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Joined Aug 17, '00. Posts: 4,691 (32% Liked) Likes: 4,791

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  • Sep 24

    Quote from TechieNurse
    This happened 15 years ago and it has haunted me so much, I left bedside nursing and went into other areas (utilization review, case mgmnt. etc)

    I had been a nurse only 2 years and had been working in med-surg/stroke unit. I was off duty, at a birthday party. Most of the guests were in their early twenties and there was drinking going on. The host (the brother of my fiance) had an unwitnessed fall down a flight of stairs. My fiance found him and called for me. I took charge of the situation, instructing others to call 911, checking airway/breathing/circulation etc. I suspected he had a broken neck, but he had a faint pulse and was breathing. So, kneeling at his head, I stabilized his head/neck between my knees and lifted his jaw with my fingers to keep his airway open (jaw thrust maneuver) and kept re-assessing him, waiting for the EMTs to arrive. Well, to his family, it didn't look like I was "helping" him enough. I had hysterical family and friends in various stages of drunkeness (I had had less than one drink) and then, the worst happened....one of his brothers, crying that I wasn't doing anything (with others agreeing), pushed me out of the way and tilted the victim's head back (hand on victim's forehead, other hand on victims jaw) to listen for breath sounds/initiate CPR. I can still hear the bones in his neck crack when I remember that.
    Of course, then he became pulseless and breathless and needed CPR. So, to the family, I wasn't doing anything. Luckily, the EMTs arrived right after that but he was DOA when he arrived at the hospital.

    I still carry a lot of guilt about that situation; the "if only" syndrome....
    It crushed my self confidence and my belief in my skills.
    Someone died and I could've/should've prevented it.
    Unfortunately, there's no rectifying this situation. There's no remedy, no counter-action to take. A young man is dead and only I know all the details of what happened. I pray for forgiveness daily.

    I hope that by sharing this, others will
    1) be cautious at all times, both on and off duty. You may be called upon to help in emergency situations
    and
    2) if you decide to take charge of a situation, be assertive/aggressive and don't let non-medical bystanders interfere (by imitating what they've seen on TV)
    The first rule of emergency medical services is to secure the scene-their safety is paramount.You could have gotten hurt yourself had you tried to be more assertive
    .You have NOTHING to be forgiven for-you were surrounded by drunks and you did all you could have done.Had you resisted the brother's attempt to help he would have smacked you flat.ETOH and the brother killed the victim-not you...As for the rest of the family do they blame you? Has it affected your marriage? You can go back and get the proof you need to clear yourself of blame but is it worth it?Will it cause more harm to all involved? I am betting the brother does know what he did-why not talk to him with your husbands help? Have you ever gotten counseling ? I think you should...You did all that you could and you have to believe that before you can heal yourself......

  • Sep 23

    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    Excellent advice. I've never been afraid to say "I don't know", "I'm wrong" or "I made a mistake". I worked with a nurse whom we suspected gave some BP meds to the wrong patient, and the patient wasn't hers. The patients BP bottomed out and had to be given fluids rapidly and was fine. The patient even described the nurse who gave the meds, giving an adequate description. She even went into the room with me and looked the patient in the eye and said "I've never seen you or been in here, you're confused."
    Scares me that there are people out there like that taking care of patients. :angryfire
    eww.I have been there,too...Luckily for our pt my co-worker realized right away that she had given the wrong meds and came to me at the desk..We called the doc-he blew us off....Our guy bottomed out within 2 hours (I looked up all of the meds and knew exactly when it was going to happen so we were ready) so we had to 911 him out of there-He had no b/p when EMS got there...He spent the night in ICU and recovered...Tough old bird-94 yrs old...The med nurse was devastated.Our admin treated her with sensitivity....She learned an important lesson that day and changes were made on the unit-2 med nurses from then on.........But-if she had been another kind of person that fella would have died and we would never have known why ....

  • Sep 6

    The support of your husband and other family members will make a big difference.You children are probably too young to lay a guilt trip on you when you are busy with school related work so you are lucky there.You will have to relax your housekeeping standards a great deal to survive...Same with meal planning-your family will not die of scurvy during the school year if they have to eat mac and cheese 2 or 3 times a week.Turn down the lights and bring out the candles when company comes-they will never see the dust bunnies.Make sure you get the rest you need and take some vitamin supplements.Avoid too much caffeine.Make sure you do spend some quality time with your family-you need time to blow off steam.After you graduate and start working your dream job you can make time to scrub your woodwork-or pay someone else to do it for you...Good Luck...

