Destruction at work: What have YOU broken?

  1. [font="comic sans ms"]i got the idea for this thread from another thread, and rather than hijack the thread about "financial damage at work" i thought i'd start a new one. i suspect we all have funny stories about destroying some piece of equipment.

    i accidently raised a bed until the attached iv pole went through the flourescent light, which exploded, shattering glass everywhere. the manager peed her pants laughing.

    while i was at lunch, a surgical resident (r-1) decided to suction out my patient's chest tubes, and the nurse who was covering was new enough that she didn't understand me when i mentioned that she needed to "supervise the resident" any time he was in the room. the resident didn't realize that he needed a suction cannister -- sucked bloody yuk up into the wall where it clogged up the system. the entire room was closed down for weeks while they took apart the suction system and cleaned it out then repaired it!

    years ago, we had a confused patient in a geri-chair (anyone remember those?) who used to wander. the brakes on those chairs weren't the best, and john had perfected the art of getting his tippy toes through the crack between the chair and the foot board and propelling himself down the hallway. usually, we were able to catch him before he went too far (circular unit -- he'd just go around the circle over and over) but one time a medical student held the door to the stair way open for him -- with predictable results. when john came back to our floor in a full body cast (once again tied into his geri chair) i determined that he wasn't going down the stairs again on my shift. i tied the geri chair to the handrail in the hall.

    i was sneaking into a patient's room doing my hourly "sheet checks" (where you make sure the sheet is rising and falling appropriately) when i heard a horrible crash and a yell. then the wall of the room i was in collapsed!

    seems that john had pulled so hard on the geri chair that he pulled the hand rail down. the handrail was attached only to dry wall, not to a stud, so the dry wall came down!
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  2. 44 Comments

  3. by   xptp29a
    A very expensive autoclave. :uhoh21:

    It was already on the fritz but I put something in it that shouldn't have been there.

    Sounded like a huge bomb went off. Luckily nobody was in the room when it exploded. :flamesonb

    I thought I would get canned for sure but it turns out they were waiting for someone to break it so they could get a new one. |

    Whoopsie!
    Last edit by xptp29a on Dec 19, '06 : Reason: Spelling
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    That 10 mm laparoscope i mentioned in the other thread.

    I broke a plastic laparoscopic trocar just by dropping it.

    Medicine glasses. We now have all metal medicine cups for the sterile field now.

    A knife blade broke once while i was changing the blade. THAT was scary.

    A bedpan (luckily CLEAN and EMPTY). I stepped on it, SNAP!!
  5. by   babynurselsa
    One time we got these little walkie-talkies for the triage nurse and the charge to carry. That way if you got an emergent in the booth you could immediately get them back.
    One night I was working triage and had that walkie-talkie clipped to my scrub pants. I went to the bathroom, finished my business, and was tucking in my top. I reached over to flush the toilet. Just as that super-powered industrial strength high pressure water started gushing down the drain............................................. .................................................. .............I heard a PLOP.........
    Yep, I flushed it. It went down the drain, just far enough to clog the durn toilet. Not only did I lose the walkie talkie, I broke the toilet.
    It took about 3 1/2 minutes for EVERYONE in the entire hospital to know what I had done.
    For weeks I would get calls on my day off............"Hey, ya wanna come in and work off a walkie-talkie?"
    No they did not make me pay for it, they just liked to rib me about it.
  6. by   CuttingEdgeRN
    I "let" a surgical microscope fall to the floor. It was 20 years ago, one of those old 3 wheeled small base ENT scopes. I was 7 or 8 months pregnant when I was rolling it down the hall to the OR room and it started to tip. I let it fall out of concern for my pregnant belly! I am sure it was very expensive to fix, luckily there was more concern for me than the scope when the loud BOOM happened!
  7. by   luckylucyrn
    I broke a Zoll one day when I was checking it for extra paper. I pulled the little drawer right off (I don't know my own strength!). But they replaced it with a biphasic zoll instead of a monophasic, so everyone was pretty happy.
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Oh yes, i've jammed numerous copiers, but i have never left the scene of the crime. I'm there till someone comes to help fix it.
  9. by   TiffyRN
    Just being in the same room with a printer will cause it to glitch; ask my husband.

