Tell on yourself, if you dare... - page 16

What's the goofiest mistake you've made on the job? No, I don't mean the med errors or the medical mistakes you learned from. Those are important and often terrible experiences, of course, but this... Read More

  1. by   blondy2061h
    Quote from VegGal
    When I was a CNA years and years ago, I worked night shift at a local hospital and one of my responsibilities was filling water pitchers and taking vitals around 2AM or 3AM. I was assigned to a different unit one night and the nurse gave me a list of rooms and bed numbers for vitals. As I filled the water pitchers, I also took vitals if required.

    One room was really messy with clothes all over the floor and one of the 2 patients in that room needed a temp based on the list I had. I proceeded to take their axilla temp because the patient was facing away from me and I didn't want to wake him up. Then I picked up all the clothes off the floor, filled up the water pitchers and left the room.

    The next morning I was so embarrassed when one of the two "patients" i.e. a young intern came up to me and asked if I was the one who gently took his temp under his axilla the night before and tried hard not to wake him up!! The other intern later thanked me for folding all their clothes. They obviously were teasing me. Turns out the nurse had forgotten to update the info before she gave me the list for vitals, and that was an empty room that the interns had decided to sleep in while on call!
    Hahaha. This is a good story to use as a teaching point on why room number isn't an identifier.
  2. by   Dperez0113
    I have no idea what I would have done!! what did the instructor say??
    Quote from NotYourMamasRN
    My first day of clinicals in nursing school I went to take vitals on a dead person. Seriously, this happened. There was no butterfly sign on the door and we (Me and 3 other students) walked in to do vitals. There was a ton of family there and everyone was quiet. I looked over briefly and I guess we all thought the patient was asleep. Walked closer and didn't look at the patient, just went to get my bp cuff out and tell the family we were going to take vitals. The
    daughter looked at me and said "But she's dead". Yup, never managed to live that one down.
  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I have made many goofy mistakes in my career. One I remember, involved a labor patient. The doctor told me she needed "Vitamin P" (meaning pitocin) but I missed his meaning. Several hours later, he came to the unit to check her progress, only to find she had not had any pitocin at all and her labor was essentially unchanged, progress-wise. He was quite a bit annoyed with me and spelled out what he meant. I felt like such a fool. It was early on in my career, like my first month. I totally missed his meaning.
    I once asked for an order for "Vitamin V" (Valium -- this was a long time ago!) and the intern wrote an order for "Vitamin V 10 mg. PO Q 4 hours prn." At least he got the dose right. (And yes, that was the dose in those days.)
  4. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from VegGal
    When I was a CNA years and years ago, I worked night shift at a local hospital and one of my responsibilities was filling water pitchers and taking vitals around 2AM or 3AM. I was assigned to a different unit one night and the nurse gave me a list of rooms and bed numbers for vitals. As I filled the water pitchers, I also took vitals if required.

    One room was really messy with clothes all over the floor and one of the 2 patients in that room needed a temp based on the list I had. I proceeded to take their axilla temp because the patient was facing away from me and I didn't want to wake him up. Then I picked up all the clothes off the floor, filled up the water pitchers and left the room.

    The next morning I was so embarrassed when one of the two "patients" i.e. a young intern came up to me and asked if I was the one who gently took his temp under his axilla the night before and tried hard not to wake him up!! The other intern later thanked me for folding all their clothes. They obviously were teasing me. Turns out the nurse had forgotten to update the info before she gave me the list for vitals, and that was an empty room that the interns had decided to sleep in while on call!
    At least it was axillary. I once took a rectal temp on a sleeping intern. Because the room number was on my vitals signs list with a little "R" next to it. I think the Fellow nearly gave himself a hernia laughing, but never admitted to altering the vital signs list.
  5. by   Rose_Queen
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    I once asked for an order for "Vitamin V" (Valium -- this was a long time ago!) and the intern wrote an order for "Vitamin V 10 mg. PO Q 4 hours prn." At least he got the dose right. (And yes, that was the dose in those days.)
    I like my orders for Vitamin V(ersed)!
  6. by   livelovelaugh22
    I am not a nurse yet, but a few months back I was doing a PVR on an adult male patient and I didn't know why I kept on seeing >200 mL. Lo and behold, I had the bladder scanner on the child setting (in my defense, it looks like a little guy who is jumping). It was my fault for being a noob and asking a nurse who was unfamiliar with the device for directions. I had lots of laughs over that meaningful mistake of mine! Luckily the patient didn't mind having a PVR done twice within a 15-minute period!

