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

  1. 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 contusion. The old fart coded and died. During the code, the CNAs moved the 35 y/o to a private room. The charge nurse, thinking she was calling the wife of the old fart, mixed up the names and called the wife of the 35 year old gentlemen. She passed on the news that her spouse passed away and that she needed to come in. The wife had to be brought in by neighbors and brought to the floor by a wheel chair because she was too histarical to walk. She was wheeled into the room only to find some dead old guy she never met. She came out of the room yelling "That's not my husband!" "Where the #$%# is my husband? (!)" She found him in a private room down the hall watching Sunday football. She had to be restrained by her neighbors and the male CNAs and male Nurses from beating the crap out of the charge nurse.
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    About okihusker

    Joined: May '02; Posts: 30
    Critical Care, Emergency Nurse


  3. by   shygirl
    We have this nurse from India and she doesn't speak English very well. A resident passed away and at 0300 she called up the wife and instead of saying "He passed away and we sent him to...(name of funeral home)", she said..."He pissed away and we sent him to (name of a bakery)". The funeral home and the bakery sound alike ! Can you believe it?:chuckle
  4. by   mattsmom81
    I guess I would have to say the nurse that works a 12 hour shift in ICU (like 7a-7p) and never looks at the patient chart for new orders after about 2 pm.

    Worst case scenario: a trusting agency nurse assumes the patient' care at 7pm and doesn't get a chance to chart check til things slow down (midnite). Imperative orders are missed and the patient does not survive in part due to missed orders written at 2 pm. OK, maybe the pm agency nurse was wrong to NOT check days' orders, but nurses are responsible for orders written on their shift.!!

    This is a pet peeve of mine. And guess what? The day shift staff nurse was never reprimanded, the agency nurse was crucified.

    I always take and give shift report with the chart directly infront of us both to review.
  5. by   rdhdnrs
    I've seen nurses run pitocin and magnesium without a main line. Seen them leave intrauterine pressure catheters in when a pt goes for c-sec. I've seen a nurse leave the floor because she had a migraine when her patient was about to deliver a baby. Just general carelessness gets me worse than the overt mistakes.
  6. by   mother/babyRN
    MY nurse during one of my c/s gave me ampicillin instead of clindamycin even thought I am clearly allergic to amoxicillin. Anaphylactic reaction is not a good thing. I could not believe it but am happy to be here to relate the story....
  7. by   shannonRN
    one of our nurses was supposed to hang an insulin drip. something like 100u of humulin r in 100cc of ns. well, another nurse overheard her saying, "if i want this to go in over 1 hour, then i will have to program the pump at." thankfully, the nurse who overheard this was able to stop her!
  8. by   RNinICU
    This is going to be a long one. I've seen a lot in 18 years. When I worked med-surg, there was one girl who was really scary. She was changing the syringe in a PCA pump, and realized she didn't have a new syringe, so she just left the tubing dangle, and the pump door open while she went to the pharmacy for a new one. Another time she gave morphine instead of codeine, and thought it was OK because they were the same drug. My favorite was the time the MD stopped a patients tube feedings. I was in charge and told her to stop them, and the conversation went like this: "Did you stop those tube feedings?" "I put an order in the computer to hold them." "But did you stop them?" "I told you I held them in the computer." "Did you go back to the room and turn them off?" "I was just going to do that."" She was in the room for about thirty seconds and came back to the desk. "Did you discontinue the tube feedings?" "I turned them off." "Did you take the tubing out of the pump, throw it away, and flush and cap the Peg?" "Am I supposed to do that?" Fortunately, this girl was terminated before she actually did harm to someone. I heard she is now a nursing home administrator. That was before the shortage, though, now those kinds of things seem to be overlooked.

    One of our nurses ran a 250cc bag of dopamine in over an hour because he thought it was Septra. They gave him three days off and made him get new glasses. Same guy gave me report one night on an open heart patient. Said he had to run both nipride and NTG drips to keep her BP under control. The problem was, he also had a neo drip that was running which he thought he had turned off.

