What are some horror stories families have shared with you about former nurses they had?

  1. So there's a thread about ridiculous requests families/parents have made to nurses, so I thought it would be interesting to hear the flipside of what parents have shared with you about bad experiences they've had from nurses!

    I'll start. I used to work a case where the mom had several bad experiences with nurses working the nightshift. She had one nurse who was sleeping during her shift and locking the patient's door at night. They found out about it because the nurse had set herself an alarm to wake herself up, and one night she didn't wake up and the alarm woke up the family and when they tried to open the door to see what was going on, the door was locked.

    Then she said there was another nurse who didn't know how to turn the feeding pump off after the feeding finished, so she kept adding water to the bag! Another nurse told the mom one morning at the end of her shift that one of the scheduled meds she was supposed to give the patient was all gone, so she substituted a different med to give him instead!

    So what have you heard?
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    About Crystal-Wings, LVN

    Joined: Jun '15; Posts: 160; Likes: 240

    8 Comments

  3. by   smartnurse1982
    Personally,be careful and weary what parents tell you.

    I usually just listen but do not add any input.

    Lots of times,I noticed key details are usually missing.
  4. by   caliotter3
    Quote from smartnurse1982
    Personally,be careful and weary what parents tell you.

    I usually just listen but do not add any input.

    Lots of times,I noticed key details are usually missing.
    Precisely. All too often the family is skilled at telling a nurse what they want her/him to hear as part of their manipulation. There is no good reason to relay any of this, even if it is true, to a new employee. All night nurses know that they are not to sleep on night shift. Or get drunk and pass out on the living room couch while the parent is away.
  5. by   Kitiger
    One parent told me that - after she changed her child's trach - the nurse said, "So THAT'S how it's done!"

    The nurse had worked there for several weeks. She (the nurse) told me she probably shouldn't have said that ...
  6. by   ventmommy
    Quote from Kitiger
    One parent told me that - after she changed her child's trach - the nurse said, "So THAT'S how it's done!"

    The nurse had worked there for several weeks. She (the nurse) told me she probably shouldn't have said that ...
    This doesn't surprise me at all. We had nurses that had never done a trach change on a real patient. Just watched one in school and did it on the doll in the 5-hour vent class at the agency.
  7. by   Kitiger
    One parent told me that - after she changed her child's trach - the nurse said, "So THAT'S how it's done!"

    Quote from ventmommy
    This doesn't surprise me at all. We had nurses that had never done a trach change on a real patient. Just watched one in school and did it on the doll in the 5-hour vent class at the agency.
    Exactly! The nurse could have told the parent at the start that she hadn't changed a trach on an actual person. The parent then could have either taught her, or declined her services.

    Either the nurse didn't realize that changing the trach on a squirming kiddo is different than doing it on a manikin, or she was unwilling to look less than perfect. Either way, I feel for the parent!

    And I fear for the child.
  8. by   amoLucia
    Quote from smartnurse1982
    Personally,be careful and weary what parents tell you.

    I usually just listen but do not add any input.

    Lots of times,I noticed key details are usually missing.
    And be aware that after you're gone the parents will probably be talking about you to the next nurse.
  9. by   SturblrBurblr
    Yes, take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Perspective is everything.

    One account I was told of, from several years ago:

    Patient was trach'ed, recently weaned off vent, and family/ST/somebody was trying to introduce toddler to oral food.

    While parents were out of the house, nurse initiated a "food play" session, except apparently she was pretty much force-feeding patient.

    When patient started choking, she laid him on the floor, took out his trach, didn't replace it, called 911, and sat back doing absolutely no further interventions while she waited.

    He was in cardiac arrest by the time paramedics arrived. Luckily, they did revive him.

    And all of this was caught on video.
  10. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    I took over a shift for a nurse who I was told had to leave.The client was bedbound because of neurologic problems, but was verbal and alert. I started my shift by saying something like "I know X had to go home sick", and he responded "No, he didn't." The nurse had been arrested during his shift for something involving an ex-girlfriend.

    A few weeks later, a state investigator came by, during my shift, to interview my client about the other nurse. I stayed out of the room, and I don't know the outcome.

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