5 Shockingly Childish Abuses of Power by Hospital Employees

#2. Nurse Writes a Prank Letter to a Patient

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We acknowledge that the job of a hospital nurse can be one of the toughest in the world, what with irate patients, long hours, and contact with bodily fluids that nobody should have to contend with in their everyday life. Maybe that's why nurses at Carstairs Hospital in Scotland had a habit of turning up to work drunk and making asses of themselves.

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"'My arm hurts, my vision is blurry, I think I'm having a heart attack, meh meh meh!' That's what you sound like."

Inevitably, a patient lodged a complaint with the hospital about the conduct of its staff, and that's when things got really stupid. Nurse David Best took it upon himself to respond to the complaint in the most mature and thoughtful way he knew how: the written equivalent of a Bart Simpson prank call. Best mocked up a fake response letter pretending to be a lawyer from a major law firm, reprimanding the patient for his defamatory remarks and threatening legal action. The name he signed at the bottom? "Hugh Jarse" (get it?). Yeah, the guy probably doesn't have a Nobel Prize in his future.

When the patient didn't appreciate the joke, he brought his own lawyer in, and that's when things got bad for Nurse Best, whose name now carried overtones of irony. The prank quickly landed Best in the unemployment line. His defense was that the drunken behavior of his colleagues -- which included charges of assault -- was much worse than his own, and they kept their jobs. That's probably a valid point, but the courts rejected the appeal, since the solution to that problem would actually be to fire all of those other jerkoffs before they kill somebody.

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"You also lost points for the uncreative pseudonym. We would have gone with 'Scroom, Goode, and Hart.'"

#1. An Orthopedic Surgeon Shows a Penchant for Pranks

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So it's fairly clear from the list so far that, contrary to what Scrubs taught us, nobody actually appreciates wacky shenanigans when they're occurring in a hospital. And, as we've seen, it's apparently really hard to convince medical professionals of this. Take orthopedic surgeon Dr. Benjamin Allen, for whom the surgery theater was just another uptight office environment begging for his ill-advised brand of levity. We can imagine the hospital staff was already wary the first time they saw a guy come to work looking like this:

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"Be careful, his bow tie is really a camera!"

What Allen considered to be a series of light-hearted jokes to put patients and colleagues at ease, the Virginia Board of Medicine regarded instead to be an "egregious pattern of disruptive behavior." In one of his noteworthy transgressions, Allen decided it would be a hilarious idea to schedule a knee replacement surgery for one of his patients, only to cancel it as a joke whose punchline failed to impress the nurses who prepped the patient for a phantom procedure. As a result, another surgeon was unable to get time in the operating room for a real surgery, while Allen's patient was left wondering what rogue circus clown had put on doctor makeup and gained permission to cut people open.

Obviously never one to pass on an opportunity for slapstick, Allen also found himself on the hot seat for having a little too much fun during surgery with the help of a nearby nurse and a surgical staple gun. While attempting to staple the nurse's sleeve (after having used the staple gun on a patient), Allen accidentally punctured the nurse's arm, potentially exposing her to whatever blood-soaked foot fungus he was operating on at the time.

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It's all fun and games until someone contracts an infectious disease from a freak staple gun fight accident.

These ridiculous antics, along with an unhealthy habit of arguing with other doctors (how could he ever not get along with someone?), got the jocular doctor a fine of ... $1,500. So, just a few cents shy of the cost of hospital-administered aspirin.

Related Reading: Robots are coming to your local hospital, and they're going to watch your sick self sleep. And heaven forbid you wake up during surgery. That can kill you dead. Not terrified enough about your healthcare? Click here.

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