Worst patient experience - page 4

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

  1. by   MarySunshine
    Thank you for sharing, John. I find that the healthcare workers who have been closely involved in loved one's healthcare are often the most compassionate. It sounds as if your mother died as well as any of us could hope for.
  2. by   MichaelLooney
    This is what actually lead to me being terminated:

    I had a resident who gave everyone a little bit of trouble, but nothing major. She liked to wonder into people's rooms and mess with their things, which usually angered the other residents.
    One day I hear a resident yelling at her, but she's not listening. So I go in and redirect her across the hall to her room, and decided to go ahead and help her to use to toilet. Told her everything I was going to do, and she was compliant...until I close her door. THEN she turned into this raging tiger, grabed both of my wrists and slamed me against the door, growling obsenities and telling me she was going to kill me. This was like a 180 from her normal self, where the most we ever got was some carcatic remark from time to time.
    Scared the heck out of me! Twisted my wrist, giving me stress fractures, and was literally holding me up agianst the door by them. I mean, this "defenseless little old lady" was acting and sounding like she was ready to kill me. I'm yelling for help, no one's coming, and I don't know what I'm going to do.
    She finally releases her grip enough for me to get away from her, thankfully~!
  3. by   hidesert
    hey, your posting brought tears to my eyes. what a great story. i am so glad you are in nursing.
  4. by   UM Review RN
    I was a teenager working in a nursing home as a nurse's aide when my dad had a hip replacement operation at the local VA. The procedure was fairly new. At first Dad seemed to do well, but within a few days, he began c/o serious pain in his left side. He was pale, feverish, couldn't feed himself.

    I'd go over to the hospital after work and feed him because he was too weak. The staff complained that he was "faking." We chased doctors, nurses, anyone who would stand still long enough, to tell them that something was seriously wrong.

    Two weeks went by like this while we frantically tried to get the doctors' attention. One night at work I got a phone call that Dad was going in for emergency surgery. He lost his lung due to the PE that resulted after the operation, and it nearly cost him his life.

    Nothing ever happened to the docs that negligently ignored Dad's increasingly serious symptoms.
  5. by   rn in 3 years
    Quote from MichaelLooney
    This is what actually lead to me being terminated:

    I had a resident who gave everyone a little bit of trouble, but nothing major. She liked to wonder into people's rooms and mess with their things, which usually angered the other residents.
    One day I hear a resident yelling at her, but she's not listening. So I go in and redirect her across the hall to her room, and decided to go ahead and help her to use to toilet. Told her everything I was going to do, and she was compliant...until I close her door. THEN she turned into this raging tiger, grabed both of my wrists and slamed me against the door, growling obsenities and telling me she was going to kill me. This was like a 180 from her normal self, where the most we ever got was some carcatic remark from time to time.
    Scared the heck out of me! Twisted my wrist, giving me stress fractures, and was literally holding me up agianst the door by them. I mean, this "defenseless little old lady" was acting and sounding like she was ready to kill me. I'm yelling for help, no one's coming, and I don't know what I'm going to do.
    She finally releases her grip enough for me to get away from her, thankfully~!
    How did you get terminated for that? Seems like you did nothing wrong.
  6. by   gr8rnpjt
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    He lost his lung due to the PE that resulted after the operation, and it nearly cost him his life.

    Nothing ever happened to the docs that negligently ignored Dad's increasingly serious symptoms.
    Angie, a similar experience happened when I was in nursing school. My stepfather had knee surgery (1970's) and at that time the length of stay was about 7 days. About 4 days in I got a call early in the morning at school that my dad was being rushed to emergency surgery--massive pulmonary embolism. He almost died that day and although he lived many more years, he was never the same. He passed away 2 years ago in hospice for his chronic lung problems that plagued him since this incident.

    My worst patient experience however, would have to be the 30 year old HIV+ mental patient we had come in for treatment. He had been picked up in a playground near the hospital. he had been going around kissing all the kids in the playground. The parents had called the police because, although his HIV status was not apparent, he had open sores all over his mouth and lips, and apparently was trying to spread his "love" around...
  7. by   oneillk1
    I was looking after a man in orthopaedic surgical ward, I was a completely green new RN fresh out of school. He had one of those motorised scooters because he had some kind of walking difficulty (it's been a while can't remember exactly what). I hadn't seen him before as I was coming back after days off.
    Anyway I went to give the patient his meds about an hour into the shift, noticed there was a psych med on the list. Thought it was strange as we had not been given any handover whatsoever about this guy having a psych history. Go into his room and he wasn't there. I figured he's gone outside for a cigarette as he had been doing that. When he was not back up after I finished doing everyone else's meds I got concerned (ad it was raining and getting dark by then). To cut a long story short after involving the hospital security and subsequently the police he was found about 5 km from the hospital on a main highway trying to get himself run over by a truck. It turned out that he was schizophrenic and the orthopaedic surgeon had reduced his meds because the patient told him the dose was written up wrong!!!:uhoh21:
    And of course i got rapped over the knuckles for letting a patient out of my sight (i'm sorry I thought it was a private hospital not a prison) and the surgeon got nothing said to him
  8. by   HappyJaxRN
    Quote from JohnBearPA
    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.
    Wow....what an extrordinary experience. Sorry to read about your mom's passing. It's always hard to loose a parent. I know what you're going through. I lost my mother to complications of a lung transplant and I'm a Transplant Nurse now. Her death somehow made me stronger. I made her promise me something after I dropped out of LPN School. I told her before she passed away if she didn't give up on life, then I wouldn't give up on school. I would go back for my RN degree and not give up. She fought hard for her life. I know she never gave up, her body did. It was that promise that gave me the strength to get through. If I dropped out again, I knew I would have not only failed myself, but failed her and I couldn't do that knowing how hard she fought for her own life. Thank you for sharing. Your story was very touching.
  9. by   nursejohio
    I was still in school and working at the nursing home. I was doing nights on the rehab unid. I'd done all my PM care and had everyone in bed around 10. At 11 or so, I could smell "the smell" so I started walking my hall checking on my incont residents first. After sniffing in every room and peeking in more than a couple diapers, I still hadn't found the source so I started back at the end and checked everyone this round.

