If sitcoms have taught us anything, hospitals are populated by man-children, witty megalomaniacs, and lovable perverts. Fortunately, when we actually have to go to a real hospital, we find out otherwise -- hospitals kind of need to keep things professional, since a tiny mistake can mean death and a massive malpractice suit.
Of course, not everyone got the memo ...
#5. Multiple Surgeons Dabble in Organ Graffiti
Surgeons go through years of higher education before they're trusted with the most intimate task of cutting someone's chest open and messing around in there, so you can be sure that they're pretty proud of their work. Sometimes a little too proud, as with the case of Simon Bramhall, a respected surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in England, who was suspended in December last year when co-workers noticed him burning his initials into a patient's liver. The hospital is now concerned that he may have done this to hundreds of patients' organs over the course of his 10-plus years working there, though maybe they should be more worried that Bramhall will someday decide to reclaim the organs, since he clearly called dibs.
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"Oh yeah?! Well, I don't see your name on ... oh."
But somehow this is only one of the most recent incidents of this kind of behavior. In 2010, a California gynecologist named Red Alinsod was sued for using an electrocautery device to carve the name "Ingrid" into patient Ingrid Paulicivic's uterus. Alinsod claims he did this so that he wouldn't confuse her uterus with the others, because as we all know, hospitals don't label vital organs or put them in containers, but simply toss them onto an ever-growing pile on the floor.
And the uterine graffiti trend goes even further back: In 2003, a Dr. James Guiler from Lexington, Kentucky, was sued by 10 of his patients for branding "UK" on their uteri. It wasn't some monarchist declaration of loyalty to the British Isles, but a tribute to his education at the University of Kentucky. We're assuming it was due to school spirit and not a horribly ill-conceived viral marketing campaign.
"Hey, be happy I didn't go with my original plan of stuffing a wildcat into each womb during March Madness."
#4. Hospital Staff Finds a Patient's Rectal Eel Problem Hilarious
We imagine that treating hospital patients can get pretty boring. The same old symptoms, day after day -- heart palpitations, shortness of breath, bloody stools -- how passe. So on the occasion that someone checks in with a truly unique situation, like if an eel climbed up someone's ass or something, you can imagine that hospital staff would get a little excited about the break in routine. Such was the case in 2013, when a man checked into a New Zealand hospital complaining that, yeah, an eel had in fact climbed up his ass.
"IS IT REALLY IMPORTANT HOW IT GOT UP THERE?!"
Now, it hasn't been revealed how exactly this set of circumstances came about, but it has been revealed that the wayward fish, who very much took a wrong turn at Albuquerque, was about the size of a sprig of asparagus. Upon learning about his situation, a bunch of hospital employees broke regulations to snoop on the victim's X-rays and medical records. And by that we mean as many as 82 employees.
Unfortunately, there's always one asshole who will take things too far, and somebody leaked the X-rays to the media. Surprisingly, the outlet declined to publish the story, instead notifying the hospital that their staff thought their patients' confidentiality rights were trumped by their noble desire to bring hilarity to the public. At least one employee was dismissed, dozens of others subjected to disciplinary action, and even more investigated, including nurses, midwives, junior doctors, and senior officials. We don't have any information about the status of the eel in question, but we hope Pixar does a Finding Nemo-style feature about the incident, told from the eel's point of view.
Nigel the pelican still makes an appearance.
#3. Hospital Staff Makes Internet Memes on the Job
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Hey, remember planking? That fad a few years ago when the Internet collectively went insane and decided that taking pictures of oneself lying down on various surfaces was clever and hilarious? Not everybody thought so, least of all the authorities and employers who had to deal with people climbing street signs and emergency service vehicles for that perfect plank shot.
In 2009, the trend arrived at Great Western Hospital in Stuffy-Sounding-Location, U.K., and resulted in the hospital cleaning house by suspending seven emergency room doctors and nurses for getting plank-happy on the job and uploading the photos to Facebook. If that sounds harsh, keep in mind that this is a hospital -- in the course of planking on resuscitation trolleys, ward floors, and even a helipad, they broke several health and safety and infection control regulations (but at least they got valuable Internet points for totally planking on that coma patient in Ward 4). Hell, we're pretty sure planking on company equipment will get you fired from Taco Bell.
"Fine, Senor Hardass, I'll get back to work! God!"
And that's not the only case of hospital staff throwing professional conduct out the window for Internet kudos. Nurses in New South Wales in Australia have been reprimanded for taking time out of their day-to-day routines to take selfies and post them on Twitter and Instagram when they really should have been focusing on things like driving ambulances and restarting arrested hearts. In addition to posting "naughty selfies" dripping with sexual frustration, the NSW Health crew took the most heat from superiors for posting photos of an anaesthetized patient, using hashtags like #postop and #nomorewilly, suggesting he'd just undergone a sex change operation, when in reality he was recovering from shoulder surgery (we're not sure if the inaccuracy of the tags makes it better or worse).
Or, you have this classy gentleman, who professes to the world that he "pulls in all the bitches at work."
"My gross ethical breaches of patient confidentiality bring all the girls to the yard."