Help me to forgive them - page 3

When I arrive in a PT's room, at the start of a new shift, it's very annoying for me to find debris in a PT's bed. And not just any PT's... it's usually the severely bed ridden ones that have all... Read More

  1. by   hoolahan
    Sorry, I am with Mario on this one. In a code situation, maybe, but it really does not require a whole lot of effort to toss something into the trash.

    Some people are just slobs, and there is no excuse for it. Picking up after them over and over, should not be accepted. That's why they keep doing it, b/c you allow it.

    Remember, I said those who do it over and over. We all have moments, we are all busy, but the ones who do it repeatedly, should be confronted, b/c that is just inexcusable!!

    I am with Adri, I have seen what those needle caps do when they are forgotten. And just b/c a doctor pulls chest tubes and leaves them hanging over the side rail for the nurse to clean up, (and BTW, that doc would REAMED a new ******* by me!), doesn't mean we should let the $hit roll downhill onto the aides.

    I am sure there have been times I have not re-stocked my pt area, left an IV w/o much in the bag, or left a mess, but believe me, when I do, everyone knows it has been a disaster of a night. IT is a simple matter of respecting your co-workers...AND your patients. We have to respect ourselves enough to say something to the REPEAT OFFENDERS!!!

    I agree we should pick our battles, but better to say something to the problem person sooner rather than late, if left to fester, it will explode, at an inopportune time.

    Mario, I suggest you mention it at your next staff meeting. Point out the fact that the caps can cause breakdown on the fragile skin of your patients.

    I once went to clean up after inserting a central line with a doc, he grabbed my hands and said, I will do it. I was shocked, so shocked I was speechless. He explained he was putting in a central line once, and was not careful with his needles. A nurse got stuck, and the pt was HIV+ and Hep B+. The nurse turned positive for both. He said he will never allow anyone to clean up after him again, and always is sure to leave the area SAFE.

    High Fives to you Mario. Everyone has a right to come here to vent, feel free!
  2. by   Sleepyeyes
    oooo......sorry mario
    got me on this one :imbar

    i'll try to be neater next time. forgive me?
    Last edit by Sleepyeyes on Aug 12, '02
  3. by   P_RN


    I've seen nurses open med packs while walking down the hall leaving a trail of debris behind them. Sharps and glass get an incident report; the other stuff I just pick up and grin and bear it.
  4. by   maizey
    I'm sure I've been guilty of leaving alcohol wipes in the patients bed before when I was called away to answer the phone, or to another patients room for an emergency. I think we all need to remember that it takes all of us as a team to take care of the patients and if that means picking up at times after someone who is running their legs off and busy then so be it. I don't think anyone intentionally leaves things in the bed. Stuff happens. I would not intentionally do this. I always try to pick up everything after I do a procedure but have returned an hour later to turn the patients and found tape on the bed rail or foil wrapper in the bed. I hate it when this happens and I'm sure the majority of nurses would not like to find that they have done this.
  5. by   Jenny P
    Mario, stuff is not left in a pts' bed on purpose or out of a sense of superiority; it is usually due to being too rushed or disorganized to pick up everything. Thoughtlessness is not pre-planned; it usually happens because the nurse or doctor is focused on the next job THEY HAVE to do and not on cleaning up the current mess. It is not intentional, it is usually an accident.

    When I was first oriented to ICU (back in prehistoric ages, according to my family), the ICUs were set up with a line of beds closely packed together, so you might have a row of 8 beds with just room enough between them for the ventilators and bedside tables. We were taught the mantra of "WARD ORDER!" because in a code situation, anything out of place would cause a slowdown in response time and might cause the pts' death.

