Worst Nursing Experience--What's Yours? - page 2

I wanted to start this thread because I'm new to the nursing realm and I am on my way to becoming an RN and then later a CRNA. I've read stories about nurses and their wonderful experiences when... Read More

  1. by   tonyluvnelly
    Thank you for your story. That sucks when you think you are doing everything you can and here you have people who truly dont appreciate and spread things of your name to others. that is just un cool!
    Quote from mom4josh
    One of my worst days came a few months ago. I was taking care of a hospice patient who was in her last days. I did everything the family asked of me, including calling the MD at 2 in the morning for additional meds because the pt was not calming down. The family was very appreciative, even went as far as saying that my job was a calling, to which I agreed. Not too long before I left for the night, however, I told one of the family members that they might want to pick up the waiting area since there would soon be traffic going in and out, as several of them had been "camping out" on the sofas and there was trash and blankets all over (against our policy, but as charge nurse I didn't mind, as long as they were quiet). About a half hour later, the patient's daughter came over to me and asked me my name... and my last name. When I told her, she repeated it to the person she was talking to on her cell. So, after I gave report, I went to her and asked her if anything was wrong. She proceeds to verbally attack me in a very loud voice (right at the nurse's station in front of my co-workers) about how uncaring and uncompassionate I was and that I had no business working there. I apologized for whatever it was I supposedly had done, and walked away in tears. A few days later, same woman was getting on the elevator with her sisters and said, "that's her" in a loud voice. I know she meant for me to hear. She never spoke or would look at me again after that.

    Best experience was when I had my EGD. The nurse was a very sweet and gentle person, took time to share her experience with me, and never made me uncomfortable in any way. I was very thankful for her!
  2. by   samaletta
    Last summer I was working midnight shift and there was a man who was in my assignment who had some kind of bowel obstruction and was just getting over it. he was on strict bed rest and was not allowed to get up. he had to move his bowels so I put him on the bed pan. I left to give him his privacy then came back a few mintues later to get him off. The smell was the worst smell I have ever EVER ever EVER smelled in my life. I didn't let it show, however, and took the bed pan to the bathroom to empty it after cleaning him up. While emptying the bedpan, I started dry heaving then finally threw up right on top of his poop which made me even sicker. Thankfully this did not happen in front of the patient, the bathroom is a seperate room. Now, I do NOT have a weak stomach, I can handle C-Diff, gi bleeds, trach care, it is just that this poop was like no other poop I have ever smelled. yuk!
  3. by   luvschoolnursing
    Dear mom4josh,
    I read your story and had to think about how my mother treated the hospice staff when my dad was dying. She was an embarassment. To this day, she talks about how awful they were. I don't think they were awful, it's that she was just so full of grief and overwhelmed at my dad was dying that she "behaved badly" Please don't take what this family said personally, sometimes otherwise nice people behave so irrationally when they are in the crisis of losing a loved one. I'm sure you gave good, compassionate care. I'm sorry you were treated this way
  4. by   KellieNurse06
    Mine is working with PCA's in homecare who try to tell me what to do & how to do it......great..unlicensed personnel telling me how to perform nursing tasks......maybe I'll get a nursing position in a surgeons office & tell the doctor how to perform various surgeries Did I just waste my time & money going through nursing school because PCA's seem to think they run the show I have one example......My daughter who has a gtube, has for her entire life pretty much...um about 17 years now so I pretty much have an idea in addition of what we learned in nursing school ....my patient I take care of has one as well...and the PCA was trying to tell me & show me step by step how to do a gtube dressing....:angryfire ........and I am old enough to be this persons mother to top it off..... I think I am vowing to never take another homecare case that has PCA's because this isn't the 1st place I mworked at where the PCA's think they run the show...and they are private hires too.....Has anyone else had this happen to them with unlicensed personnel trying to run the show???
  5. by   ROSYJO11
    maybe not worst experiences but things to be aware of

    After alco-wiping the skin prior to a subcut injection, my finger slipped on the slippery skin I was pinching up and the needle went straight through my finger instead of into the patient. (had it been a longer needle it would have gone into him as well). I just politely told him I needed to change the needle as it had touched my skin then turned away and said to myself oh fu!k!!!! as I walked down to the treatment room to remove it lOL

    contents of a NGT spurted out into my eye

    a friend hung a bag of blood up before connecting the tubing to it, she punctured it and because she was standing under it (yes, she was short), it covered her in blood. Lovely long blonde hair and white uniform

    What makes or break a shift is the staff and the staffing. A great team can make the busiest of days pleasant if not hectic.

    It only takes one horrid staff member to ruin any day. I guess you get that in any profession.

  6. by   Susan9608
    My worst nursing experience was at my current job. I was working night shift at the time, and I was new to my unit. I was assigned to a patient that I didn't feel qualified to handle, particularly because I was informed no one would be able to help me. My supervisor/charge nurse would be running the CVVH machine all night, so would not be available as a resource. I asked for an assignment change, and was told that there was no one to switch with me.

    Then I asked to fill out a Safe Harbor form. My supervisor/charge nurse chewed me out and then called the administrator, who also chewed me out and they both tried to talk me into taking the patient without filling out one of those forms. I refused, so they said they would have to make me trade assignments with a brand new grad - someone with LESS experience than I had at the time.

