I'm so ashamed... - page 4

I'm so ashamed, I can't sleep, eat or think of anything else. I'm a new RN, passed my boards in July and have been working nights since. I started that night on the wrong foot taking that room in the... Read More

  1. by   Jerico
    NOW.

    Having said all that: I'd fire her butt in a minute if she ever did it again.

    First time is a mistake.
    Second time, maybe.
    Third time a habit.
  2. by   boulergirl
    Almed,
    When I was a night shift supervisor (in my case, an NA with supervisory duties over other NAs) I had to make decisions about sending a resident to the ER or not and I'm sure I made mistakes. Back when I was new to the position I had a resident with traces of blood and blood clotting in her stool and didn't know what to do. (Can't remember if I called my boss or not, but I monitored the resident through the night, and reported what I saw to first shift.) She didn't go to the hospital until morning, and passed away soon after. You can be SURE I learned from that experience. When in doubt, ship 'em out!! (In your case, when in doubt, get a second opinion!!)
    I'm glad you're working days now. On night shift I felt like a zombie, and working overnights can make some people irrational. Maybe once you feel better physically and sharper mentally this will help as a nurse. Don't be afraid to ask for help anymore!!
  3. by   ambral&d
    Hi. I just learned about this site today, in school, and thought I'd check it out. Some of your responses are pretty ruthless. It's hard for someone to talk about a mistake they've made. When they admit to it and ask for advice I think it's important to not totally rip them apart. I feel bad for her. I bet she never walks away from a situation like that again.
    God forbid You (whoever was beating her up) ever make a mistake. If you haven't you are the first nurse to do so. It is important and she knows it. The way you were responding could make someone too scared to go and try. We all work very hard to get through school and to get our license. I was very excited about this site, but gee whiz. I thought nurses should help each other and teach other.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    But it's not just a simple error. It's a refusal to act in a potentially dangerous situation. This act needs to be admitted to the manager and the MD and the music faced, in addition to getting help for whatever lead up to this action.

    It was a blantant, potentially dangerous act by a potentially unsafe nurse. No need to sugar coat it.
    Well said....
  5. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from KatieBell
    Well, in a lot of cases, new grads aren't well prepared, but I personally think anyone witnessing a patient having a seizure would GET HELP, rather than just walk away.

    The behavior is just strange to walk away from a patient in distress, I think it could be termed negligence. I'm personally not concerned if she did not know what to do- we all fall into that situation, but the prudent person would ask for help.

    I've worked on some hostile units, however, I've never had one that would not help me with a seizing patient. If this person is too intimidated by the pther nurses to ask for help, then she is not ready to be on the floor independently.

    For the lack of knowledge, it isn't a problem, for doing nothing at all, I do think it is entirely on her. We all talk the talk about giving new grads support, but at some point, people have to cowboy up and take responsibility.
    Completely agree.
  6. by   Daytonite
    Quote from miphillli
    Daytonight....I respect your thoughts,but I feel you are more than just alittle harsh...this new nurse is very remorseful,very worried about the pts well being...something happened that is not all that clear, no one knows {not even her} what she was thinking as she witnessed the other pt's seizure. Almeds N/M did the right thing...Almed is on her way to being a great nurse.....GOOD FOR YOU ALMED!
    I disagree and don't feel I was harsh at all. I was stating my opinion of the whole thing. I cringed when I heard that the patient had a second seizure later that day. It could have been prevented. There was a real ignorance of just what a seizure is and the damage it can cause. I hope the nurse has taken steps to correct that.

    Please re-read the posts. I read the OP very carefully before I made my first response. I realized her dilemma and that she was stalled in what to do about it--thus, the physical symptoms she was having. No where in the first post was there any remorse or worry for the patient's well-being mentioned. . .not until a later post, and even then I felt it was marginal, at best. It all focused on me, me, me. What I am hoping she will get from this is that she needs to begin to consider and think about the affect of her actions on each patient she attends. This person may be on her way to being a great nurse but right now she stinks. Many of us stink as new grads. I had my stinky moments. I think we do her great injustice to praise her for initially confessing to a huge group of anonymous readers and we should instead be giving constructive criticism which will, hopefully, improve her future actions and lead her to be that potentially great nurse. I feel it is wrong to re-inforce procrastination and indifference with sympathy. There has to be some accountability here, at least to herself, even if she never discloses it to her manager. There are also elements of complacency and procrastination in this nurse's actions that I think she needs to contemplate as these are character issues within herself. Not many have expressed feelings of sympathy for this poor patient who could have stroked and died. That's what really bothers me the most.

