i often see new nurses who don't know something -- but think they ought to -- asking other new nurses for advice. the second new nurse doesn't know either, but wants to be helpful, so she gives an answer that may or may not be correct. i've seen this happen over and over. once it was with giving 5 mg. (yes, i mean five milligrams) of digoxin -- seems like having to draw up ten vials would have been a clue.
i wasn't a new nurse, but i was on orientation in a new job, and my preceptor was at lunch when another nurse approached me to check blood with him. he had the patient's addressograph plate in his hand, and wanted to check the blood right there, standing in the hallway. i refused. he said, and i quote "we always do it this way. i don't want to bother the anyone in the room." i told him i'd be happy to check blood with him in the patient's room and against her name band. otherwise no, i wouldn't check blood with him. although he was clearly upset with me, we did it my way. the next morning, we heard that the patient we'd transfused had had a transfusion reaction and died. in a panic, i asked if it was the unit of blood i had checked. it seems that it wasn't. when it came time to hang the next unit of blood, the male nurse had gone to another newer nurse who agreed to check blood in the hall against the addressograph plate. they gave mrs. richards blood to mrs. thomas. (or was it green's to browns? or hanson's to handleson?) then they gave mrs. thomas' blood to mrs. richards, who fortunately, survived the experience.
another time, two brand new nurses took a central line out of a patient sitting in a chair. when i found out, i attempted to educated the new nurse who had removed the central line. "abbie said it was ok," she said, referring to a brand new nurse who only barely made it off of orientation and probably should not have. the worst part was, she continued to insist that it was ok because abbie says it was rather than listen to me (30-some years of experience) or read the actual policy. they're both gone now -- got accepted to crna school. i shudder to think . . . .