Oh Boy! I've got some horror stories!!!!! How about the time I was working a subacute vent unit in Las Vegas. There was lighting storm. It was Labor Day. I took my orientee out to view the spectacular lightning show outside. Suddenly, the building behind us went BLACK. I thought to myself, "This can't be good!" I raced in the building. It was pitch black. I couldn't find a flashlight. I knew I had one in my bag. I dug around in the dark, under the desk. I finally found my bag which had a flashlight in it. I got it out. I directed my orientee to call the DON. All of the flashlights that we found did not work. After we found the emergency numbers, she started to call. I went to the first patient's room to find out that her ventilator had failed. No back up generator power and the battery on the vent had failed. Fortunately, I had a respiratory therapist helping me. He set her up with an ambu bag in the dark and started ventilations. I took over so he could move on to the next room. I hollared to my LPNs for help. One took over ventilations so I could move on to other rooms. On to the next room, it was the same situation. Over all, 6 out of 8 vent patients were needing mechanical ventilations. I called over to the long term care building. The generators were functioning over there, fortunately. I requested any help they could send. Several CNAs came over, got a crash course in how to ventilate patients with an ambu bag. They were marvelous.
Oh, it's not over yet....The patient I intervened with first, began having tremendous secretions, she was gurgling and struggling to get a breath through her trach. Since my portable suction only worked with electricity, I called 911 for help. When they arrived, they were obviously put out by my needs stating how there were important calls they needed to attend to. I demanded for them to suction the patient and get a clear airway for ventilations and that we were doing the best we could and we might need their assistance. They complied and stated, "Your on your own".
I came to my ambulatory and alert vent patient who was having difficulty with the mechanical ventilations. He was diaphretic, unable to verbalize and becoming very anxious. He was sweating, tachycardic and the air conditioning had failed on a very hot night. I called the hospital nearest to the facility. The triage nurse chastized me. They were not able to take all of our distressed vent patients. I assured her that we were handling the situation and would only send patients on an emergency basis. She decided to accept this patient. I had my orientee assisted me to get him ready for transport.
In the mean time , the maintenance man had come along with the facility educator who lived very close. I asked the facility educator, "were can we find batteries for the flashlights". She explained, "batteries were not available due to previous problems with theft". After an hour or so of this calamity, we had intermitent power via generator. Unfortunately, the thermostat of the generator had burnt out. The maintenance man had burnt his arm trying to get this under control. We had intermitent power for several hours. Then the maintenance man took me outside in the pouring rain. He showed me how to kick start the generatoe so that we had auxilary power. I wished they had showed me this during my orientation just the month before.
The DON said, "You mean the call lights don't work?" The administrator came in within 2 hours to help. It was much appreciated. Oh well, the patients on two other wings had no emergency oxygen and were on flat air beds for four hours, but all patients survived without adverse effects. I quit a month later.
This was by far the worst experience I had as a nurse. I have more less exciting stories, but, unfortunately, they are all true. Shelly
Quote from Alpha13
Hope you guys don't mind sharing this. What was your worst nursing related experience? Could be dealing with a patient and something disgusting happening, or a fight with a coworker or something else. Looking forward to your replies