Worst Nursing Experience--What's Yours?

  1. 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 receiving "thanks you" from patients.

    I would like to know what you worst nursing experience is. Its good to see two sides of the Nursing world. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, i'm just want to see the cons of the Nursing world too. Thank you.

    Tony

    P.S. You experience could be with Management, Patients, Hours, Anything! I want to know the CONS too.
    Last edit by tonyluvnelly on May 9, '07
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    About tonyluvnelly

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 23

    24 Comments

  3. by   skittlebear
    I've only been an LPN a little over a year and a half but a lot of bad experiences I've encoutered with the two jobs I've had are low staffing. We may have a full staff for about 3 months, then bam...we've lost about 3 nurses or more. So, short-staffing is definitely a negative experience here. I've experienced working short quite a bit, and I've come in on several off days. I guess the positive is a lot of overtime on our paychecks. Management is great at my job so far.
  4. by   RNperdiem
    While this is not one experience, the cons of my med-surg job was that even if I came in early, left late and skipped lunch, I was so busy that so many times I didn't give the patients the level of care I wanted them to have.
    These were mostly elderly patients from nursing homes. Medicine could do little to improve their lives. The quality of life they had came from the nursing care. I did an adequate job in assessments, giving (lots) of meds, but I would feel ashamed if a family member would visit and find their loved ones slumped down in bed and still waiting for me to come.
    I get to give that kind of care in ICU now, so my morale is better now.
  5. by   clee1
    Oh yeah..... The worst has to be short-staffing and the high workload it creates; especially r/t the quality of care given to pts.

    Forget the "Nurses eat their young" (hogwash; besides, I'd give 'em terminal indigestion) and unit politics, "catty" behavior and the like. The very worst of nursing IMHO is directly r/t short-staffing.
  6. by   UM Review RN
    I agree. On one 12-hour day shift on a med-surg, I took care of -- assessed, admitted, transferred and discharged -- a total of 21 patients. Normal staffing was 7:1.

    My resignation was on the desk the next day.
  7. by   tonyluvnelly
    Is the turn around rate bad in nursing? Are RN's treated badly? or is it the workload that can become heavy? just curious.

    tony

    P.S. Thank you for all your replies!

    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    I agree. On one 12-hour day shift on a med-surg, I took care of -- assessed, admitted, transferred and discharged -- a total of 21 patients. Normal staffing was 7:1.

    My resignation was on the desk the next day.
  8. by   clee1
    Quote from tonyluvnelly
    Is the turn around rate bad in nursing? Are RN's treated badly? or is it the workload that can become heavy? just curious.

    tony

    P.S. Thank you for all your replies!
    The turnover rate can be high.... I guess it depends on the particular environment one is in.

    However, being as objective about it as I can, I don't think anyone ever intends to treat their nursing staff badly. It just works out that way sometimes.

    I consider it a vicious circle: the stockholders of health care corporations expect (rightfully so) a decent return on their investment, so they lean on the corporate board to keep up profitability. The board in turn leans on the facility chief to keep costs down, and s/he in turn leans on the department managers to do likewise.

    So.... consider the average income/expense per pt per day. The biggest expense any business has is staffing. So, in order to meet profit goals, that is the quickest and, in the short run, easiest place to save some $$$$. The squeeze is on from all levels! And, none of them is intensionally being "mean" or wanting to shortchange pts, but all are trying to protect their own jobs.... and it is a little tough to see the hardships of your staff when you are stuck in financial meetings, JAHCO compliance audits, and department expense spreadsheets!

    What happens then? Hiring slows down (it is cheaper to pay 2 employees overtime than it is to hire/train a new staff member), workload increases, overtime hours per week rise per employee - leading to burn out, job dissatisfaction, and rapid turnover. Add to the mix that more people are leaving bedside nursing than schools can possibly turn out to replace them.... you see what I'm getting at.
  9. by   tonyluvnelly
    Hence the so called "shortage." Gotcha

    Quote from clee1
    The turnover rate can be high.... I guess it depends on the particular environment one is in.

    However, being as objective about it as I can, I don't think anyone ever intends to treat their nursing staff badly. It just works out that way sometimes.

    I consider it a vicious circle: the stockholders of health care corporations expect (rightfully so) a decent return on their investment, so they lean on the corporate board to keep up profitability. The board in turn leans on the facility chief to keep costs down, and s/he in turn leans on the department managers to do likewise.

    So.... consider the average income/expense per pt per day. The biggest expense any business has is staffing. So, in order to meet profit goals, that is the quickest and, in the short run, easiest place to save some $$$$. The squeeze is on from all levels! And, none of them is intensionally being "mean" or wanting to shortchange pts, but all are trying to protect their own jobs.... and it is a little tough to see the hardships of your staff when you are stuck in financial meetings, JAHCO compliance audits, and department expense spreadsheets!

    What happens then? Hiring slows down (it is cheaper to pay 2 employees overtime than it is to hire/train a new staff member), workload increases, overtime hours per week rise per employee - leading to burn out, job dissatisfaction, and rapid turnover. Add to the mix that more people are leaving bedside nursing than schools can possibly turn out to replace them.... you see what I'm getting at.
  10. by   chuck1234
    Seventeen patients on a Med-Surg Unit, and I was in charge. The other nurse had 18 patients. Only 2 of us..... Now, you know the rest of the story!
  11. by   OneSweetNurse
    Hi
    Looking for worst experiences ...
    Well mine was not with the patients it was with the management the patients were great I just remember they are out of their environment and they are sick
    So tell me how do I look at the management?? I worked at a LTC behavioral facility through the county
    Long story short the management DON and ADON were just a BEHAVIORAL as the residents in fact they were worse.
    I had to seek counseling to get over the whole deal (yes it was that bad)
    and I was told "when in that situation always look at management/administration as one of your patients.
    Well Now I am finally able to look for a job after thinking hard about leaving the profession had to stop school also but am returning
    So I am taking this advice with me JUST LOOK AT ADMIN/MANAG. AS ONE OF YOUR PATIENS/RESIDENTS, AND DONT REACT TO THEIR ACTIONS.

    Good luck in the future and keep smiling I find it helps
  12. by   Blackcat99
    My worst nursing esperience was when I was a CNA. I will never forget that man who all of a sudden started vomiting and was trying to swallow his vomit so he wouldn't soil his bed!!!!!! He started to turn purple!!!!! I screamed at him to vomit in the bed and had to reassure him over and over again that it really was ok to vomit in the bed. Please,please do vomit in your bed!!!! There was absolutely no time to try to look for an emesis basin or grab the trash can.
  13. by   emmycRN
    My worst nursing experience was in nursing school (diploma program). This place was like a boot camp and the instructors were so mean!! I was eventually kicked out of the program, then reinstated after threats of a law suit. I didn't take them up on their offer because I honestly could not take another day at this institution, and I was only weeks from graduation. I left there with a problem with anxiety instead of a diploma. Eventually I graduated from a BSN program,:spin: but it took me a long time to recover from the fear and lack of confidence that was a direct result of mistreatment and harrassment at this school. BTW-only 10 out of 80 gradualted from my class.
  14. by   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!

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