Let's hear about your worst shift ever!

  1. 1
    I work nights on a MedSurg floor and recently had what I like to call the worse shift ever. We were short staffed for the night and had no manager on the floor. During this shift we had two patients code and pass away and they both had the same birthday as me. I've only been an LPN for 9 months so this was my first experience with a night like this. I'd like to hear from the nursing community. So, tell me about your worst shift ever!

    P.s. I'm sorry if there is already a thread like this. I wasn't sure how to look for that.
    NurseSDP likes this.

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  2. 26 Comments...

  3. 6
    Any unsuccessful peds code makes for a worst shift.
    NurseSDP, ~PedsRN~, That Guy, and 3 others like this.
  4. 4
    Bless you emtb2rn! I am so thankful people like you can work with peds. I know I am not cut out for it and I am grateful there are people that are.
    workingmama77, poppycat, kiszi, and 1 other like this.
  5. 4
    Short staffed and had 5 pts. All were complex and needed assists with ADLs and AM care which took a lot of time. One had CBI going that was clotting off a ton, one had a DVT in the arm and had a heparin drip going, one was a total care pt who kept having diarrhea and couldn't even roll without 2 people, and then a post op admission with an epidural and all the checks that go along with that.

    Then the CBI pt totally clotted off and I spent like an hour manually irrigting it with no success, had to re-insert the foley.

    Didn't even sit down to chart until 1900 (home time), didn't leave until 2200. Safe to say I wanted to cry pretty much every minute.
    NurseSDP, tarotale, Esme12, and 1 other like this.
  6. 4
    I had been a CNA about 8 months, but had never had a patient pass away on my shift. I came into work one afternoon to find a hospice patient of mine actively dying. I was not given report (CNAs at this facility did not do report, we were to get it from the nurse), I panicked and got the nurse who knew about it but neglected to tell me. I remember I left for a few minutes because I couldn't stop my tears from coming, I liked this lady very much and she was talking to me the night before, my brand new CNA self was just so confused and taken aback by the whole thing.

    So, the nurse came in to check on her and she passed away a few minutes later.

    What made it a bad night was that after providing post-mortem care for the first time EVER, her family member came in the room for what I thought was to say goodbye, but he was there....TO VISIT!

    He walked in and started asking me questions about her day before he realized what had happened, while I stood there with my mouth open thinking "Oh my GOD, he doesn't know" Mind you....I had NEVER experienced a patient dying yet, never mind dealing with telling the family! (Not in my scope, anyway).

    Of course I went immediately to get the nurse after giving him a chair so he didn't fall over. At that point I left the room and hyper-ventilated...... I never, ever, ever want to experience that again and I feel so so bad that man had to find out his mother had passed away like that.

    Yeah, that was definitely my worst night ever.
    NurseSDP, Ketsia_xo, kiszi, and 1 other like this.
  7. 4
    Awhile back, a patient was pregnant & came in because of MVA. She began to code, so emergency C section was decided. The baby was born but the mother died later that shift after surgery due to injuries sustained from the accident.

    It was a very spooky situation & was talk of the hospital. Mind you, it is a big hospital. But so many units were involved (ED, L & D, NICU, OR, MICU) that almost every employee knew the situation & outcome.
    NurseSDP, SoldierNurse22, poppycat, and 1 other like this.
  8. 2
    I am not a nurse but my friend cried to me a few weeks ago recalling her awful evening. Definitely the worst shift she's had so far.
    She has 6 pt's and was short staffed. One pt had tremendously awful diarreah and weighed just shy of 400 lbs. every half hour she had to help him roll over (singlehandedly since they were so understaffed) and clean him.

    Another patient had just had an appendectomy and was recuperating nicely but her father was a surgeon and insisted on breathing down her back critiquing her every move. Even when she helped the pt shower, the pt's father was tailing her and he also insisted on reading all her chart documents as she was writing them and micromanage her.


    Another patient was a real jerk who insisted on making farting noises out of his armpit whenever she walked by and eventually woke his roommate from it.
    NurseSDP and EasterRN like this.
  9. 5
    I don't remember any of the details (thankfully), but I DO remember getting to my car, driving off the property, rolling up all the windows and SCREAMING $&(@(*#!! BLOODY MURDER and slamming the steering wheel.
    ICUman, NurseSDP, kiszi, and 2 others like this.
  10. 2
    I had two GI bleeds a couple of weeks back. One was having a colonoscopy in the morning, so there were frequent BMs there, and the other was actively bleeding with frequent dark maroon stools. I ran 8 units of blood products in him that night, so all of the blood checks plus two people having frequent BMs... I really don't think I sat down for more than 5 minutes at a time my whole shift. It was ridiculous.
    ICUman and NurseSDP like this.
  11. 5
    oh there have been a few....

    1. 7 patients, no aide and I was default charge because the actual charge nurse called off due to death in the family and it was me, 2 other nurses with less experience, a nurse with more experience but refused to do charge and a float. I was also riding the USS Incontinentia that night as 4 of my 7 patients shat the bed at least once an hour.

    2. My first code - as the adrenaline kicked in, so did my asthma. I coughed and coughed and coughed some more - the hospitalist thought I was the next to go down!

    3. The night a patient on bowel prep squatted to sit on the toilet and repainted the back wall of the (semi private mind you) bathroom with his excrement. What made it EVEN better was when housekeeping went into the room to clean it (at 2 am) and flew out yelling "I don't have a rag big enough for that!"

    Certainly does not top anything peds related but those were probably the 3 most hellish nights to date.
    ICUman, NurseSDP, SoldierNurse22, and 2 others like this.


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