    I was in tears. I called my husband for support, and he chewed me out as well, telling me I would feel a lot worse if something bad happened to the patient with a less-experienced-nurse than me taking care of her. So I went back to my supervisor/charge nurse and said okay, I would take the patient without filling out the Safe Harbor. He refused, though, and said that since I said the words "Safe Harbor" I couldn't go anywhere near the patient.

    I ended up with the easiest assignment in the unit, while this nurse 2 months out of nursing school took the patient. And to make me feel worse, the supervisor/charge nurse's patient ended up not needing CVVH, so he was available to help that nurse with the patient I refused after all.

    Had I known I would have back up, I would have been willing to take the patient without the Safe Harbor. So I ended up feeling - and looking - like a total incompetent ass.

    I cried all night, and decided to hand in my resignation the next day. My manager talked to me, though, and said if I ever had a problem like that again to call her at home. She apologized and even gave me a day shift position. But it was horrible while it was happening.
  7. by   medsurgnurse
    My worst nursing experience was precepting first year nursing student who as I was trying to teach a procedure skill said to me " I don't need to learn this; I'm going to be a CRNA."
  8. by   TraumaGirl1018
    Quote from medsurgnurse
    My worst nursing experience was precepting first year nursing student who as I was trying to teach a procedure skill said to me " I don't need to learn this; I'm going to be a CRNA."

    oh...my...goodness...that person has ALOT to learn!:trout:
  9. by   scattycarrot
    Whats a 'safe harbour' form? Not familiar with that term!
  10. by   queenjean
    My worst (that I can think of right now):

    Starting a PCA per protocol--programmed it, then another nurse checked it, then started it.

    Then deviated from protocol due to a busy night, you all know how it can be. Supposed to check the PCA settings and vitals 30 minutes after initiation and any change in dose. I did check on the patient, but didn't check settings for two hours.

    When I checked them, I realized that somehow the pump was mis-programmed. Either I did it and the second nurse didn't catch it, or she did it on accident when she was checking the settings.

    But the pump was set to deliver 10x the dose of the med. After I about crapped my pants, I had to force myself to look over at the patient to see if she was still breathing.

    Yup, the planets were aligned, and my day to mis-program a PCA pump with a dose that would kill a lesser being fell on the day that I was taking care of a drug seeker. She later told her day shift nurse, "I don't think she misprogrammed the pump (I did own up to it to her, as hard as it was). The only time this thing has worked is for the first two hours I had it. I want it back up to the settings the night shift nurse put it on."

    The realization that I just about killed a person, that my mistake SHOULD have killed a person, what a horrible, horrible thought. The responsibility we hold in our hands really was a burden to me that day, really bore me down and frankly scared me enough where I wanted to call in the next day, and maybe every day afterwards.

    Luckily when I talked to my supervisor about it, she shared with me that, several years ago, she made a similar mistake and almost killed an infant with a misprogrammed IV pump. Her point was that a) we're human. b) if you don't learn from your mistakes you have no business being a nurse; c) therefore, learn from your mistake and never ever ever let it happen again.

    So, not only do I triple check all my PCAs obsessively, I do it with all my scary meds; AND I've told all my co workers my story, AND I usually am the one that double (triple?) checks their PCA settings. I figure my "punishment" is to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone on my floor, if I can help it.

    That feeling in my gut, though, when I saw the PCA setting; I'll never forget that horrible, horrible feeling.
  11. by   pepperann35
    Worst experience in nursing: When I was doing 12 hour in-home private duty pediatrics. The family of a wonderful 12 yr. old patient. They expected you to help them out financially (including booze, cigarettes and dog food) The alcoholic mom wanted to borrow my cell phone to talk to her on-line boyfriends and girlfriends while her husband was passed out in a drug-induced haze and her other children ( a 16 yr old high-school drop out with a live-in 18 yr. old girlfriend and a 24 yr. old jobless, heroine-addicted probation violating sex-addict son entertained themselves with girls, drugs, whips and chains in the room next to my patients room. No lie, child protective services were called and did nothing because the patients welfare was not at stake. The nursing agency was also aware of the situation.:uhoh21: Can anybody top that?
  12. by   Susan9608
    Whats a 'safe harbour' form? Not familiar with that term!
    Safe Harbour is something that protects a nurse's license in the event that he/she is assigned a patient that she feels is beyond her scope of skills to take care of. It does not protect you from malpractice, but should a patient suffer harm under your care after you've filled out one of these forms, then your license is protected with the board of nursing.

    For instance, if a regular med-surg nurse is required to float to a labor & delivery unit, he/she might ask to fill out a Safe Harbour form. Then, if something bad happens - like the nurse doesn't notice/respond to late decels on the fetal monitor (as she's never been trained to read a fetal monitor), and the patient suffers a bad outcome because of this, then the float nurse has some protection.

    It's basically to keep hospitals from forcing nurses to put themselves and patients in unsafe situations. Usually just mentioning "Safe Harbour" assures you'll get an assignment change.

    I'm not sure if this is just in Texas or in other places as well.