    I hope that this nurse has re-evaluated her actions and made a plan on how to handle a situation similar to this in the future. I hope she sees her own faults and works to improve them. Let me be clear, I wish her well and sincerely hope she begins to take a more serious view of her role as a nurse.
    Hi. I just learned about this site today, in school, and thought I'd check it out. Some of your responses are pretty ruthless. It's hard for someone to talk about a mistake they've made. When they admit to it and ask for advice I think it's important to not totally rip them apart. I feel bad for her. I bet she never walks away from a situation like that again.

    Quote from ambral&d
    God forbid You (whoever was beating her up) ever make a mistake. If you haven't you are the first nurse to do so. It is important and she knows it. The way you were responding could make someone too scared to go and try. We all work very hard to get through school and to get our license. I was very excited about this site, but gee whiz. I thought nurses should help each other and teach other.
    Read, digest and go beyond your feelings and take some wisdom from all of this. The OP was beating herself up the worst of all. Most of us are actually trying to help her out here. We all make mistakes--it's how you deal with them that is important. You, too, grasshopper, will make many mistakes. How will you deal with them when you find yourself in the hot seat? You must learn to take something that is negative and turn it into something positive that will improve your performance. It is good to be scared--keeps you on your toes! I'm sorry you don't see the help and teaching going on here. Filter out the emotional aspects of the postings and you will see it is there. Welcome to the forum.
    Last edit by Daytonite on Nov 22, '05
  7. by   Jerico
    Quote from Daytonite
    No where in the first post was there any remorse or worry for the patient's well-being mentioned. . .not until a later post, and even then I felt it was marginal, at best. It all focused on me, me, me.
    Uh, TITLE of the THREAD?????


    Dang Daytonite hope she's not on YOUR malpractice jury some day....

    :chuckle
  8. by   Daytonite
    Quote from Jerico
    Dang Daytonite hope she's not on YOUR malpractice jury some day....:chuckle
    Hope she's not one of the employees I manage one day. :stone
  9. by   pricklypear
    I may be off base here, but has anybody considered the (mitigating/aggravating) factor of the OP having her FIL as a patient in the same room? Could his presence in the room have somehow derailed her normal train of thought to action? Could nervousness (she didn't say she felt any discomfort, but I'm assuming she might - I probably would) have played a part in her denial of the situation?

    I'm not excusing what happened, just pointing out that there may be another lesson to learn about trying to take care of family members or friends in the hospital, or maybe some explanation for her behavior. Mixing a professional/personal relationship spells disaster to me. Seems to me that expectations would be different. The added stress of being evaluated by a family member.

    The behavior was obviously out of character for her, or she wouldn't be upset about it. If it was something she took lightly, she wouldn't have come here looking for some support. It's obvious that she KNOWS what happened was wrong, but she can't seem to figure out WHY she acted as she did.

    To the OP - you did the right thing by going to your NM, you were very brave. Obviously she understands that sometimes we use flawed judgement, especially when we're new. If you thought it was no big deal, I would worry about your future as a competent nurse. But I think you have strong enough feelings about the incident that its effects will color the rest of your career for the better. It's from the most painful mistakes that we learn our most important lessons.
  10. by   nursemike
    Last night I covered an LPN who had a patient seizing due to ETOH withdrawl. Our floor has an epilepsy monitoring unit, so seizures aren't new to most of us, but I couldn't help remembering this thread. Luckily, the LPN was a pretty experienced nurse, which took a lot of the pressure off. Also very comforting, by the time the first IV push of Ativan hadn't done anything, we had a crowd (Charge Nurse, another RN, the LPN, and me.)

    Would I have known what to do if I had been this patient's primary nurse? For sure I would after reading this thread. Thanks, Almed. BTW, the patient went to the ICU, where last I heard they were still having trouble getting him controlled, though I'm confident they did before long. Pretty scary stuff, though--I've never seen withdrawl that severe, before.

