New Grad Stupids

  1. Help! I am a new grad and my co-workers have forgotten what it's like. I'm not sure how this can ethically be done, but I need to hear the stupidest things you experience nurses have done, please.
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  2. 70 Comments

  3. by   babynurselsa
    Sorry sweetie, I guess they forgot to mention in nursing school. You have just joined the profession that eats it's young and kills off it's old. Does it have anything to do woth the fact that it is a primarily female dominated profession??? HHMMM...
  4. by   JillR
    bbqchick,

    I don't have any stories for you, but as a new grad myself I can offer my ear and my understanding. As new grad we are just benginning to learn to put all of this complicated stuff together to try and make sense out of patients condition. We are just learning to prioritize, deal with difficult patients and family members, grieving families, organization. I know it feels like many experienced nurses seem to think that they have had all of this information sinse birth. I promise you they haven't and just may not remember actually never knowing some of this.

    The experienced nurses have the ability to act on gut insticts, what some would call common sense, but if you don't have experience then you have no gut instincts yet, and I think it is hard for some to realize that they were in your position at one time. Then you add on increased work resposibilities, no respect from administration and sub standard pay, and I think that it is just hard to take new nurses by the hand and teach them anymore.
  5. by   oramar
    Originally posted by bbqchick:
    Help! I am a new grad and my co-workers have forgotten what it's like. I'm not sure how this can ethically be done, but I need to hear the stupidest things you experience nurses have done, please.
    I have a story for anyone who tends to unsympathtic to people who are students and new hires. About eight years ago I took a new job, the nurse manager greeted me like an old friend and seemed to go out of her way to help me get adjusted to the new place. Later she told me I had been charge nurse on the floor where she was a student. She said that I made a big impression on her and of all the floor nurses she met in clinical I was the kindest and most patient when it came to dealing with dumb student questions and mistakes. Now she was my BOSS, for the next four years she was my manager and they were the best four years of my long career.
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    I was a new LVN long ago. The charge nurse told me to push fluids on a post TURP. I gave him SIX LITERS in 8 hours! She laughed at the I&O saying, I didn't mean for you to push that hard".
    Once the breakfast eggs were raw rather than soft boiled so I exploded them in the microwave (My first experience with microwave ovens). While getting towels to clean up I heard the unit clerk loudly ask, "What idiot put eggs in the microwave?"
    The charge RN on my first job (still a good friend) asked if I would mind going downstairs and getting a donut.
    She meant the foam pressure relief for a hemorrhoid surgery patient. I got a glazed.
    To be more serious when I was a new grad RN my nervousness was so apparent to a patient he asked to have another nurse start his IV.

