I don't know if this qualifies or not, but here goes anyway.
Last weekend, another agency nurse (from a competing agency) came to the facility where I work the most, and worked a day shift.
She was an older RN, and had (supposedly) 20 years experience in a hospital, and had been working with this agency for a while.
Anyhow, she came in, with a few hours from the previous day as orientation, and passed meds and did treatments.
When I came in the next morning, I found the staff nurse in a much more welcoming mood to me than she has ever been.
When I asked her what was up, she told me some very disturbing scenarios from the day before.
The agency nurse had been assigned to a patient who has both nebulizer and inhaler rx, and the inhaler was given in lieu of the nebulizer.
When the staff nurse questioned why the agency nurse was carrying the inhaler, and the patient had asked for the nebs, the agency nurse stated, "There is a difference????"
Well, the staff nurse was really upset about this.
Later in the shift, the agency nurse asked the staff nurse where a particular medication was kept. We use all unit dose, so the staff nurse stated that the med was most likely in the patient's drawer. When the agency nurse said there wasn't any in the drawer, the staff nurse looked, and the med WAS in the drawer, just in the generic form. It was SUDAFED. The staff nurse then asked the agency nurse if she had checked the med book for the correct names, and the agency nurse said she couldn't find the med book. It is in PLAIN sight in the med cart.
When I started to pass meds Sunday morning, I found 15 instances where there either were meds missing from the drawer for the next shifts, or there were extras in the drawer. The meds are replenished q 3 days, and there are almost ALWAYS no mistakes in the drawers, because our pharmacy is really good.
So I pointed this out to the staff nurse, (my RN) and she said, "I am not in the least bit surprised." Apparently the agency nurse was one who had an attitude that, "I am right, and don't NEED to check the med book, etc..."
I was really surprised myself, because I am SUPER careful when I go to a new facility, and even after I have been there a while, cause the orders change so quickly.
WHat happened to the old "check 3 times" policy?
This nurse was so sure of herself, and made mistake after mistake. She left old Nitro patches on the patients, and I found two of them on most of the patients.
She also didn't do treatments that she had signed off, and she was marking the meds as given when it was clear she hadn't given them.
I just don't know what to think about the carelessness of the agency nurse.
I know she will be getting some sort of discipline from her agency, and she certainly won't be coming back to this facility.
I just don't get this kind of behavior. And I am sure that this isn't an isolated incident. Nobody makes this many mistakes in one shift accidentally.
Even the nurses that I know who have been working at this facility for a long time double check themselves all the time. And I never hesitate to check a med in the med book if I am the least bit unsure about it. I use my med book every day.
We as nurses should NEVER get so sure of ourselves that we aren't willing to recheck something. The smallest and most insignificant mistake could cost someone their life.