Tell on yourself, if you dare...

  1. 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 isn't about danger to patients or trauma.

    I just really want to talk about the silly things we ALL do and can have the good grace to laugh about. It seems I find so many great stories in the nursing community because we often are under such stress, that we're so focused on those important details and avoiding the critical mistakes...so our brain tends to reserve less power on the things that don't matter as much.

    Here's my confession. (And if any of my coworkers are on this forum, I'm outing myself gloriously, because we ALL had a good laugh over it...) My adolescent psych unit is in a small, private hospital, so though EMR has been promised to us, it's not quite here yet. A frustration of mine, to be sure...but that's another story. The kiddos were being super impulsive and just SO MUCH limit-testing going on, and I'm trying to get meds passed and RN assessments done and also manage patients and such. My awesome techs are working their butts off. The usual. One of my team asks if I can bring him "four soaps." That's a bit excessive, I think, but I also know, hey, sometimes teenagers want A LOT of body wash and our trial size containers aren't that big. Or maybe he's distributing them for hygiene time or something.

    THIS IS WHERE I PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE QUESTIONED SOMETHING.

    Cheerfully, I grab four of the small body wash vials, and bring them to him, and he's like..."what?" Because he meant four SOAPs, as in SOAP notes, which we do on each patient q shift...and he was asking me to bring him the charts...
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  2. 216 Comments

  3. by   TraviesaRN
    I will have to think of one for myself, I have no doubt I have had many over the years. But while in Nursing school one of my fellow students and I had clinicals together and on this night we teamed up because a patient was getting blood and it was our first transfusion to get to be a part of. The student got to spike and prime the bag and I was getting another set of vitals. I hear "Oh ****" and I turn around and it looked like a crime scene. When she spiked the bag it went out the side and blood got everywhere.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Apr 7 : Reason: changed to all **
  4. by   MilliePieRN
    I accidentally used a pt's chap stick... not a sweet clean patient, either...

    I can just now talk about it. Waited to see if any sores or sickness would visit. Definitely keep mine marked from now on.
  5. by   audreysmagic
    Quote from MilliePieRN
    I accidentally used a pt's chap stick... not a sweet clean patient, either...

    I can just now talk about it. Waited to see if any sores or sickness would visit. Definitely keep mine marked from now on.
    Oh, man, I'm shuddering on your behalf...glad that turned out better than expected. I definitely keep all of my personal stuff out of the patient areas if possible after the one time I left my cardigan on a chair in the dayroom when it got warm and forgot about it...only to come back next shift to find a patient had claimed it as her own.
    Last edit by audreysmagic on Apr 6
  6. by   cocoa_puff
    Quote from MilliePieRN
    I accidentally used a pt's chap stick... not a sweet clean patient, either...

    I can just now talk about it. Waited to see if any sores or sickness would visit. Definitely keep mine marked from now on.
    Ugh, cringe.
  7. by   sevensonnets
    This was a long time ago and nursing was much different back then. I was asked to come in on my off day and work orthopedics, although I'm a CVI nurse. Got there after breakfast and had to run to catch up AM care and get meds done for 8 patients before PT came to get them. I decided to enlist the aid of one patient's 'wife,' who was just sitting there at the bedside. Just set up the bath pan, towels and clean gown, and asked her to help him with it. I scurried on to the next patient. When I came back a long while later 'wife' had left and the patient was sitting there all cleaned up. He sheepishly said, "I never had my sister give me a bath before." I think I was more embarrassed than he was!
    Last edit by sevensonnets on Apr 6 : Reason: entered without finishing post
  8. by   blondy2061h
    I started a blood transfusion without actually connecting the tubing to the patient. When I went back in and saw blood everywhere I thought the patient's CVL had fallen out. I then went to the blood bank to try and donate blood to make up for what I had wasted. I got turned away for having gone to Mexico.
  9. by   Lauraingalls
    I massaged a patient's fundus so hard that I made her poop!
  10. by   iluvivt
    I did not know the older man at the bedside was the lover and partner of the young stud in the bed.I asked the older man if he was the father.Ok,not too bad if it happens once and I learn my lesson but it happened again several months later and it turned out it was the same couple!
  11. by   prnqday
    Unspike an pressured bag of heparin, all over my preceptor !
  12. by   Rocknurse
    Well thankfully, it wasn't me doing this, but I was there and lived to tell the tale so....


    In the cardiac open heart ICU. Patient is tamponading and bleeding post op. Have to rush him emergently to the OR. We start several units of blood via rapid infusers and we rush down the hall with the bed in tow. All of us cram into the elevator to go down to the operating suite. There's me, two PAs, an RT, an anesthesiologist and the cardiac surgeon all squeezed into this tiny elevator. Must have looked like a clown car. I'm squeezed into the corner where I can hardly breathe, worriedly watching the portable monitor to make sure the patient will make it to the OR. I'm squidged behind the very large PA and the small, spindly surgeon and suddently there's a bang and one of the rapid infuser bags popped its cork and suddenly we were plunged into a cheap horror movie. There's blood on the ceiling, the walls, the bed, the surgeon, the PA, the door....everywhere...red peppledash. And then there's me. Stuck behind the PA and squidged into the corner, I somehow managed to emerge unscathed. I was literally the only one with not one speck of blood on me. Everyone else looked like they'd been attacked with a meat cleaver. Luckily, the patient made it to the OR but you should have seen the OR staff when we rolled in. Much hilarity ensued and we made sure to take the stairs on the way up. The elevator didn't fare so well and had to be shut down for a terminal clean. Oh how we laughed.
  13. by   Hygiene Queen
    I accidentally sent a sample of saline to the lab for a drug screen

    I had pulled the sample from the wrong port of a foley, placed in a very active and combative old lady... gaaaaah!

    Later, when I found my glorious old gal waving her deflated tubing around like a flag of mockery, I doubled over laughing at my stupidity... because I really wanted to cry.

    No wonder I only got a perfect 10cc's...

    I called the lab to tell them to not bother, but before I could tell them it was a bad sample, they happily declared it negative
  14. by   That Guy
    Popped a bag of blood with a level 1 infuser. It was a scene straight out of Carrie

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