Worst patient experience - page 3

What was the worst patient experience that you've ever had? What happened and how did you handle it? :rolleyes:... Read More

  1. by   grandee3
    Bipley you really touched me with that story about G. Your heart is in the right place. Tears down my cheeks. Thanks.
    Quailfeather, sooo sorry for your loss.
    Last edit by grandee3 on Nov 13, '05
  2. by   Quailfeather
    Thank you, everyone, for your kind words. Yes, it is every nurse's worst nightmare to have someone they love come in under tragic circumstances while they are at work. In retrospect, though, I have to say that I was fortunate that I was on duty that day. I was surrounded by people who love me and their support made it so much easier for me to get through the whole ordeal. We have all heard sayings like, "nurses shoot their wounded", or "nurses circle the wagons and shoot inward", but on that day, my coworkers formed an incredible safety net of love and compassion.

    On a lighter note, my daughter-in-law was 5 months pregnant on that day. We were so worried that the shock and grief would cause her to lose the baby. Well, 2 weeks ago, we celebrated the arrival of little Christopher Stephen. He is so sweet and has the large, wide-set eyes that Cheyenne had. Although he will never meet his big sister, he will know her, for she lives on in the hearts of those who loved her.
  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Horribly sorry for your loss Quailfeather.
  4. by   HappyJaxRN
    Quote from Bipley
    Pretty soon G walked out dressed as a fireman. He had the whole outfit on over his clothes. The boots, the gloves, the hat, the works. He looked at me and grinning ear to ear he said, "Look Miss, look at me!" I wanted to cry. I suppose it was one of those things where you had to be there.

    Best part was when we got back he ran to his room and wrote his father a letter. He told me about it later. He explained to his father that Mr. Capt. said they were his friends and they would never let anything bad happen to him again and Mr. Capt. wouldn't let him be arrested for holding a cross.

    Swear, true story.

    He's living in a supervised apt setting now. That was 15 years ago however I ran into him at the grocery store about 2 years ago. He's doing GREAT.
    Wow....touching story. You have seen a lot of interesting things!
  5. by   HappyJaxRN
    Quote from Quailfeather
    I work at a small ER in a rural community. One Saturday afternoon, last June, we heard the medics get toned out to a possible child drowning in a local lake. A Life Flight helicopter was also summoned from a metropolitan area since we don't have a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. We all listened to the radio chatter as the ground medics communicated with the Life Flight crew.....8-yr-old female...CPR in progress....asystole. Then the ground crew called us on the radio and said that they were transporting the patient to us. In the middle of all that, the unit secretary came up to me and told me that I had an urgent phone call. It was my daughter-in-law and she was hysterical. The child that they were bringing in was my granddaughter, Cheyenne.

    I wish that I could say everything turned out OK, but it didn't. We lost someone very precious to us that day.
    OMgosh. I'm so sorry. My heart is with you.
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Quailfeather
    I work at a small ER in a rural community. One Saturday afternoon, last June, we heard the medics get toned out to a possible child drowning in a local lake. A Life Flight helicopter was also summoned from a metropolitan area since we don't have a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. We all listened to the radio chatter as the ground medics communicated with the Life Flight crew.....8-yr-old female...CPR in progress....asystole. Then the ground crew called us on the radio and said that they were transporting the patient to us. In the middle of all that, the unit secretary came up to me and told me that I had an urgent phone call. It was my daughter-in-law and she was hysterical. The child that they were bringing in was my granddaughter, Cheyenne.

    I wish that I could say everything turned out OK, but it didn't. We lost someone very precious to us that day.

    I'm so sorry.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from amyb
    these are more of a familial experience. we were evacuating our residents (ltc) for a hurricane. the admins had contacted as many families as possible to see if they would take their relatives.

    one of our residents is a cranky old lady who rarely showers and is, at times, difficult to be around. when called by our facility, her family stated, "no, you keep her. we don't want her with us."

    when new oleans started evacuating for katrina and the subsequent levee breaks, my mother-in-law (who has some sort of senile dementia that may or may not be alzheimer's, depending upon which doctor you believe) went with my sister-in-law to an evacuation center. the noise, lack of privacy and lack of control were more than mamita could take. never one to put up with anything she didn't want to put up with, she left. she was missing for five days in a disaster area.

