discharged a patient wearing telemetry

Nurses General Nursing


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ktwlpn, LPN

3,844 Posts

Specializes in LTC,Hospice/palliative care,acute care.
I'm a new grad, and on the first day after my orientation ended (which BTW, despite what I was told when I was hired, was sooner than I was ready for) I did my first patient discharge to a hospice facility. In all the confusion of the moment, I neglected to remove the telemetry equipment from my patient. Naturally, when the hospice facility was called, they didn't know what we were talking about. :icon_roll

Does anyone know what those things are worth? I am thinking of offering to pay for it.

You are not the first nurse to do that and you won't be the last.I dc'd an old man with his hep lock still in.I went to his house after work and took it out. Go to the hospice-I'm sure someone has it somewhere there...


1,170 Posts

We started a discharge checklist at my hospital because we were losing tele boxes. We also were forgetting to give patients back their own meds(the one our pharmacy doesn't carry) and some teaching documentation and personal belonging lists weren't getting done.

You aren't the 1st to do this. It happened about 3 weeks ago in house when we sent a patient to ICU. Even the ICU nurse didn't know what I was talking about when I called for the tele box. I had to send a staff member down to the unit to look for it and of course it was found.

nerdtonurse?, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 2,043 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

Don't ask me what IDIOT thought this was a good idea...we've got different box types in different units. We now have a mesh basket in the back of the nurse's station that functions as a "lost and found" for tele boxes -- sometimes you call East and say, "Hey, we got a tele box of yours" the nurse can't come right then, forgets, and then sometime around 2 am, the monitor tech straggles over, looking for a lost box....

vashtee, RN

1,065 Posts

Specializes in DOU.

Thanks for all your replies - wow! I had no idea those boxes were so expensive! I was guessing a few hundred dollars. Darn. You don't suppose they'd fire me over this, do you? yikes.


122 Posts

Specializes in Pain mgmt, PCU.
ours are also about $2200. don't even open up your mouth about paying for it, i can guarantee you that it's happened before and will happen again on your unit. they have a way of finding their way home.

and if that's the worst thing that happened to you on your first shift off orientation, you deserve some congrats!

one of my favorite sayings is "if that is the worst that happens today, we'll be alright". i've sent many tele to many places. they always make their way back home one way or another. sometimes the ems will bring them back. sometimes a person who lives near will stop by and get it. i've ran through the hosp after them. they come from cardiac offices, pcp offices, lab of all places. don't even think of paying for it!!!!!!!!!!

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele.

I once discharge a patient with a hospital walker. He had had a hip surgery and was getting picked up, and I waited outside the hospital with him and actually helped him into the car with the hospital walker. Whoops...

Specializes in Family Practice, Mental Health.

From a voice of 'been there, seen that', this would be an event that would be a write off for the hospital.

The event that I remember involved the old HP portable telemetry boxes that retailed for about 1300.00 each and weren't replaceable since those particular models weren't being manufactured anymore.

Go to your purchasing department and ask what they've done in the past for events such as this. The probability that you're not the first one at your hospital to inadvertently forget something upon patient discharge is statistically very high.


109 Posts

Specializes in Stepdown progressive care.

I know ours cost a few thousand dollars. We had a pt leave AMA with one of our tele boxes and didn't seem inclined to return it. We told out security dept about it and they have a unit that will actually go out to people's houses or wherever to get our tele boxes. I was told if the tele box wasn't found, the pt would be charged with theft.

Specializes in Emergency, Nursing Management, Auditing.

One time I had a patient who eloped from the ER with all his telemetry leads on. It got me to thinking how many thousands of dollars we lose in "missing" tele equipment! In response to your post though, I'd recommend checking with the transfer company as well as the hospice facility to which the patient was transported.

Aneroo, LPN

1 Article; 1,518 Posts

Specializes in Cath Lab, OR, CPHN/SN, ER.
yeah I would go over and try to find it.

Almost everyone has done something like this, it's very common.

I was always accidently going home with the schedule 8 (controlled drugs) keys :(, I would get half way home then have to drive back with a sheepish look on my face and everyone would laugh at me.


Yep! I've driven home with the PCA keys in my pocket at 3am. Had to drive the 20 minutes back there to return the keys and then head home again!

Flare, ASN, BSN

5 Articles; 4,431 Posts

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

Call the hospice to try and track it down and then go and get it. Take it as a life lesson. It's happened before, and trust me - it's a lesson you won't forget.

I remember being a brand new nurse (still on orientation, i believe) and I sent a patient to the OR - I forgot to fill out one paper in the OR packet in my rush to get her ready. The surgeon called me down to the OR, made me change into the OR scrubs just to fill out the paper. Trust me - i never ever forgot again.

Overland1, RN

465 Posts

Thanks for all your replies - wow! I had no idea those boxes were so expensive! I was guessing a few hundred dollars. Darn. You don't suppose they'd fire me over this, do you? yikes.

If they suggest you pay for it (or suggest disciplining/firing you), then it is well past time to look for another (better) place to work. Even being "written up" for something like this would be pretty goofy (does anybody else wonder why nurses/aides are "written up" for doing something wrong, but are not "written down" for doing something right?), to say the least. Where I work, QA's are used to improve the process rather than to discipline anybody.

Such an oversight happens from time to time, and the packs are almost always returned to their rightful owner by the receiving facility. My hospital has "lost" a couple of them, but those who forgot to remove them will likely never forget again, as they were embarrassed without anybody else even saying a word.

Telemetry packs should be included on the discharge/transfer check list, though.

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