dumbest things you have done as a new nurse

  1. OK I am telling on myself here..
    Some dumb things I have done:

    Asked to get a urine specimen from a foley, I mistakenly pulled the NS from the balloon port (luckily, discovered my error before foley slid out)

    Hanging abx that have to be mixed with a bag of NS, I attached the vanco where the line goes and then didn't have a clue why I couldn't spike the other port (had to start all over)

    Crushed all the pt meds (about 7 or 8) for administration thru the NG tube, only to discover the patient was hypotensive and mixed in there was a beta blocker (learned always crush BP meds separately, and always take BP before crushing!)

    Newbie error: Inserted NG tube and tried futilely (is that a word?) to verify placement, until pt yawned and several coils of the tube fell out of their mouth (this happened so many times I look in pt mouth before going any further)

    Placed EKG printout in chart of wrong pt -cardiologist was paged asking where he had taken the printout?

    Left tourniquet on pt arm after blood draw for 30 minutes ( I really felt awful about this one! - now the first thing I do is make sure I have the tourniquet in my hand when I leave the room)

    While changing abx being run as a secondary, set empty bag (still attached to primary fluid bag) on bed without closing clamp and was starled to see my empty bag of abx was now amazingly fulll again!

    Tried to prime an IV line for a blood product administration, but spiked the wrong line - one without the blood filter. Then I stupidly tried to remove the administration set from the bag to spike with the proper line. Of course, I got NS all over everything and had to start all over - which was fortunate for me, because otherwise I would have totally broken sterility by spiking a line twice! (What was I thinking?)

    I could go on and on .... but I am beginning to sound like a danger to myself and others - In all of these cases I was able to start from scratch without harming the pt, with the exception of the tourniquet, which could have been disastrous but fortunately was only painful.
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    About nminodob

    Joined: Mar '09; Posts: 254; Likes: 299

    16 Comments

  3. by   blondy2061h
    I started a blood transfusion on someone, but never hooked up the tubing to their line. The blood was being pumping through the pump, in their bed.

    Then I went in in 15 minutes to take vitals, but never turned on the light. I took their vitals, and left, never noticing the pool of blood on the other side.

    About 10 minutes after that, the patient called me, and rather than say anything, just lifted up the sheets to show where all the blood was pooling.

    I thought he had pulled out his central line, and that's where all the blood was coming from. When I saw that wasn't it, I started yelling "Where are you bleeding?"

    I was actually relieved to find out it was just the blood transfusion.
    Last edit by blondy2061h on Apr 15, '09
  4. by   nminodob
    Thanks for your candor - I was worried that I was the only one who did dumb things!!
  5. by   kk54321
    this was a fun read, thanks for posting this. Everyone makes mistakes, but this just makes me feel a lot better about my own. Haha I'm not alone!
  6. by   Pepper The Cat
    I was working in a hospital with a lot of French speaking pts. My French is limited. Pt started c/o "mal ou courer". i think mal - sick. Courer - Heart.
    OMG - chest pain! So i start popping in the nitro, taking BP - nothing helps. He keeps saying 'mal ou courer' (OK I know I'm spelling it wrong, but you get the picture).
    Anyway - after about 3 nitro pills, numerous BPs etc, with no effect, I'm about to call the supervisor when one of the nsg assistants came by and asked what was going on. Pt looks at her and says 'mal ou courer". She looks at me and says 'Heartburn'. I felt like crawling into a hole somewhere!
    Maalox given - problem solved.
  7. by   CoffeeRTC
    Working 11-7 in a LTC as a newer grad. Pts g tube was pulled out. I freaked and didn't know what I should do. Thank heavens, my sister was a nurse on nights...called her before I could make a fool out of myself with my boss.

    LOL at this because the gtube was a foley that was used. Duh...simply replace it. (it wasn't the sewn in type)
  8. by   Neveranurseagain
    Many,many moons ago as a new LVN (OK! FIRST DAY!) I had a pt that needed whirlpool baths to right foot with dilute Betadine solution. She had a portable whirlpool in her room so I measured the H2O, added Betadine SCRUB then turned on the whirlpool, shutting her door per her request on the way out. Did I forget to mention that I didn't leave the call button within reach? My first clue was when a coworker asked me what the brown bubbles were coming out from underneath her door....
  9. by   firstyearstudent
    Tried to stick a Foley into a woman's clitoris. (She was not happy about it.) Didn't feel so bad, though, after I got a more experienced nurse to help and she did the same thing!
  10. by   nminodob
    Quote from firstyearstudent
    Tried to stick a Foley into a woman's clitoris. (She was not happy about it.) Didn't feel so bad, though, after I got a more experienced nurse to help and she did the same thing!
    I wonder if I could invent a foley for women that has a lgiht on the end - probably make a million from it!
  11. by   kanzi monkey
    Quote from firstyearstudent
    Tried to stick a Foley into a woman's clitoris. (She was not happy about it.) Didn't feel so bad, though, after I got a more experienced nurse to help and she did the same thing!
    I did this too...you'd think I'd know better, being a girl and all
  12. by   BEDPAN76
    Yeh, as a new grad had an elderly gentleman who pulled ot his foley with the 30 cc balloon intact! OUCH! And when I called the resident, my mind went blank when he asked if "there was any damage". I couldn't think of the word, urethra... and had to say, "you know, that little hole?" He kidded me about it for weeks until he had to come insert a foley on an alert and oriented male who wasn't circumsized. He was in a panic till I put on a pair of non-sterile gloves and pulled back the foreskin. Needless to say, we were "even"....
  13. by   kanzi monkey
    elderly gentleman who pulled ot his foley with the 30 cc balloon intact!
    30cc!!!!!
  14. by   NurseyPoo7
    Quote from kanzi monkey
    30cc!!!!!
    Yea, what!?!

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