Sensitive Saturday: Good Joke Gone Bad

As night shift workers we sometimes play practical jokes on each other. If you have been in a health care facility after hours, you know it can be a little creepy at night. This time we decided to play a joke on the oncoming shift.

We were all involved and thought it was a great idea at the time. The shift was coming to an end and we had an empty patient’s room set up for the joke.

As day shift staff began to arrive, we all started to pretend we were just ending a code where the patient did not make it. The room was a mess and the crash cart in place. We had a CNA in the bed covered with a sheet. As report started, the day CNA went into the room to start cleaning the body so she can then wrap it.  As she approached the bed, the CNA in the bed sat up making sure the sheet did not fall off of her – it was taped on!

The day CNA let out a scream so bloodcurdling it startled the entire floor including us. She ran out of the room and down the hallway, fell, got back up and continued running straight to the elevators. She got in and apparently went straight to the parking lot, got in her car and drag raced home from fear. We laughed so hard that morning. Honestly, we didn’t see her for a week. We scared the hell out of her.

Although funny at the time, it was a GOOD JOKE GONE BAD. We did not think about how someone would react. She could have seriously injured herself when she fell and even gotten into a car accident. Hell, she could have had a heart attack.

We all received disciplinary actions taken against us. I honestly felt so bad that I apologized to her. We meant no harm. For all you jokesters, think it through before doing a JOKE.

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