Laws of Dinosaurs…

Posted on August 27, 2009. Filed under: Benign, Elsewhere in the blogisphere |

When I am being good and reading medical blogs rather than wasting time playing Facebook games, I check in on Musings of a Dinosaur, she was recently reflecting back over her “Laws of dinosaur”. It’s in her right hand column and worth checking out…  This inspired me to try writing my own laws of clinical practice for Primary Care Nurse Practitioners…

Here goes….

Law One: They say common diagnosis are common but you can bet your arse, you get the uncommon one when you are running late.

Law Two: Always assume that the last clinician to see your patient was incompetent and therefore start from scratch with your history taking and assessment.  Especially if the last clinician to see them was you!

Law Three: Remember all your patients are going to die, just make sure it isn’t today and it isn’t your fault!

Law Four (a): Always follow your instincts. If your sixth sense is telling you to get a coffee…get a coffee! (or do an ECG or whatever…but always get a coffee).

Law Four (b- subsection 1): Always trust you first impressions, you are not being prejudice but trusting your senses.

Law Four (b – subsection 2): Believe your nose, rather that an alcoholic in denial.

Law Five: Finding the diagnosis of a patient is not as important as finding out their agenda.

Law Sicks (a): Patients obviously think that you don’t know what a cough sounds like until they have demonstrated it.

Law Sicks (b): A limping patient can walk away from the surgery without a limp.

Law Seven: Unravelling the confusion behind a simple statement, is as difficult as unravelling a simple statement from behind the confusion, because too much information when you need less is as distracting as too little when you need more.

Law Seven (revised): Keep it simple but insure you understand all the facts.

Law Eight: Advising patients not to believe what they have found out on the internet, and then printing off an information leaflet from a web page may appear slightly hypocritical.

Law Nine: Always assume your patient is a specialist consultant professor in whatever you are assessing them for, but also assume they no nothing about what you are telling them about, and then try not to patronise them.

Law Ten: The most important things to know is what you don’t know (AKA know your limitations).

These are not to replace the Dinosaurs laws which I think are fabulous,  especially “there is no cure for stupid” and “poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”, but merely my shallow attempt to add to them. Please add your own in the comments box!

Strange fact for the day…despite it’s unpleasant nature, in someones notes I just wrote “Penis erythemous” and it felt strangely poetic.


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5 Responses to “Laws of Dinosaurs…”

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These laws will surely help any nurse stay sane. Thanks so much for these!


James you obviously have issues!!! and Joc…good point. it’s a bit ;like the false wheeze they put on the second you plug your ears into your stethescope!

Law Eleven… Never trust a patient’s promise to cease yelling while listening to their lungs.

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