pinch stale pork pie from the bin!

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  34. Ew ew ew ew ew!!! Where do you find this 'shit'?!? After that GIF I could barely get through the text of your post!

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  35. I miss the restaurant/bar humor that sustained me (well, that and the tips) for the 25 years of working in that industry.

    Being on the same wave length with others and never having to explain the joke was something I treasured.

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  36. I worked in a major cancer center and when I first started I world hear about a patient going to Chicago. One had obviously been too sick to transfer which is one I received the translation. Same as the Rose cottage. Yes the rest of nurses humour is pretty dark. And I loved the neurologist/nurse story.

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