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    [This message has been edited by spacenurse (edited October 13, 2000).]
  7. by   Barbara Rose
    You want only 1 story? I bagged a dead man for 2 hours during a brain scan to see if he was dead or not. I also gave a shot of Demerol to a dead woman, among others of course. These were "funny" to just about everyone except me, now they are funny to be to. But what goes around, comes around, learn what you can, watch everything and everyone, never let an opportunity pass you by, you will find it will make you stronger faster and all your co-workers will be asking you for help, ideas, etc. before you know it.
  8. by   sparrow
    The dumbest thing I ever did was accidently cut an external pacemaker wire while I was changing the dressing! I had been an ICU nurse for quite a few years when that happened. I'll never forget that pacemaker wire flipping up in my face! We had to move the patient to a larger facility for a permanent pacer insertion soon than we had planned and I was a wreck for weeks!
  9. by   bluesgirl
    oh yeas---
    very simple to take the right meds to the wrong patient---went to super---and said I just f****** up big time. We first went to patient and --luckily it was through a peg---sucked them meds right back---got all the right colors backs--(not digested yet)---looked meds up----none harmful--to pt. or condition----Gaurdian angel JUSTINE-- and my own honesty watching over me----If I hadn't admitted error--I wouldn't have been able to correct the error---fess up---We're only human and always, ALWAYS, learning --and I never did that again--although now I have the reputation of "giving my meds Too slow"
  10. by   hollykate
    OK, ok, now that some others have started to share... I put tube feed into the extra pouch on the kangaroo bag (it's for ice, I find out later... something just didn't seem right)...and the pump just kept alarming empty even though I had just refilled it...
    Give me a few weeks, I am sure I'll come up with some more....
  11. by   nurseone
    I was new to medicine having done 3 years in psych after graduation working on a nite shift of a county hospital. A "new grad" on the evening shift took pity on one of my guys in the DT ward and loosened his restraints.... gee... after report by the time I got there this guy had been up for a while. He disconnected the "fish hook" (IV LINE) in his arm and stood in front of the mirror gesturing to visual hallucinations... Well we caught him and tied him back up but the four bed room was carpeted in blood from the intracath still in his hand... worse yet his toes were clotted together thick with blood... and I decide to spill the bucket and mop all over the floor.. me and the charge nurse were skating in soapy bloody **** till we were laughing so hard we couldn't stand... Those were the days I would wear a tee shirt under my coat with mickey mouse on it and if the detox patients could identify mickey they were oriented X 1. Then I moved to the prison ward at night.... don't ask... Yesterday,,, (really 24 hrs. ago) I was giving tap water enemas to a guy on a vent and talking to a student nurse about the mechanisms of defacation (I'm a clinical nurse specialist in gi and a nurse endoscopist)... and really pleased to have someone interested in the ugly stuff I do??? I love students because they ask questions I have answers for even though I've not spoken those thoughts in decades the stuff is stuck in my brain and I welcome a chance to teach it... MY ADVICE IS FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN TEACH... THEN WHEN YOU LEARN SOMETHING, LEARN IT WITH THE IDEA TO TEACH IT TO SOMEONE ELSE... Then it is yours... check out the editorials, essays at my home page http://www.nurseone.com
  12. by   Claudia B
    I have been a graduate nurse now for 7 months, it's not easy being new. I felt so out off place at the start and I still do the odd stupid thing. I left a child unattended once. he was in a cot with cotsides up and an IV insitu, I had bandaged both hands so he wouldn't take his Iv out and had left him sleeping. I got caught up with a patient and when I returned to him I saw him standing in the hallway out of his room blood all over his hands and he was crying. I couldn't believe it! How did he get out?? After cheking to see whether he was ok I put him back for a second to see if he'd try it again. He did, he had arranged the pillows to stand on, placed his leg over the cot and was about to climb onto the bedside table when I stopped him. I imagined him doing this Indiana Jones trick with his Iv as it had come out and this was where the blood was from. I felt so incompetent and stupid luckly I assured it wasn't my fault. I placed on the floor after the incident.
  13. by   Ann4
    I think one of the most embarrassing things I did as a new grad was to give a fully alert female patient a dulcolax suppository up her vagina. I'm sure that wasn't the worst thing I ever did, but it's one of the only things I can remember. The bad stuff has probably been conveniently erased from my memory! I don't believe I killed anyone that first year, but I sure was stressed out and worried about every single thing I did - right or wrong.

    I'll tell you what I told a new grad the other day: Hang in there. It gets easier - I swear. And don't take the looks, sighs or comments you get from experienced nurses personally. They've just forgotten what it's like to be new.
  14. by   Mijourney
    Hi bbqchick. Yes, I have experienced the trials and tribulations of a nurse from the crawling stage. I have also worked with new grads. The dumbest thing I feel is to not ask that question that may be knawing at you or ask for assistance. I don't care how well one did in nursing school, what nursing program one graduated from or how short, hot, bothered, and hurried the staff is, it's never dumb to ask a question and ask it again even if as a last resort you have to page the supervisor, the house physician, the ER physician, the on call physician, or former nursing instructors. Your license, the welfare of the patient and facility may depend on it.
    I also feel that it is vitally important to keep your knowledge and skills current. Being a new graduate does not mean your education ends. Even now, I always make sure that I have access to the resources I may need to look up something or ask something that would help me better serve my clients and myself. I still look up things familiar to me to make sure that there have not been revisions and updates. The complexity of health and medical care justifies that.
    Through your career, you will do things that you find afterwards you could have used another, maybe better, approach for. This is why continual learning and staying current is so important. And as JillR indicates, you will find that as you progress in your work, your experience will kick in. Best wishes.


    [This message has been edited by Mijourney (edited October 14, 2000).]

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