    mamita never should have been with someone who didn't have the capacity (or the understanding that she needed to) to watch her constantly. your patient may well have been safer with you than with her own family.
  8. by   rn in 3 years
    Quote from ClaireMacl
    My worst as a patient was post op for an open reduction, internal fixation on my leg after a baaad break, I was still doped up on Morphine and seen a nurse opposite me caring for a patient with the same, looking at the wound and then coming straight to me and my wound without changing her gloves I knew I should have said something but was so doped up I couldn't. Three weeks later I found out I had MRSA in the wound and spent 6 months bathing the wound in betadine and praying for it to heal and being left with an ugly scar as a result :angryfire
    How awful that you had to go thru all that just because some nurse was too lazy to change gloves! It's not like she has to pay for her own supply of gloves. I hope you made a formal complaint.
  9. by   jen42
    In bone marrow transplant, we had a guy who had steroid psychosis. I wasn't there that night, but apparently he somehow managed to barricade his nurse in his room, and went rampaging up and down the halls knocking over carts and equipment and yelling (this was at 2 am.) Eventually someone managed to get it out of him that he wanted a milkshake. We got him a milkshake and he sat down, drank it, and went back to sleep.

    Not the worst patient... but the funniest ending.
  10. by   bethin
    Had a 5 year old die of meningitis. What's sad is that her parents stated she had been running high temp, horrible, horrible headaches, etc. for a week. I don't know what the parents were thinking. They had just brought home their son from the hospital. Dx--meningitis. But, they continued to send their daughter to school so she could infect everyone else. Who would send their child to school with a high temp? Wouldn't you go to the dr? She was DOA. I just think, 5 years old. That's as old as she'll ever be. No prom, dating, college, driving, marriage, growing old with someone. Just nothing. I remember being so mad about this.:angryfire Still gets to me two years later. She'd be seven now. Some things you never forget.
  11. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Quailfeather... I am so, so sorry. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain. I am so thankful that God blessed you with another grandchild, and his sister will watch over him, I'm sure.

    Lori
  12. by   Jessy_RN
    wow, these are some experiences. Thanks for sharing.
  13. by   JohnBearPA
    Had to share on this one.

    My worst experience was a little over a month ago. My Mom, at age 56, was dx'd with Vulvar ca. I was still in nursing school at this point. After being admitted to her local hospital for pain management, and driving over an hour each way to spend time with her almost daily, I got her transferred to a SNF near my home. The day I graduated, I got a call at two AM to get to the hospital ER stat. Mom had a bleed, and needed emergency surgery to stop it. I of course stayed in ICU all day with her, and even had my school program director give me my school pin early to have mom, who was also an LPN, pin me in the ICU before my graduation ceremony. I did make it to graduation, and went back to the hospital immediately after and showed Mom the videotape to make her feel a part of it, which she was, having made me realize how much I really wanted to be a nurse.

    Time went on, and I took a job at the facility Mom was a pt at. I didn't do direct care, but she was in my hall. I watched her steady decline, taking my lunch breaks to feed her and talk with her when she was lucid. I even did charting and any other paperwork I could in her room, just to be there. Days off were non-existant, because I was always there whether on-the-clock or not.

    Well, the end was finally imminent. I was on the 3-11 shift, and watched Mom spiral down to the point I knew I'd lose her that night. At the end of my shift, I called my significant other, and suggested he get there stat, because Mom was going. At two in the morning, Mom expired with my s/o and I holding her hands. I still don't know how I walked out of the facility that night under my own power and drove myself home.

    Now my nursing career is just beginning, at another LTC facility. I just couldn't bear to walk down the hall where Mom expired and give care to the pt that was assigned her bed.

    Would I have done it any differently? NO! I did what I needed to do, and can hold my head high and realize I gave Mom all the dignity I could and was there as often as possible. Did I learn anything from the experience? YES! Life is short, and very fragile. I think I take that lesson to work every day, and have learned to live every moment to the fullest, because you never know when it'll be your last.

    Thank you for letting me get all this out. It's the first time I've written or spoken about it since Mom passed. I think the bad experiences make you stronger, and no matter how painful, can serve to make you a better person. God never gives you more than you can handle, and you can always grow as a person, no matter how horrible the experience.

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