Author Archives: maddychi

“Quiet” Jinx in Nursing

Nationality: American

Primary Language: English

Age: 19

Occupation: Student

Residence: Los Angeles, CA


“So basically if it’s a calm night, never say it’s a calm night or shift, there’s a specific name for it but I don’t know what it is, oh right it’s “a quiet night”. “It sure is a quiet night” that’s how you immediately destroy everything, especially on the ambulance, never say that it’s a quiet night.”


This piece of nursing superstition is something which NA has heard from her mother, where they believe that saying it’s a “quiet night” will lead to the shift/night immediately turning very chaotic. She believes in the superstition “in a funny way” and she thinks it’s ironic but true. Both of NA’s parents have experience in the medical field, and she said that she’s heard multiple stories of them personally experiencing this phenomenon and that they both believe the word holds power. 


This superstition is one that I know exists in many emergency services such as hospitals, firefighters, emts, etc. Many truly believe that saying the word “quiet” would cause everything to become chaotic, contrary to the word’s meaning. Because this belief in the power of the phrase is strengthened by experience, this superstition is something which unites people within the who have all shared this experience.