What is the most incompetent thing you seen a fellow nurse do? - page 3

There were two patients in a double room on a 38 bed tele floor. One was an old fart with a sick heart an the other was a 35 year old male who was in an MVA being observed for a myocardial... Read More

  1. by   911fltrn
    I didnt witness this but aprrox 3 weeks ago a nurse hung norcuron thinking it was an antibiotic. Pt wasnt intubated and norcuron was found by code team. Pt expired. Supposedly nurse still has job and got a pay raise.
  2. by   hoolahan
    OMG 911, that is really tragic, and the one who gave the nimbex w/o sedation, she should be slowly tortured!

    ONe funny one, could have ben deadly for me though, a nurse, not at all incompetent, was wasting demerol in front of me. It was first thing in the am, I was on days, and had a cup of coffee on the desk near the med cart, she turned and shifted to point the syringe away from me, and shot the waste out, the med arced up and landed very neatly in my coffee. We almost peed our pants laughing. Could you imagine if we hadn't noticed that and I drank that coffee??
  3. by   RNforLongTime
    I have a few, they all happened on a skilled nursing unit that I worked on as a new grad.

    One AM, a resident had a blood sugar of 58. The LPN, who had checked the blood sugar reported this to the RN. The RN told the LPN to go ahead and give him his am NPH insulin dose, which I think was like 30 some units. By noon, the resident was slumped over, unresponsive. Thank GOD this resident was in a semi-private room with a roommate who was Alert and Oriented and was able to notify the nursing staff. His blood sugar was now 30! The day shift RN had to push two amps of D 50 thru his PICC. I believe that the two nurses involved received a verbal warning and nothing else.

    At that same hospital, we had a policy that in order to give phenergan IVP, the pt had to have a running IV line, otherwise it couldn't be given. An RN went ahead and gave a pt 25 mg of Phenergan IVP and the pt did NOT have a running IV! Pt went severely hypotensive and had to be sent to ICU! Again, the RN received a verbal reprimand.

    Another case, a post-op pt ran a temp during the night of 39.8 celcius, the night shift RN didn't want to call the surgeon at 2 am cause she didn't want to get yelled at for waking him up. When the surgeon came in the next AM, he was LIVID that he wasn't called with the temp! I was on that day but another RN with whom I am still good friends had to deal with the surgeons wrath. She wrote the night shift RN up for this as we had a policy that stated that any temp over 38.5 celcius MUST be reported to the MD. Well, nothing was ever made of this incident either and the same RN was involved with the first incident that I mentioned.

    Those were just a few incompetencies that I witnessed on that unit. I had to leave because I was getting written up for silly things like Mr. So and So said that you were rude to him yet major infractions like I mentioned above were being overlooked.

    The hospital that I now work at has an RN who works on a med-surg cardiac tele floor that is incompetent. Always hanging the wrong IV fluids on pt's, med errors galore. One day, one of her pt's was going down the tubes, lady was a full code. Well she was taking her good ole fashioned time about calling the doc. One of the other RN's who was working that day, went down and got the head nurse and advised her of the situation. Head nurse comes out of her office down the hall looking for Nurse Incompetent and tells her that she needs to call the doc NOW! At about 2:30 pm the lady coded and didn't make it. the head nurse and assisstant head nurse were looking over Nurse Incompetent's notes on said pt and they were grossely inadequate. When they told nurse incompetent that she had a LOT more documentation to do, Nurse Incompetent got really ticked! Unfortunately, this RN is still working there!
  4. by   mother/babyRN
    Holy Moley! Someone mentioned earlier that a nurse arrived with glowing reccommendations and then proceeded to become incompetent! No surprise, that is often a ruse by one manager to get rid of the offending nurse....
    Many years ago while in a previous unit we received such a nurse. Every evening was scary when she was around. One evening there were 3 of us on in a critical care setting. One of our patients ( of this particular nurse) was on anticoagulants and just very sick. She started to go into failure and then developed a nose bleed that we could not stop. The other nurse and I (the patient didn't belong to either one of us) recognized we had a catastrophe in the works and screamed for the patients actual nurse to go to our accompanying ICU for some more suction equipment and help asap. She actually said she would do it when she had a chance. I pretty much told her to get her a** going. This pt had blood running and then, of course developed chest pain in the middle of all this so while we were attempting to stop her from drowning in her own blood, we asked the other nurse to get us some MS for the chest pain. She didn't return for about 10 minutes and then came in to attempt to give it iv. I asked her if she knew whether it could be given with blood running. Nope, she didn't, so we gave it sc and then started a second line. We FINALLY stopped the bleeding and got her into icu with no help from HER nurse, who hadn't even noticed that the poor woman was not only going into failure, but was bleeding as well.
    Normally a calm, easy going and understanding person, as was the other nurse with me that night, we were fuming and approached her in the hallway for a confrontation. She took her hands out of her pockets , gave us both a piece of candy and told us that was her symbol for peace, walked off down the hall and never said another word about it. It was like that every night while she was there. I think I developed an ulcer when she was around....
  5. by   mattsmom81
    We simply cannot allow incompetent nurses to continue to give such poor care as I'm reading in this thread. We must document our butts off and get our managers involved or risk liability ourselves. Our nurse practice acts are clear on this (at least MINE is in Texas)

