April 28, 2007, 9:34 pm

You Might Be a Faker if…..


Sally Serious, RN poses during a quick check of her carotid pulse on a particularly busy night.

Do they still make White Swan uniforms? I wore a few of those in my time.

The cap verges on cool, however it needs a black band and a touch off either side. It has a half-circle vibe that makes her look like the Flying Nun.

I’d give it an 8/10 on the ECRS*.

Apparently she has a coupon under her skirt.

Now that’s a novel concept..

(*Emergiblog Cap Rating Scale)


There are certain behaviors that, when displayed in the setting of an emergency department might lead the staff to believe you aren’t being totally honest.

In other words,

You are faking.

And so, in the interest of patient education, I’d like to point out some of these behaviors. By avoiding these behaviors you will save your time, my time and keep an emergency department bed open for someone who is actually, well, sick.

You might be a faker if….

  • Ten seconds after a “seizure” you wake up and ask for a meal.
  • You lay quietly on the gurney until you spot a staff member, at which point you began to moan and writhe in agony. Interestingly enough, you never seem to do this when it is the housekeeper.
  • You “faint”, protecting your head with your arms when you “hit” the floor.
  • You laugh and giggle on your cell phone until the triage nurse calls your name and then tell them your pain is 10/10.
  • You give an Academy Award performance in front of your significant other that would put Marlon Brando to shame. Repeating “Why me? Why me?” makes it even more special.
  • Your skirt rides up while you are “unconscious” and you pull it down.
  • You’re allergic to medications that haven’t even been approved by the FDA.

Now I’m not saying you are a faker,

But you just might be…


  • S. R.

    April 29, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    I’m surprised the makers of Codeine aren’t out of business so many people are allergic to it.

  • Andrew

    April 29, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    White Swan is still making uniforms… granted they probably arent the vintage nursing dresses… but they do make really good unisex scrubs… i have a couple pairs of them.

  • EMS Junky

    April 29, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Ahh… behaviors like the one that we saw last night…

    The illustrious Medic 189 came to my facility Code 2 with a patient. After arriving and giving report on the patient, the medic joined the RN, the ER MD, and myself at the nurses station. Here is the kicker: The PT asked the medic for pain meds enrt to the ER. The medic knew that her story didnt add up and beleived the was one of many drug seekers… so he denied the medication the PT was asking for. The PT then says to the medic, and I quote, “I am going to change my story so that the hospital staff will give me the pain medications.” The medic then told the PT that, contrary to popular beleif, the medics and the hospital staff DO talk and that they will know that you are fabricating stories in efforts to get pain medications. The PT was shocked non the least.

    The moral of the story is, like Miss Emergiblog herself indicates is: Get your story straight. My suggestion, watch some discovery health channel… atleast you might have an educated chance at getting your lies straight.

    Some people dont get it.

    EMS Junky

  • Student Nurse Nancy

    April 30, 2007 at 3:31 am

    I can’t wait until my ER rotation…sounds like it will be busy AND entertaining!

  • Max E Nurse

    April 30, 2007 at 4:49 am

    and my favorite for my own reputation….
    they limp in and stroll out. Oh yes, it’s not faking, it must be my healing hands. BEHOLD!


  • Mintie

    April 30, 2007 at 5:18 am

    This is a very nice and funny article. Do you get these fake patient often?

  • UP Nurse

    April 30, 2007 at 10:40 am

    I think Hollywood misses great opportunities by not “finding” actors in the emergency department…almost everyday! You have to keep a sense of humor, I think…people are really quite funny (and sad).

  • tscd

    April 30, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    I have one to add to your list:
    “You recover spontaneously just as we talk about cutting off the Versace shirt.”

  • Peggy

    May 2, 2007 at 8:34 am

    I overheard my mother, an RN, tell my aunt, also an RN, that I was allergic to codeine. So, since then I’ve repeated that to my doctors when asked about allergies. It’s the only allergy I’ve ever had. Now, I really wonder! I’ve been given pain medication only for one condition in 36 years, for a broken hip. The doctor sent me home after surgery with a prescription that contained codeine, and it didn’t seem to bother me a bit, though I weaned myself off it quick when it made me constipated..

  • Peggikaye

    May 2, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    my mother told me I was allergic to codiene … I didn’t believe her. So, I took it for a broken bone when I was about 25ish … I got this pretty little rash … then I realized .. oooooo this is an allergy! whoops. Maybe my mom DID know what she was talking about!

    I also reacted to ceclor but not the other antibiotics in the class … it took me a while (babysitting a friends toddler) to realize it’s the red dye in the ceclor … that I’m actually allergic to.

    Since I break out periodically with no rhyme or reason …I probably ought to find out what the red dye in the ceclor is … it’s probably in the food I’m eating … and well… causing the period no rhyme or reason break outs ….


  • Dr. Marc Greenstein

    May 4, 2007 at 8:05 am

    You might be a faker when you go to the ER for renal colic, get your shot of Toradol and tell the ER nurse that “Dilaudid 2 mg IV q 1 one hour” makes the pain go away…..

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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