    One of the lessons I've picked up, lately, is when I feel the adrenaline starting to rise and the first hint of panic about to set in, to just stop for a second and take a couple of deep breaths. Will I remember this, the first time I find a patient cyanotic and unresponsive? I don't know, but in the abstract it makes all kinds of sense that both the patient and I will be in trouble if at least one of us isn't breathing.
  11. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from nursemike
    Last night I covered an LPN who had a patient seizing due to ETOH withdrawl. Our floor has an epilepsy monitoring unit, so seizures aren't new to most of us, but I couldn't help remembering this thread. Luckily, the LPN was a pretty experienced nurse, which took a lot of the pressure off. Also very comforting, by the time the first IV push of Ativan hadn't done anything, we had a crowd (Charge Nurse, another RN, the LPN, and me.)

    Would I have known what to do if I had been this patient's primary nurse? For sure I would after reading this thread. Thanks, Almed. BTW, the patient went to the ICU, where last I heard they were still having trouble getting him controlled, though I'm confident they did before long. Pretty scary stuff, though--I've never seen withdrawl that severe, before.

    One of the lessons I've picked up, lately, is when I feel the adrenaline starting to rise and the first hint of panic about to set in, to just stop for a second and take a couple of deep breaths. Will I remember this, the first time I find a patient cyanotic and unresponsive? I don't know, but in the abstract it makes all kinds of sense that both the patient and I will be in trouble if at least one of us isn't breathing.
    This is a handy assessment tool (and education on how to use it linked below) to get the appropriate help for those in ETOH withdrawal. It saved me from having one patient go into seizures because I was able to identify the tremor, the irritability, and the slight confusion early enough to get him sent to the ICU and medicated appropriately there:

    http://www.chce.research.med.va.gov/...t/4CIWAAr1.htm
  12. by   neneRN
    Quote from ambral&d
    Hi. I just learned about this site today, in school, and thought I'd check it out. Some of your responses are pretty ruthless. It's hard for someone to talk about a mistake they've made. When they admit to it and ask for advice I think it's important to not totally rip them apart. I feel bad for her. I bet she never walks away from a situation like that again.
    God forbid You (whoever was beating her up) ever make a mistake. If you haven't you are the first nurse to do so. It is important and she knows it. The way you were responding could make someone too scared to go and try. We all work very hard to get through school and to get our license. I was very excited about this site, but gee whiz. I thought nurses should help each other and teach other.

    If you read over the threads on this board, you'll see an incredible amount of support to the nurses who are posting about mistakes they have made. We've all been there and we've all made mistakes; if you haven't made a mistake yet, you will at some point in your career. Honest mistakes happen and we learn from them.

    The difference in this scenerio is that it was NOT a mistake; it was ignoring the pt, omission of care, even negligence, that could have caused harm because the OP was unwilling to ask for help. If she would have left the room and instead asked another nurse for help, then this would not have been an issue at all. To me, the OP was more concerned with looking capable than with her pt's health and that is not acceptable.

    I always tell new grads and students that the scariest nurses are the ones who don't ask questions or ask for help. I would rather have someone ask me 100 questions than act like they know what they're doing when they don't and then risk harming the pt. We are there to help the pts, not to worry about looking new/inexperienced/stupid.
  13. by   skittlebear
    :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat: :yeahthat:
    Quote from nursemike
    I don't think any of us want to shrug off Almed's error with an "oh, well, stuff happens." But I'm among those who doesn't think it needs to end a career. I didn't see any lack of concern for the patient in the original post. "I'm so ashamed" says it all. But it's natural enough, when one is in trouble, to speak mostly of one's own trouble.

    You highlighted my remark about knowing where to turn for help, and I think that illustrates the system's error in Almed's situation. Every new nurse ought to know who to turn to--that should be made clear in orientation. Of course, one has the individual responsibility to recognize the need for help, but one needs to know one can, too.

    It is true that owning one's mistakes is important. The reason it makes it a lot easier for supervisors to forgive is that you're a lot less likely to repeat an error that you haven't tried to minimize or excuse.

    I have little doubt that Almed will make other mistakes in the future. We all will. Those of us who are conscientious will try really hard to avoid them, but also to learn from those we can't avoid.

    God bless those experienced, skillful nurses who can still recall how it feels to be a deer caught in headlights. I'm lucky to work with a number of them. If every new nurse had similar mentors, I think we would have a much healthier profession.

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