    It doesn't mean we're being 'mean' to another nurse. She might just need some remedial education or assignment to a less critical area for awhile (or forever.) Or she may be the type that never should have been allowed to become a nurse and deserves the license yanked. We can let TPTB decide which.

    But what we CANNOT do is ignore the incompetent nurse.:stone
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on May 31, '02
  6. by   Shevalove
    I just don't get it! I am the first person who would say I am totally unqualified to work in ICU or the ER. I cannot understand why they would put new grads there ( This is just my opinion!!) I knew that when I graduated that I was not ready for that type of nursing. I didn't have the skills or the common sense. I was a good nursing student, but not everyone is cut out for that type of nursing. There are people who are working in ICU who are not cut out for it. I think part of being a good nurse is knowing your limitations. Pesronally, I would give myself a stroke if I had to even care for one ICU patient for an hour! I don't know how they can go to work and not care about their actions. I know it happens in all areas of nursing, not just ICU.
  7. by   ratchit
    Last edit by ratchit on Jul 15, '02
  8. by   RNinICU
    I worked with the incompetent nurse last night with the nurse I talked about in my previous post, the one who came with the glowing recommendations. She had a patient who has been in and out of the unit for the past six months since open heart surgery with failure. Last night this woman was obviously in distress, agitated, with respiratory rate in the 40s and tachy at 130, pulse ox was 92. I asked her nurse if she had ABGs done recently, or if her MD had been notified, and she told me the lady was in distress because she had diarrhea from C. diff. I could hear the crackles from six fet away. By this time the lady was getting more lethargic, so I got stat AbGs. The lady had a CO2 of 72. I called the doc and got intubation orders immediately. When he made rounds at 0600 he jumped me about why I had left the paltient go so long before I got ABGs. I told him it was not my patient, that I had called him as soon as I realized what was going on. He went to our manager to complain about the nurse, and when she was called into the office, she complained about me interfering wiwth her patient. This woman knows no one trusts her, and knows she is being watched, but still gets defensive and resentful when someone intervenes in a situation like this. She is not allowed to take care of open heart patients, our nephrologist and one of our pulmonologists request that she not care for their patients either. She is still here because a few people continue to support her and because she is a body. This woman has not had had a merit raise in two years, and feels that she is being treated unfairly. When I work with her, I feel like I have four patients instead of two.
  9. by   km rn
    Nurse who gave ampho B over 30 minutes instead of 4 hours and without any pre-medication.

    Nurse who gave vented patient 100mg Versed/100cc D5w instead of the ordered Flagyl.

