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St. Patrick's Day Fun!

John's Story: As an ER nurse for the past twenty years, the emergency room is a festive place on St. Patrick's Day, because of the jovial tone of the day, everybody just wants to have fun - staff and patients alike!

Two mugs of green beer on a table with gold coins

The emergency room on St. Patrick's Day can only be described as a sea of green as patients come in wearing their green clothing, hats, and necklaces. Sure, there are plenty of known alcohol-related injuries on St. Patrick's Day, but they are usually sustained innocently, such as tripping or losing balance, rather than in a bar brawl.

We get trauma patients, but there's less of them from fights or altercations and they tend to come into the emergency room much earlier on St. Patrick's Day than on other days. Usually, we see all the trauma at night, but on March 17th, it happens in the light of day.

In addition to trauma, St. Patrick's Day revelers often spend long stretches outdoors in cool weather wearing less than conditions warrant, so we also get patients coming in suffering from hypothermia, and alcohol consumption reduces body temperature too.

One time, in addition to the alcohol consumption, we treated a patient who had consumed hallucinogenic drugs. He pranced around the emergency room thinking he was a leprechaun, all the while throwing fake gold at hospital staffers!

An emergency room guarantee that no one looks forward to on St. Patrick's Day is the green vomit because of all the green food coloring added to beer and food. We have sort of a green patrol going around all the time mopping up the green vomit - good times!

Jenn's Story: I always enjoyed volunteering to do first aid for the St. Paddy's Day Parade in Ventura. It's a really big deal, they even have a large inflatable pig named Patrick. As volunteers, we were provided first aid kits; all we had to do was walk up and down Main St. ensuring that no one got hurt - easy right? What always amused me was that the first aid kits included a suture removal kit - why? Did they think that maybe someone was going to need their sutures removed at a parade during a heart attack or other real emergency?

Our reward for volunteering was a ticket for a free corned beef lunch and two more tickets for beer at the Elks Lodge. I learned firsthand that those boys at the lodge take St. Patrick's Day very seriously, meaning that on March 17th, they start seriously drinking before the sun even comes up! One year as we sat having our post-parade lunch at the Elks Lodge, we witnessed one of the members take a spill down the stairs. It wasn't a large staircase, but tall enough to where it required more than one step to descend. This guy was so inebriated that he took one step at the top of the stairs and then tumbled the rest of the way down as we all watched in amazement. And then as he lay sprawled out at the bottom of the stairs, we drew straws to decide who was going to be the lucky one to go pick him up.

The good news is that he was so drunk he didn't feel a thing. (Insert eye-roll here...)

Happy St. Patrick's Day - don't get too crazy!

By the way, Patrick the pig sprung a leak and everyone voted to rename the new pig "Bacon" (that's just so wrong!) I couldn't find a large inflatable pig, but I did find a pretty cool French Bulldog:

For more fun stories like this one, pick up a copy of Off the Chart A Nurse's Journey

of Heart and Humor at

Published by Jennifer Tipton / This post may contain affiliate links.

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