    Another embarrassing story:

    1. When I was on orientation, I removed the clip from the rubber tube that comes from a foley drainage bag because I was flustered and somewhat clueless. When I realized what I had done incorrectly, I placed the clip back onto the tubing, but not before spraying myself and my preceptor with urine... in the face. Oh, and this was a contact precautions patient . Needless to say, we both scrubbed our faces with the Steris alcohol foam and laughed our butts off! I was grateful to not have been made to feel like an idiot.
    Last edit by livelovelaugh22 on Apr 20 : Reason: I add pertinent information as I go along.
  7. by   nursing4321
    My patient had O2 per NC on with extension tubing so it would reach to the bathroom. Somehow my foot got tangled in it and I darn near ripped the poor ears off that fella. I felt absolutely terrible. He was okay. Now I laugh about it and always watch for that tubing! #embarrassing
  8. by   nurseletDZ
    Not quite as bad as exploding and wasting a perfectly good bag of blood as others have done, but I disconnected a pt from the blood tubing and forgot to clamp it and poured about 30 cc of bright red saline/blood punch all over his freshly remade bed right at change of shift. Charge RN walked in at this inopportune moment and gave me the most pitying, disapproving look. And then promptly got me clean linens.
  9. by   nurseletDZ
    Quote from NotAllWhoWandeRN
    I once had a confused patient pee in his drinking cup.
    I recently had a confused patient who insisted that the urinal was his wife's water bottle.
  10. by   audreysmagic
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    I have made many goofy mistakes in my career. One I remember, involved a labor patient. The doctor told me she needed "Vitamin P" (meaning pitocin) but I missed his meaning. Several hours later, he came to the unit to check her progress, only to find she had not had any pitocin at all and her labor was essentially unchanged, progress-wise. He was quite a bit annoyed with me and spelled out what he meant. I felt like such a fool. It was early on in my career, like my first month. I totally missed his meaning.
    To be fair, this is why I always recommend NOT using jargon with newbies...
  11. by   audreysmagic
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    I like my orders for Vitamin V(ersed)!
    I find a healthy dose of Vitamin T(horazine) goes a long way, too...
  12. by   audreysmagic
    Quote from VegGal

    The next morning I was so embarrassed when one of the two "patients" i.e. a young intern came up to me and asked if I was the one who gently took his temp under his axilla the night before and tried hard not to wake him up!! The other intern later thanked me for folding all their clothes. They obviously were teasing me. Turns out the nurse had forgotten to update the info before she gave me the list for vitals, and that was an empty room that the interns had decided to sleep in while on call!
    OMG, that's so funny. :-D I love it...

    I guess I got lucky the one time I crashed out in an empty room...I'd been held over from evening into nights, and then in the morning, things were still hectic... I had to be back and in that city, public transit would have taken me two hours to get home. I was getting to the near-manic phase of sleep deprivation, and our hospital had a gero unit that hadn't opened yet so was all set up but no staff or patients. I got permission from my manager to go sleep in a room on that unit since I had to be back for my evening shift. I slept without incident...or so I thought. Later, as charge, I had to call the administrator on call about something and he had a good laugh and asked how I slept. I found out that some poor housekeeper had seen me sleeping in that bed and, finding a person in a bed that shouldn't have had one, thought one of the patients got loose and was chilling in the empty unit...they did a patient headcount and found no one missing, and it was a small hospital so administration ended up getting involved before anyone could ask the manager who'd given me permission to sleep there what was going on!
  13. by   Nurse Beth
    I was a young nurse on MedSurg and at that time we prepped (shaved) our patients before surgery.

    My patient was a cowboy type, 30ish male going for a hernia repair. I opened the prep kit and discretely placed the blue sterile drape on his pubic area, exposing only his right groin. I put the bed in high position to save my back and had the patient scoot to the side of the bed near me. Started shaving while making small talk.

    He told me he was a pastor and wrote worship songs, would I like to hear one? I said "Sure" and he leaned across the bed, pulled up his guitar and started strumming and singing. I kept shaving. All of a sudden I noticed the blue drape "tenting" upwards.

    He kept singing hymns and I kept shaving, nodding and smiling to show him I liked his praise song and pretending I really didn't notice the steadily rising blue drape. It was the longest prep ever.

    ......and went down as one of my most awkward moments

close