Worst nursing experience - page 2

Hope you guys don't mind sharing this. What was your worst nursing related experience? Could be dealing with a patient and something disgusting happening, or a fight with a coworker or something... Read More

  1. by   mattsmom81
    Quote from canoehead
    The absolute worst situations come when I have issues with my coworkers. If you have coworkers that are supportive and you can count on them the rest is all manageable.
    So very true. Nursing has become so difficult this alone can ruin the job satisfaction completely can't it? Recognizing I could no longer trust my ICU coworkers (I had been with them 5 years but the working relationship changed with new staff and leadership) was the hardest thing of all for me to bear and led to my burnout.

    The inevitable sad patient situations are indeed manageable with adequate support of coworkers.
  2. by   Cute_CNA
    Quote from canoehead
    The absolute worst situations come when I have issues with my coworkers. If you have coworkers that are supportive and you can count on them the rest is all manageable.
    Amen, brother, amen.
  3. by   elthia
    Quote from canoehead
    The absolute worst situations come when I have issues with my coworkers. If you have coworkers that are supportive and you can count on them the rest is all manageable.
    Infighting was so bad on my floor at one time that supposedly someone came running down the hall yelling call a code. The unit clerk replied "I'm not your n****r call it yourself". I wasn't there, but heard the stories when I came inthat evening. The nurse who found the code was in orientation, quit the next day. Since then we've had massive staff turnover and some have been given the option to quit or be sued/reported to BON, to the point where we are almost dangerously understaffed, but actually things are running smoother and there is more teamwork than when we were fully staffed but had a lot of "bad apples". I've realized I'd rather be understaffed and have coworkers I trust and can count on, than be fully staffed and it's every nurse for theirself.

    My worst situation as a nurse was when we had a paranoid delusional schizophrenic who was brought in on EOD, no beds in psych available, had him on 1:1 nursing on an acute medical floor. Due to poor preparedness, the key to the leatherlock restraints disappeared, so we couldn't put him in leathers. He physically assaulted me after I gave him ativan IM because the staff holding his arms down let go of him right after I gave the shot. Luckily, I survived the incident with a bruise.
  4. by   Mulan
    Quote from Alpha13
    Hope you guys don't mind sharing this. What was your worst nursing related experience? Could be dealing with a patient and something disgusting happening, or a fight with a coworker or something else. Looking forward to your replies
    What was yours?
  5. by   BlueYYsRN
    Several years ago I worked newborn nursery and we would have to ship out any very sick babies. No in house docs at night and one RN in nursery usually. One night was kind of slow and I got a call from ER saying to come get a baby that delivered there. Didnt sound urgent. I got the transport isolette and gear and made my way to the ER. When I got there they said they didnt need me cause the baby had died. I was stumped at how casually I was told this and asked where the baby was. They directed me to a room that looked to be a supply closet that had a small table. The ER doc and a nurse were standing beside the table staring at a metal bowel. In the metel bowel was a baby still in the sack and it was moving!!! The doc looked at me and said I wasnt needed because the baby wasnt viable. I told him he wouldnt know if it was viable unless he took it out of the sack and if he didnt remove the baby then I would. The ER nurse then reached in and got the baby from the sack and it was very much alive though very premature. Over the next few hours that doc and I were in each others faces and that is sooo not my nature. My assertiveness was tested on every level that night. We got the on call ped on his way as well as the transport team. The ER doc heard the supervisor and I talking about how we needed to get the baby up to the nursery and ready for transport. He waited until she left then told me I wasnt taking the baby anywhere because he had "initiated the resusitaion" and he was responsible for it and he couldnt leave the ER. At one point he got directly in my face and asked me "What the f*$% is your problem". The nursing supervisor came back and told me to go back to the nursery. I had to leave the baby down there with personel who had little clue how to care for it although at that time I wouldnt have been too much better but at least I had the equipment. The baby was transported out but died a few days later. This was about 13 years ago. Today its not uncommon to get babies smaller than that one in the NICU where I work. I had nightmares for years.
  6. by   MissPiggy
    Quote from Cute_CNA
    No, not now.