    I'm still in ICU 29 years later, and I still encourage ward order for the same reason. In our unit, we have waste baskets on both sides of the beds, and a stocked supply cart plus the usual chairs, monitor, IV poles, bedside table, etc. Where things are placed makes all the difference in how neat your room is: one of my co-workers puts the waste basket in a small corner where it is out of the way, but also where anything thrown at it is sure to hit the floor! Clean bedside tables and supply carts placed within the nurses' arms' length of the bed (and waste baskets also within that distance) mean no drsgs , needle caps, etc. in the pts' bed or on the floor (clean or dirty stuff can be put in the proper place right away).

    When you discuss this problem with messy co-workers, if you are non-judgemental and polite and express how keeping a clean work environment helps you stay calmer and more organized, you will see an improvement in their ward order. And you CAN cut down on the messes if you remind them of that.

    Also mention the danger to the pts' skin when you find a needle cap or any hard item. I once found I'd left a bottle of lotion in bed with a pt. when his balloon pump alarms went off- I was giving a back rub when I got interrupted by the alarm! It did leave a reddened area on the side of his hip which did last almost an hour. That was MY rude awakening and I now double check my beds after I do stuff.

    I always have neat work environments because of this; but I used to have the messiest desk in the unit because of just dumping everything (ECG strips, worksheets, and every piece of paper) on the desk and sorting through the strips, etc after report. However, one of my co-workers told me that my messy desk had scared a few orientees because they thought the pt. was really sick due to my mess! I'm working on trying to keep the desk top as neat and clean as my pts' rooms are now!
  6. by   Brownms46
    Mario I agree...it's VERY careless, to leave things thrown around the room...on the bed....bedside table, and the floor! This is one of my pet peeves!!! GRR! I also have a problem with those who can't close a drawer...when they remove supplies...or a door!!! Who can't seem to open a syringe, or tubing...and not immediately throw it in the trash...that is 2 inches or less from where they left it!!! Those who leave their coffee/drinks cups unemptied....trays in pts rooms..and don't bother to check and see if the water pitchers need to be fillied!!! But they have plenty of time to sit down...and run their mouths!!! These people totally push my GRRR button !

    I must stay...where I am now...that is rarely the case...as I work with caregivers...who take the time to clean up after themselves! God bless their souls...
  7. by   mario_ragucci
    Another one is a room filled with several of the same: lotions, soaps, shave cream, razors, emisis basins, wash basins, disposable wipes, saline, heparin, tooth pastes, 4x4's, 2x2's, sponges, all opened. Why can't a person scope out a PT's room first, then get supplies they need instead of accumulating all this on the PT's window sills, bedside tables, chairs. Ohhhh! Sometimes this stuff gets left in a PT's bed as well.
    I'm may appear to be bugging out about it, but I haven't mentioned it to anyone in reality because I don't want anyone to bite my head off straight away. I just wanted to see if anyone else encounters this "silent annoyance." I gather it's part of the territory that people are rushed and dismiss completing what they started. I'm no nit-picker, but disrespecting a helpless person really can annoy me. And if people claim to be not firing all dendrites and axons properly because of brain overload...what does that really say?
  8. by   Jas honey
    ""I also have a problem with those who can't close a drawer...
    Those who leave their coffee/drinks cups unemptied....""

    LOL this reminded me of my husband....he couldnt close a cupboard door in the kitchen to save his life (or mine, since i run into them after he has been in there.....) or any of his dresser drawers.....

    however i do agree in leaving a place beetr than you found it, and scoping things out so you dont have millions of bottles of stuff hanging around rooms.....i am extremely neat at work, maybe not so much at home LOL
  9. by   fab4fan
    I always feel it is better for students to refrain from criticizing too much until they are practicing as nurses...sometimes you can't understand how something could happen until you are actually working in that environment.

    Pick your battles carefully; yes, it irritates me to clean up someone else's mess, but rather that than be handed a truckload of meds, IV's to start.

    I, personally, am a neat freak at work, and don't understand how you can leave the counter in the med room covered with debris, when there's a large trash can right there. But it's just one of life's little annoyances, like Dick Cheyney...LOL!
  10. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by fab4fan
    I always feel it is better for students to refrain from criticizing too much until they are practicing as nurses...sometimes you can't understand how something could happen until you are actually working in that environment.
    I just like to point out when I think someone is making a really brilliant and wise statement.