    One of the nurses I work with now is another scary individual. We had a patient who is chronic renal failure, and brittle diabetic. She was getting TPN at 45 cc/hr. This nurse set the pump at 450 cc and ran the whole liter in over two hours. Patient ended up intubated in pulmonary edema and had to have stat dialysis. She has taken the wrong patient to CT, and hung dobutamine instead of dopamine at least twice. A family called in to check on a patient, and she gave them information on the wrong one. The entire family came rushing into the hospital because they thought the patient was going for stat surgery. Unfortunately, this nurse still works in the unit, because she is a body. She is not allowed to care for complicated patients, she always gets the simplest ones. The rest of us end up picking up the slack.
  9. by   Teshiee
    oooh that is not acceptable she should be terminated. Wow that is scary. Well I have known nurses to infuse lipids in a preemie in one hour luckily that baby was fine but I can imagine what that little baby was feeling.
  10. by   RNinICU
    Our manager wanted to terminate her, but some of the 11-7 people felt sorry for her because her husband is terminally ill and she just lost her son in a car accident. They said they would watch over her if she was put on that shift. Administration is also very reluctant to allow a nurse to be terminated. They look at numbers and she is a body. So now she is all nights, assigned with another RN, and only given the simplest patients. It is very hard for us as care givers to allow one of our own, no matter how incompetent, to be just cut loose when they are having personal problems. This woman would find it difficult to find another job, she worked at two other area hospitals, and was fired from both of them. So looks like we are stuck with her. She is a kind, warm hearted person, just really disorganized and flighty.
  11. by   Teshiee
    Then it is apparent with those very tragic things happening to her she was worse. Maybe bedside nursing is not for her. Shielding her is only going to make matters worse until she can get to the real problem why she can't function on the floor! I understand it would be hard but it would be harder if she unknowingly harm a patient and they found out that she was incompetent and the administrators did nothing talk about someone's ass in a sling! It is a tough situation. I honestly hope things work out for her. NO one deserves that kind of bad luck.
  12. by   oramar
    Nurses that do not know the difference between a unit of insulin and a ml, give me a break. How is this possible that a person can get through nursing school and not know the difference. In one case the person died of massive insulin overdose. In a second case a GN called the pharmacist saying you did not send me enough insulin and he caught on to the mistake. In a second case the second check rule was observed and the checker caught it.
  13. by   RNinICU
    Teshiee, Believe it or not, this woman worked in critical care in another state for 15 years, and came with glowing recommendations. Either her references were inaccurate, or she was just unable to adjust to the transition. We all have tried to help her, but she just can't catch on. Now we seem to be stuck with her, since administration will not allow her termination. No one here will ever let her patient's sink. We watch over her closely. I personally would not want to work where I wasn't trusted. Some of us have tried to talk her into going to a less stressful environment, but she refuses to consider it. Says she wants to prove she can do critical care to all of us.
  14. by   hoolahan
    I worked beside a new nurse in our CT ICU. She had a pt go bad on her. The resident (md) who was not very bright, ordered inderal IVP with a cardiac index below 2.0 for tachycardia....NOT! Well this nurse went to draw it up and give it. I said "Hold on a second, let's think about this..." Then I went to get the charge nurse, who called a senior doc who thank God stopped this med from being given. Later in the lounge in the am, I asked her why her pt was so unstable. She said I can't figure it out. I said what was the chest tube drainage? She got very pale, and said I didn't check it, I was so busy! WHAT?????? I told the charge nurse about that, she and I looked at her notes, and sure enough no CT output recorded. The next day, she went to show the notes to the manager, there were numbers filled in for the CT drng. Now that was one scary chick!!!!

    Another night, I came on and pt's CT were bubbling like crazy with huge air leak. The nurse said, I checked the system, and even changed the pleurovac, but the air leak is still there. I said did you change the drsg? Uh, No. I got up, took off the drsg, there were three drainage hole visible outside the skin! And this one went on to be our manager!

    Saw one nurse give a pt ear drops, into his eyes. The pt was AA&O, so WHY he never said I'm not supposed to get eye drops is beyond me. His eyes started bursing, and he started cursing and screaming at the nurse. I did feel sorry for her. He humiliated her so badly, I think I would have been afraid to ever come back to work, esp since this happened in my first month on my own out of school.