    I work at a psychiatric facility, so any stories I might have are a bit different from the other stories thus far.
    Here's some advice from an RN who has worked psych for the last 7 years... if it is something traumatic, e.g. finding a suicide, PLEASE go get some help - holding it in just makes it worse and could even lead to PTSD.
    Take care of yourself,
    Miss Piggy
  7. by   SheriLynnRN
    My story isn't as emotionally heart wrenching as some of these others, it's was just gross. I was on my first day of orientation to ICU (I had one year of med/surg). My pt was s/p femoral artery graft surgery on her right side. The right foot was completly gangrenous and the surgery site near her groin was necrotic and draining copiously. You could actually see the vessel pulsating in the bottom of the wound. She was vented, but wasn't requiring sedation, she was nonresponsive. We had been told in report that when the pt was turned to her right side, that her vent would alarm, at that she generally didn't tolerate that side well. We decided that she needed to be turned that way, at least slightly, for the sake of her skin. My preceptor and I turned her toward the right, and then the preceptor left the room. I was standing at the right side of the bed, watching the vent and the monitor for changes. The vent kept alarming, (I was too new to figure out exactly why) and her heart rate dropped from 110's to 60's. I was stepping out of the room to get help when my preceptor walked in. She said "Where did that blood on your shoe come from?" I looked down and saw that my entire foot was covered in bright red blood. We pulled the sheet back and saw immediately that the pt was bleeding out from her groin. The femoral artery had popped. There was more blood pooling in the bed then I ever could have imagined. The pt was in PEA, and we pushed the Code button. I was the lucky one who got to hold pressure in the groin area when we coded her for almost an hour. I was wearing gloves and a gown, goggles, etc, but when I took the gloves and gown off afterward, I was covered in blood half way to my elbows. Needless to say I took a very hot shower and changed into surgical scrubs immediately. I do have to place some of the blame on myself for this one though. The day before i had told my husband, "Well hon, I made it through an entire year as a nurse without a single one of my pts coding." Nurses are superstious for good reason.
  8. by   gypsyatheart
    Quote from canoehead
    The absolute worst situations come when I have issues with my coworkers. If you have coworkers that are supportive and you can count on them the rest is all manageable.
    Absolutely! In any event, if you don't have co-workers that are "there" for you, forget it...it's what leads to most nurses leaving the situation altogether.
  9. by   Mommy2Katiebaby
    Quote from Alpha13
    Hope you guys don't mind sharing this. What was your worst nursing related experience? Could be dealing with a patient and something disgusting happening, or a fight with a coworker or something else. Looking forward to your replies
    Look out, you get the worst of the worst in this thread.

    Delivering a baby with osteogenesis imperfecta who died from it an hour later - and putting my thumb through her skull when I was trying to clean her up to give her to her parents. Or ANY breech delivery of a fetus at 19 or 20 weeks - it's very, very easy to pop the baby's head right off.
  10. by   BigBirdExplorer
    Quote from Alpha13
    Hope you guys don't mind sharing this. What was your worst nursing related experience? Could be dealing with a patient and something disgusting happening, or a fight with a coworker or something else. Looking forward to your replies
    The day the disgruntled family member came into the ED and shot and killed the nurse and the a student and wounded the doctor and a patient's father.

    Changed the lives of all of us forever.
  11. by   2spr0ut02
    :uhoh21: oh my gosh mommy2katiebaby what did you do in those situations? that is so sad. i'm a future nicu nurse still working on pre-reqs. i would be beside myself.

    Quote from Mommy2Katiebaby
    Look out, you get the worst of the worst in this thread.

    Delivering a baby with osteogenesis imperfecta who died from it an hour later - and putting my thumb through her skull when I was trying to clean her up to give her to her parents. Or ANY breech delivery of a fetus at 19 or 20 weeks - it's very, very easy to pop the baby's head right off.
  12. by   chadash
    I am amazed. My experiences are limited to seeing some neglect (ugh!) but these are horrific in the impact they must have on everyone involved. I so admire you all.
  13. by   PreemieNurse
    When I was an LPN back in the late 70's, I was finishing up my shift on the very LAST night I worked on a med-surg floor... (after that, I was headed back to the Premature Nursery to work.) We had a 400 lb female patient who decided that the last thing she wanted to do before she died was lean over the bedrail and fall out of bed. Thump! The RN and I ran into her room to find her on her back on the floor, dying.... "Hang in there", I told her... "we'll get you right back to your bed!" I could see her eyes rolling in the back of her head... CRAP! and a few other expletives!! She died right there on the floor.... The RN said, we have to call the attending.... so he came up, put a stethoscope to her chest, and said "Yep, she's dead" and proceeded to walk away... leaving the RN and me to try and figure out how to get her (remember, she was 400 lbs) up off the floor! What a pig (the attending) who didn't even offer to help us. We called some orderlies and it took about 5 of us to get her back into bed...

    And THAT was the very last night I EVER worked Med-Surg!!!

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