    Heather
  11. by   Cathy Wilson, RN
    Mario, the words in your last paragraph are the ones that you will want to practice by-
    Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, Mom, Dad, brother, sister, cousin, child, etc. Deliver your patient care (even the unlovely ones) the way you would want one of your relatives cared for, and you will never have a regret. Everyone is special to someone.

    Ya know, Mario, for one who is an avowed atheist, you certainly do emulate a lot of the love and kindness taught us in the Bible!
    "Be ye kind, one to another."
    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
    "What you have done for the least of these my brethren, you have done unto Me."
  12. by   Dr. Kate
    Part of me wants to say "don't sweat the small stuff"
    My first reaction was there are just some days when something as simple as an untidy room tips you right over the edge. I think everyone is entitled to those days and those rages. Just don't let them drag on too long. Remember the cause and try not to be the culprit in the future.
    Never is a long time. Everyone sonner or later leaves a mess, or what someone else perceives as a mess. Pick it up and move on. Most of the time life is too short to make yourself crazy. Now, if there is potential for harm to the Pt or other staff tell the person who created the dangerous situation what they did. Be polite.
    My personal favorite here dates from before needless systems. I always made a fuss when someone would leave an uncapped needle from a piggyback set hanging swinging in the breeze. Talk about a needle stick waiting to happen. I always knew to be careful digging around in those beds as the people who leave needles hanging will leave them other places as well.
  13. by   live4today
    Originally posted by mario_ragucci
    When I arrive in a PT's room, at the start of a new shift, it's very annoying for me to find debris in a PT's bed. And not just any PT's... it's usually the severely bed ridden ones that have all kinds of plastic syringe tops and dresing wrappers left in their bed. It really bothers me.
    To think that a RN, or DR, or anybody would be so indignant as to pop medical debris onto the floor or bed of a PT because they are so absent-minded not to use the trash can. And again, it's always the very ill PT's (maybe because they feel they can get away with it)
    I know RN's and DR's are busy, and rushed, but what does it say about a person's work when they toss debris around? It's slightly demotivating for me to see a PT bed or bedside floor littered with all types of plastic tips and everything else that can come from the hands of a health care provider.
    Even if I was super-busy, I would never flip plastic caps or wrappers into a bed, or onto the floor, of a PT. I would put that stuff in the trash...duh.

    I ask myself - what impression should I have on the first person I see/catch tossing stuff around after a bedside proceedure in blatent disregard? Can you forgive that stuff? If a DR changed a dressing, and left the PT's room with wrappers all in the covers, or on the floor, what are you supposed to do? Could you forgive an RN who threw an alcohol wipe wrapper, or CBG lancet top, or syringe cap in bed with your grandma or grandpa? What does it say about a person if they would do that? How do you (respectfully) call someone on this behavior/terrible habit? It's not right!!
    Hello Mario

    Things like this used to irritate me to no end! You are absolutely right to feel as you do about this! I never stayed quiet about things like this, but would let the staff AND the doctors know that I did not want them throwing medical debris in my patients' beds or on the pateint floors. I didn't care if they liked my complaining or not.....they still got the verbal reprimand from me.

    Speak to your NM about that, and see if she can't hold a "meeting" in regards to things you find in the patient beds. Collect every little thing you have to pick up and throw away from the beds and floors of your patients, put them in a wash basin, then show it to your NM and the staff you work with. You might want to put that wash basin full of litter on the table in the nursing lounge where report is given so you can daily remind them to be more respectful of their patients space, etc. I applaud you for bringing this issue to the forefront as it is one that definitely deserves full attention from those you work with. :kiss

    Forgiveness is not the word I would stumble over in situations like this.......just peeved about it all......not at the person for we shouldn't curse the person......just their "disrespectful behavior".

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