    11:30 and I found where it was coming from. A previously A&O, continent, full code, "walks himself to the bathroom" pt s/p CABG ( a while ago, his steri strips were coming off) had made a huge mess in his pants. Very odd, cause he's usually completely independent and needs minimal assist. I asked him if he was feeling ok, and he said he was a little nauseous and cold. I started to clean him up and it was obviously bloody. Not in a black tarry, upper GI kind of way... but in a reddish-brown, fairly new blood way. After I got his dirty clothes off and his bottom clean, I roll him back over and he's absolutely yellow and doing that open mouth guppy breathing. I yell for the nurse, try to get a BP on him (too low to read on the machine) and try to keep him talking to me. The nurse comes in with the AED and hooks him up. He hasn't completely arrested yet, no shock advised. Squad's on their way, and the nurse is trying to find anything to the MDs number. Squad takes him out doing CPR (cause their AED was working)

    Hands down, that was my worst day
  10. by   Diahni
    As a nursing student, I had an elderly doctor whose wife stayed in the room all the time - they were both "from hell" - every time I did any procedure, there would be an insulting remark from either of them: while I'm taking his BP, he says, "You're just practicing on me, aren't you?" As I approached him to check his heart monitor, she snaps, "Will you please put on some gloves?," meanwhile, I hadn't even started to deal with him. While I'm taking off the heart leads, he looks at me and says, "You really don't know what's going on, do you?" I just didn't get why they were so abusive. Finally, as he was being discharged, the wife had a s**t fit because he didn't get his bath, although he had told me a half hour before that he was leaving, so don't bother. After they left, they complained about me, saying things like I was talking about my personal life, and so on. It was horrible. It shook me up terribly, because I questioned wheter or not I wanted to have a job where people were so nasty to me. Once in a while a nurse or a doctor is less than pleasant, but not as demeaning as these two were to me. It was a constant barrage of attacks.
  11. by   Harleygirl
    Narrow it down to one?
    Okay, I think the worst one was when I was an EMT and had a call for an elderly lady, first we couldn't find her house,(rural area, before E911) when we did find her house, she barely had a rythm, and then she started throwing up, FECES. She did expire, and our backboard was sitting in one of the hallways of the ED, someone makes the comment "Smells like **** in here." No kidding.
    Then there was the code of a distinguished man of the community who had yelled at his wife for calling the ambulance a few months back when he was sick, so when he coded for real, she didn't call. So we are coding this stiff, bloated guy (I was on the respiratory "team") and he starts throwing up. Broccoli cheese rice. I have never been able to eat that yet (and this happened 10 years ago).
    I took care of a mother and her boyfriend whos 2 little boys lit fire to their mattress and died in the fire. I rode up with her in the ambulance and due to privacy issues couldn't tell her her kids were dead. Then we had to package the bodies of the two little boys and bring them in. CISD came in but I don't think we will ever forget that night.
    Oh, then there was the time in the ED my father came in because he took his catheter out after surgery (he snipped the port to the balloon, per doctors orders), and couldn't stop bleeding. Not a good experience.
    Harleygirl
  12. by   BJONEAL
    I don't really know what is the worst experience I ever had in the past year,it seems to me like every week I had one.My most memorable was one patient who was admited for CHF and had condition stable till the day I found her.Dr made round about 1530, I found her distress at 1545.I got reported from one of my RN friend and she said my pt had a good day and her LCTA.it wasn't the same lung sound I assessed at all.Both of her lung sound were crackle ,especially in her left side .I asked RT to helped me to set up O2 and page doctor immediately.I knew then she wouldn't make it because her breathing more labored and she was hard to rouse,her eyes were rolled back,she was african american so hard to determined her cyanosis ,but she was so diaphoretic.we end up with sent her to ICU .One of my co-worker came to pat my back and said :she will be alright" I told her she isn't.Later that night she died cause she had aspirated Gastric content .I cried because I took care of her for a past week and I never heard her lung sound never been cleared, I alway kkep her HOB up right 30 minutes after her meal ,I was so disappointed ,so I cried.I still remember her till now

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