    Nurse who put betadine solution into tube feeding bag instead of blue dye - hey the betadine solution bottle had a "blue cover" cover on it.
  10. by   live4today
    now, if i tell a tale about dumb stuff done in nursing, i would first have to start with myself before i point the finger at another nurse, so here goes....

    when i first started working in sicu, most of the patients weren't alert or oriented, but unconscious. this one patient scared the bejeebees out of me for some reason. to this day, i don't know what it was about her that frightened me so. she always looked like 'death' at death's door or something -- eerie feeling to say the least. well, one morning, i was assigned to her care, and she needed to be suctioned through her trach. okay, i'd done that millions of times since i once worked on an oncology surgical floor where tons of trach patients were. i neared the patient, she made some weird noise, and i found myself going into her trach with suctioning pressure on when the suctioning doesn't take place until after the suction tube is inserted and ready to suction on the way out of the trach. not only did i immediately realize what was happening, so did the nurse in charge for that shift as he looked at me with the biggest eyes as if to say, "duh, what the he** are you doing, lady?" needless to say, i corrected my mistake, finished up with the patient, and went to the nurses lounge to pull myself together.

    now, i know i was just orienting to sicu at that time for the very first time ever, but i had been a nurse for almost eight years at that point in time, and had never never never done something that stupid, especially when suctioning a patient. i sat in the nurses lounge shivering, asking myself, what the heck was my problem, and wondering if my personal problems at that time were really getting to me as bad as others said they were...only i refused to see it. stressed-out nurses need to take some time off, so i did. nothing serious happened to that patient, but i still felt like a real heel because she started jerking her body for air when i went in to suction her the wrong way. the charge nurse came into the nurses lounge and gave me a big hug, and said, "we've all been there, or we'll all do something we don't think we can live with, but from my own experience, i can tell you, you'll survive this, so don't be too hard on yourself." great guy, that charge nurse! after a few weeks off, i went back to work refreshed, but not into sicu. i refused to try that area again. i needed bodies that talked, that were alive, and that didn't give me the hee-bee-jee-bees all the time. so, that's my dumb nursing story. what's yours???
  11. by   karyn mcdonald
    I have been an RN for over 16 years and have certainly seen a whole slew of mistakes! One problem I do see though, is how nurses are extremely hard on one another for a mistake. I once saw a seasoned RN in Peds ICU where I worked just verbally abuse another new nurse. I don't even remember what his mistake was now (it was very minor though), but I remember at the time thinking that it was uncalled for! I think we need to remember that we weren't born with this knowledge, it came to us through education, hard work and experience. We need to help the new and inexperienced nurses and watch over them, but not berate them. Remember--we ALL have made a mistake sometime in our nursing career!
  12. by   mattsmom81
    A few of the things described on this thread are indeed 'dumb mistakes' and of course we all made a few of those. We can start another thread on that, Renee, and we probably should to offset this one. We all make mistakes.

    However, there IS a difference between a 'harmless' dumb mistake and a 'harmful' dumb mistake. There is also a difference between a new hire preceptee giving poor care who is teachable and willing to learn, vs the nurse who doesn't GIVE
    A CHIT that she's giving poor care or endangering her patients, or doesn't care she's always stressing her coworkers because she doesn't know what is going on and doesn't care to learn.....get my drift??

    MANY of these stories speak of dangerous incompetent care...where patients can and are harmed and even KILLED by an incompetent person. We can't take this stuff lightly today, because hospitals indeed DO have the attitude "just put a warm body on duty".

    JMHO. And no, I am NOT a *****y old nurse...I give everyone a fair shot....and I'm nice to work with. We can only do so much, though.

    RNinICU, I know exactly where you're coming from!! If I ever get back to my ICU I will NOT do charge again, as I am exhausted from pulling the weight of people who have no business being in an ICU setting. I will just be responsible for 'my own little group' and be happy as a clam! :roll
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Jun 4, '02
  13. by   LilgirlRN
    Pt codes, gets intubated. Nurse is bagging the hell out of her but O2 sat just won't go up, put her on the vent and sat increases? The ambu bag was attached to the air line instead of the O2. Pt had severe neuro deficits afterward and eventually died.

    I was charge in CCU back in the dark ages...1987. We had a shortage of nurses at the time and the hospital actually got some agency nurses to pick up the slack. The one they sent was supposed to have all this ICU experience so I gave her a pt on the vent gettting feedings via an NG tube. She came and asked me which was the NG and which was the ET. I told her to sit right here and don't move. Called the supervisor and sent her home!

    Pt on an insulin drip, getting tube feedings. Pt got meds via the tube at 2400. Nurse forgot to hook the feeding back up. Pt had a seizure, d-stick was 19!!!!!!!!!!!!!!