  • Aug 25

    I've had numerous cases of family members dropping off the demented spouses of the patient both in LTC and acute care. They go to work all day, shopping,to a wedding-you name it. Never left a sandwich ,either. Took care of an elderly gentleman who's wife was still living with the daughter and she was more cognitively impaired then our resident, the husband. The daughter had to keep someone home so she could keep the house. She would drop her mother off most weekends, incontinent to boot. The resident would feed her half his tray. It was sad. It didn't take long before the Office of Aging was called. They both lived out their days with us. Their daughter was seldom seen.

    I'm sure many of you have probably observed or participated in a code on a visitor. Not fun. And you knew it was coming-that's the worst part.

    One of the worst families I knew had a LOL in acute care, she had been living with a grandchild who was robbing her blind, including her pain meds. By the time she was admitted and the Office of Aging became involved she weighed 62 lbs. The whole clan camped out around the hospital. We were reported for "doing our nails at the nurse's station" one day-we were reading the telemetry strips. I guess they thought the calipers were some kind of manicuring tool. The little lady was so filthy on admission, she smelled so bad, her finger and toe nails looked like Pringles-horrible.The crap that had grown in her mouth on and under her dentures was horrific. -The family reported us because they wanted us to wash her hair. It was so matted it had to be cut off-it came off in one piece.

  • Aug 16

    CCRN6514,RNQUOTE) "He used to be a blood, but now he's a crip"-- [/QUOTE] Is spit out my Sunday morning Bloody Mary on that one...Winning the internet,OMG,that's too funny (in a twisted,tragic way,people like that don't belong in traditional LTC but where can they go)

  • Aug 13

    Also check your facility policy-ours prohibits personal equipment like your pulse odometer,automatic B/ P cuffs,thermometers.People buy second hand junk on eBay,fail to maintain and calibrate,etc. and our admin feels the accuracy of the data collected is questionable.

  • Aug 12

    Quote from RNdynamic
    Many older people fill their pockets with pot pourri in order to improve how they smell.
    In what flipping country is THIS behavior common?

  • Aug 7

    Also check your facility policy-ours prohibits personal equipment like your pulse odometer,automatic B/ P cuffs,thermometers.People buy second hand junk on eBay,fail to maintain and calibrate,etc. and our admin feels the accuracy of the data collected is questionable.

  • Aug 6

    Yes,worth the investment.Take the online practice exam as well(it was not free,but worth it)

  • Aug 5

    Am not sure why this seems to happen so much but I prepare family members for this all the time.

  • Jul 31

    The OP is also an ADN and as we know that is limiting his options. (not trying to start a flame war-I'm an LPN and I know how that limits me)

  • Jul 31

    Before middle and upper white class kids started dying no-one really much cared.

  • Jul 19

    Fistfight between visiting family members!Back before private rooms were the norm I was working a busy med surgery unit.The hospital was bursting at the seams.In one of my rooms I had two women,one was post op TAH and the other was close to a hundred.And a DNR.She died.The entire family just had to gather at the bedside for an impromptu wake.My post op and her hubby were giving them privacy and sitting down the hall in the chapel...I had two TURPs with CBI and was running my buns off all shift.Apparently some of the old ladies children and grandchildren were 5hours away.The husband of my post op got into a fist fight with a grandson of the old lady.Security came,my supervisor came.There was no other bed for the post op.We ended up moving the old lady to one of the exam rooms.She was still there at the end of the shift....

  • Jul 15

    BOur policy and procedure states all are pulled.A central line is not the type of access used in embalming.They use giant trocars,as big as my thumb

  • Jul 13

    Quote from NurseNicolexo
    I started a job as the DOC at an assisted living facility and I am trying to get my CNA's to start charting (they only have been writing in a communication book little notes to each other but nothing on legal documents). I just need help or advice on the best way to teach them how to write progress notes since none of them have any experience charting!
    Thanks!
    Try to limit them to graphs,flow sheets or "fill in the blank from these choices" via electronic charting.No offense meant to any cna's on the board,I worked as one for years.
    You would NOT believe the narrative notes our unlicensed staff have entered in the electronic medical record.Opens a big can of worms.Our admin had to stop it." Resident sitting on bed looking bad".No follow up,nothing reported to the nurse.


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