Stupid Intern Tricks

  1. undefinedundefinedundefined
    in honor of july 1, and the new group of fresh-from-medical-school doctors, i was wondering what is the dumbest thing you've ever seen an intern do? after 26 batches of new interns, i've seen quite a few really dumb moves, as i'm sure some of you have, too!

    for instance, there were the two brand new interns who took the patient off for a ct in the middle of the night. the transporters were busy, and i was the only rn on the unit. the ct must have been absolutely fascinating -- when the three of them came back, patient on the guerney, the interns were in the midst of a spirited discussion of the results and potential implications of the ct. they were so busy discussing how to treat the ct that they failed to notice that the patient was no longer breathing! the resulting code did manage to impart upon them the necessity of monitoring the basics!

    another time, a brand new intern was doing what must have been one of his first few full assessments on a female patient. he came flying out of the room, waving the bedpan over his head and shouting "she's gotta pee! she's gotta pee!" as i was quite busy, i just snapped "so give her the bedpan." "where is it?" was the incredible response. "it's in your left hand," i pointed out helpfully. "oh," he said. "where does it go?"

    i can top those stories, but i'd rather hear yours!
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   jaimealmostRN
    That is toooo funny. I always wondered why they started these "special" new doctors in the ICU? Why put them in the most complicated area 1st??? I remember asking one new guy if they wanted a creatinine level done now (I always asked to avoid extra sticks) and he proceeded to debate with another newbie for about 5min. When I came back after drawing another pts labs, they were still talking about whether to draw it now or later(no abnormal circumstances surrounding lab draw either...) Can you imagine throwing 20 new nursing grads (without a preceptor) into such a complex area?
  4. by   bluesky
    Quote from jaimealmostRN
    That is toooo funny. I always wondered why they started these "special" new doctors in the ICU? Why put them in the most complicated area 1st??? I remember asking one new guy if they wanted a creatinine level done now (I always asked to avoid extra sticks) and he proceeded to debate with another newbie for about 5min. When I came back after drawing another pts labs, they were still talking about whether to draw it now or later(no abnormal circumstances surrounding lab draw either...) Can you imagine throwing 20 new nursing grads (without a preceptor) into such a complex area?
    Ummmm well... I'm a new grad going to ICU but I certainly wouldn't make any of the previously cited errors.
  5. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from bluesky
    Ummmm well... I'm a new grad going to ICU but I certainly wouldn't make any of the previously cited errors.
    Well, I was looking for stupid intern tricks, but I've seen (and committed) a few new grad bloopers as well. You'll make them. And someday, when you can see them as funny, I hope you share them with us . . . .
  6. by   bluesky
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Well, I was looking for stupid intern tricks, but I've seen (and committed) a few new grad bloopers as well. You'll make them. And someday, when you can see them as funny, I hope you share them with us . . . .
    The story about the interns with the film unaware that the pt had coded was a NIGHTMARE!!! If that happened to me, I'd shoot myself before anyone would hear about it. Once at my preceptorship we received a transfer who was supposedly a "ruptured AAA". Well, after his 12th litre of fluid (blood products + pressure infused IVLR), I was really disconcerted when no-one was worried about the 3rd litre coming out of his LUNGS! Needless to say, he was really an MI... :stone. One of the RN's who was taking care of him (who had 6 yrs experience at this magnet hospital's ICU) made this exact statement when I asked her about the possible impact of the fluid after the CT... "the extra fluid wouldn't hurt him". Yeah, right.
  7. by   Stitchie
    Not re-restraining the patient, and ordering an NG tube: quick way to raise the charge nurse's ire when three nurses/CNA's come running out of the room, looking for the moron intern.

    Not knowing the Lasix/K+ relationship. How did they graduate?