    This is minor; but I was preparing a room for a routine medical admission and had trouble with one of those cheap phones that was tangled around the patient's top rail. I fussed with it for a while and finally gave up on it. 90 minutes later, I cut that stupid phone wire so we could transport the patient to the ICU after coding her (very unexpected sudden PE).

    I've dropped my share of syringe pumps, we get lectured all the time about how expensive they are.
  10. by   veegeern
    Quote from ruby vee
    i accidently raised a bed until the attached iv pole went through the flourescent light, which exploded, shattering glass everywhere. the manager peed her pants laughing.

    while i was at lunch, a surgical resident (r-1) decided to suction out my patient's chest tubes, and the nurse who was covering was new enough that she didn't understand me when i mentioned that she needed to "supervise the resident" any time he was in the room. the resident didn't realize that he needed a suction cannister -- sucked bloody yuk up into the wall where it clogged up the system. the entire room was closed down for weeks while they took apart the suction system and cleaned it out then repaired it!
    as a new grad, i did both of these!:trout:

    i was in a hurry and failed to note that i had incorrectly connected the tubing to the cannister. fortunately, our wall suction has a one way valve, so the secretions didn't make it into the system. i now double and triple check my tubing.

    we used to have glass bottles for lipids. i was spiking the bottle, and my grip slipped. the spike broke off into the rubber stopper, and i had to call the pharmacy for a new bottle of lipids. the pharmacist had a good laugh and then told me that i was the first one he'd heard of doing this. :spin:
  11. by   guardwife
    When I was working in a step down MICU we had a heard time getting an IV started on a pt who was using a "Kin-Air" bed. The ones that have fine particles of sand being blown by air to keep the patient from getting bed sores . . .


    A resident started the IV but stuck the IV cannula in the bed so he wouldn't stick anybody then he pulled it out and put in the sharps box after. Then the sand started to shoot from the bed. The patietn was alert enough to know and yelled for help. The cardiac monitor, bed, lights everything was coated in a fine dust. What a mess
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from babynurselsa
    one time we got these little walkie-talkies for the triage nurse and the charge to carry. that way if you got an emergent in the booth you could immediately get them back.
    one night i was working triage and had that walkie-talkie clipped to my scrub pants. i went to the bathroom, finished my business, and was tucking in my top. i reached over to flush the toilet. just as that super-powered industrial strength high pressure water started gushing down the drain............................................. .................................................. .............i heard a plop.........
    yep, i flushed it. it went down the drain, just far enough to clog the durn toilet. not only did i lose the walkie talkie, i broke the toilet.
    it took about 3 1/2 minutes for everyone in the entire hospital to know what i had done.
    for weeks i would get calls on my day off............"hey, ya wanna come in and work off a walkie-talkie?"
    no they did not make me pay for it, they just liked to rib me about it.
    [font="comic sans ms"]oh how embarrassing!
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from veegeern
    we used to have glass bottles for lipids. i was spiking the bottle, and my grip slipped. the spike broke off into the rubber stopper, and i had to call the pharmacy for a new bottle of lipids. the pharmacist had a good laugh and then told me that i was the first one he'd heard of doing this. :spin:
    [font="comic sans ms"]i've done that twice -- once with a bottle of tpn (back when it used to come only in glass bottles!) and once with nitroglycerine -- only that time i messed with it till the stopper came out too, spilling nitro all over my hands with predictable results. (nurse fall down go boom!)
  14. by   Kyrshamarks
    I smashed a gemini IV pump against the wall before on purpose to break the thing. I got sick of it always screwing up and decided enough. I ended breaking it into several small pieces of casing and electronics. They never did figure out how that happened or who did it...

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