    I know I have more -- and will have more, since it's early July. But most of the interns I work with in the ED are too intimidated by the RN's to make any dumb mistakes. Green, maybe, dumb, not usually. But then the attending always quadruple-checks everything a new doc does.
  8. by   jaimealmostRN
    Quote from bluesky
    Ummmm well... I'm a new grad going to ICU but I certainly wouldn't make any of the previously cited errors.
    Oh no, my point was that all new nurses have preceptors. But you will see these new and very inexpirenced interns are, most of the time, completely without supervision for most of their shift. From what I've seen, the attending is only with them during the am rounds and if they have a question or during a proceedure. When a nurse is new, their "attending" nurse is only a second away if they are needed. I was just noting how scary it can be to have such inexpirenced staff able to make such crazy choices (like pulling a central line) without supervision. Of course every ICU nurse I have met is extremely qualified and would always question an order that did not seem right.
  9. by   bluesky
    Quote from jaimealmostRN
    Oh no, my point was that all new nurses have preceptors. But you will see these new and very inexpirenced interns are, most of the time, completely without supervision for most of their shift. From what I've seen, the attending is only with them during the am rounds and if they have a question or during a proceedure. When a nurse is new, their "attending" nurse is only a second away if they are needed. I was just noting how scary it can be to have such inexpirenced staff able to make such crazy choices (like pulling a central line) without supervision. Of course every ICU nurse I have met is extremely qualified and would always question an order that did not seem right.
    That is really scary, isn't it? I mean why exactly are they given all that autonomy? I remember when all the ER docs (attendings) were going on and on in my preceptorship ER about how they hated new grad nurses in the ER because it slowed the ER, etc. I just kept thinking of all the crappy medicine I had seen in my time there perpetrated by the residents... I didn't hear the attendings whining about them... :angryfire How many times did I, a student nurse, have to remind tired residents to write for K runs for their 2.6 hypokalemic pt? Or how many botched central line placements in the name of "education"? INtubated stomachs... My preceptor really hated interns but then again all the nurses in that ER hated new grad nurses too... it was all about the love over there, y'all.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    I actually like interns -- they're so fresh and excited about everything. And, having chosen to work only in teaching hospitals for the past 26 years, I know it's part of my job to help teach them THEIR job. I have faith out that somewhere out there, a nurse in a private hospital or private practice is benefiting from the fact that I helped to teach so many interns that the most important skill they have is listening -- to the experienced ICU or ER nurse, to the LTC nurse who tells them that they really DO need to come see this patient today, to the patients, to the consulting physician. It's just that July can be so WEARING!
  11. by   bluesky
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    I actually like interns -- they're so fresh and excited about everything. And, having chosen to work only in teaching hospitals for the past 26 years, I know it's part of my job to help teach them THEIR job. I have faith out that somewhere out there, a nurse in a private hospital or private practice is benefiting from the fact that I helped to teach so many interns that the most important skill they have is listening -- to the experienced ICU or ER nurse, to the LTC nurse who tells them that they really DO need to come see this patient today, to the patients, to the consulting physician. It's just that July can be so WEARING!
    My husband (experienced ER nurse) tells me he is always telling the interns what meds to give the pts... they now come to him and ask him what to order The same pt then gives the intern all this respect and authority and doesn't really listen to my d/h.... :stone It would be nice if you (Ruby Vee) could get some real palpable reward for your contributions, though!
  12. by   susanna
    An intern is a first year medical resident, right?
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from bluesky
    My husband (experienced ER nurse) tells me he is always telling the interns what meds to give the pts... they now come to him and ask him what to order The same pt then gives the intern all this respect and authority and doesn't really listen to my d/h.... :stone It would be nice if you (Ruby Vee) could get some real palpable reward for your contributions, though!
    My ex-husband was a nurse -- only not a very smart one. The patients used to mistake him for a doctor, and he'd just go along with it. He'd get lots of respect from people (patients, physicians, supervisors) until they got to know him . . .

    I get the respect I deserve from the people I respect, and that's worth a lot more than "respect" from folks who DON'T know me. But thank you, bluesky, for your thoughts. It's really nice of you!
  14. by   Stitchie
    Quote from susanna
    An intern is a first year medical resident, right?
    Yes -- it's their first year post med school graduation and their first experience writing orders for patients, etc. They will come to you and ask what to do, etc.

    Some are very nice and respect the nurses in the department, have good manners (pls and thank you) and are generally v. approachable.. Others are arrogant (insecurity) and highly difficult to work with. Some (one in particular) are willing to flat out tell you they (she) is scared to death of making a mistake -- which we all do, from time to time.

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