Help me to forgive them

Nurses General Nursing


When I arrive in a PT's room, at the start of a new shift, it's very annoying for me to find debris in a PT's bed. And not just any PT's... it's usually the severely bed ridden ones that have all kinds of plastic syringe tops and dresing wrappers left in their bed. It really bothers me.

To think that a RN, or DR, or anybody would be so indignant as to pop medical debris onto the floor or bed of a PT because they are so absent-minded not to use the trash can. And again, it's always the very ill PT's (maybe because they feel they can get away with it)

I know RN's and DR's are busy, and rushed, but what does it say about a person's work when they toss debris around? It's slightly demotivating for me to see a PT bed or bedside floor littered with all types of plastic tips and everything else that can come from the hands of a health care provider.

Even if I was super-busy, I would never flip plastic caps or wrappers into a bed, or onto the floor, of a PT. I would put that stuff in the trash...duh.

I ask myself - what impression should I have on the first person I see/catch tossing stuff around after a bedside proceedure in blatent disregard? Can you forgive that stuff? If a DR changed a dressing, and left the PT's room with wrappers all in the covers, or on the floor, what are you supposed to do? Could you forgive an RN who threw an alcohol wipe wrapper, or CBG lancet top, or syringe cap in bed with your grandma or grandpa? What does it say about a person if they would do that? How do you (respectfully) call someone on this behavior/terrible habit? It's not right!!


1,827 Posts

i don't know mario, i haven't been in your shoes yet so i don't know what to say really.

it seems like you are learning a lot at your job and you really care. :)

Dayray, RN

700 Posts

I hate this too! especialy when the doctors leave dirty dressings in the bed.

I don't think your ready to take on doctors on this issue. best to wait until you have a working relationship with them. Back when I was an aid and I saw a nurse doing this, I woudl pretend I did'nt know it was them that had left trash in the bed. I would pick it up and say "Wow I bet that was bothering the patient". If they dient get the hint I would pick something up in front of them and say "you do that allot, I know your busy but this is'nt good for their skin or their self image"

It's a big problem and I've been guilty of it myself. Littel things make a big difference.

Jay Levan

154 Posts

Hey Mario, I've been watching your Posts, for some time now, I have watched as some of my feminine colleagues, have gushed over you, offering to be your "Groupies" and I have watched you take the "High Road" on an impressive list of subjects. I have also watched, as you danced your way around, and through many "Sticky" subjects as well as anyone here. This time I feel the need to respond in as positive a manner as I know how to, please believe me, I do not mean to criticise, mearly to point out how hopeless a cause, you are attempting to discuss. I do not work the floors, however I do deliver patients there, and as part of my observation skills, I do notice, either the neatness or lack there of, many rooms where patients reside. One of the first, and most easily seen, is the complete, and utter disregard of the patient, toward the cleanliness of their own living space :eek: Next is the patient's family members, if you get the opportunity, check a patient's room just after a gaggle of family members leaves the room. I have seen as follows: beer cans, fast food wrappers, candy bar wrappers, food that for whatever reason has missed someones mouth, used condoms, and heavens to murgatroid, even drug paraphernalia, :chair: lying on the patients bed, all these things plus a list that is too long to mention here. The reason I mention these things is that,

I would much rather have found empty dressing wrappers and such as you have mentioned. Please do not let the things you have little, or more precisely, no control over, weigh you down. I am happy for your progress, and very interested in seeing you grow and thrive in the profession of Nursing, and wish you all that is good for your successful completion of you chosen endeavor. Stay true, and focussed, on the primary goal without becoming bogged down, with unattainable causes. Doctors will always be Doctors, and picking fights with them is a self defeating exercise. The bottom line here is, the world is made of only two types of people, those that are slobs, and those that are neat freaks, and it is very hard at times to figure out which group is better off;) :biggringi


92 Posts

YEAH Try after doing a very complicated dressing that took you about 20 minutes and the stinking wound doctor comes in doesn't even notify the nurse or anybody and Takes the dsg. OFF completly, leaves the dirty dsg. on the bed next to the patients and THEN LEAVES THE WOUND OPEN TO AIR and touching the mattress!!!!!!!!!!


128 Posts

Another character trait by others attributable to PROFESSIONALISM -- or lack thereof.

micro, RN

1,173 Posts

been guilty of this myself.......mean to pick up all, but well......

and for another nurse or doc.......

if i am the one assisting with a central line placement....or other procedure bedside.......

the onus of the cleanup is on me.....doc walks off or the specialized PICC RN, etc.......

so you do it.....

there is not enough energy to fight all the potential battles out there..........

and yes, point taken regarding the patient and visitors smoking......yeah, I believe that.........

but I digress..........

you do what you must and do even more.....

but it still doesn't seem that in health care.....

that we even the score...........

out of here.........


continuium micro here

neat freak.............................micro...........................................slob

gotta go eat liver and onions and then get around for work.......(oops confusing threads again)

be well all


1,041 Posts

I don't want to pick a fight, or insult anyone, but damn! Imagine hurting someone's feelings, or having a co-worker do a Dr. Jekyl/Mr.Hyde on you because you ask them not to toss debris in a PT's bed. It's nuts!

The angry part comes when i notice this debris on the bed of a quad, or elderly. Like, some people hafta actively participate in a delusion they are better than someone (anyone), by flagrantly tossing debris into a helpless persons bed. Thats harsh. And since it is a visual reminder of someones abnormal behavior, its worse than vandalism to me. I feel people are actively aware they are disrespecting another person by doing this, and should be reminded that we don't disrespect each other in this setting. Right?

Thanks so far to these excellent examples of experienced advice.

sbic56, BSN, RN

1,437 Posts

Specializes in Obstetrics, M/S, Psych.

I feel people are actively aware they are disrespecting another person by doing this, and should be reminded that we don't disrespect each other in this setting. Right?

Mario, do you really think this? Geez, can't it just be that we are overworked, rushed and just plain forgot to pick up? :o


1,041 Posts

sibc56 - thats what i am trying to understand, because I haven't changed a wound yet. But, like, when i have 4-5 CBG's to get before lunch, and there are BM's going on, and what-not, I still am totally aware of my movements, which include removing the lancet top, and disposing it correctly, by rotating my body 90 degrees, sometimes 180 degrees, and dropping that cap in the trash. Again, I am trying to gain insight here as to thought processes, and not pick a fight, or chastize.

(humor; Whatsoever you do, to the least of our PT's, that, you do unto me) :-)


626 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Long Term Care.

Mario, I understand your feelings and have been there myself but in the great scheme of things, I've learned to choose my battles, and in the great chaos and frenzy and craziness that is nursing, I've learned to just pick up after others and try to "leave things better than I found them". With such a slew of coworkers to follow, I don't even know who I'd blame. Eventually, cleaning up after others has become a habit and a pleasure to know that for the most part, nurses who follow me will have a clean room and patient.

By the way, NMAguiar: LOOOOOVE your Avatar!

sbic56, BSN, RN

1,437 Posts

Specializes in Obstetrics, M/S, Psych.


Sounds like you won't be one of those that leaves a trail of caps paper and other assorted medical refuse. Good to follow no doubt! And not just because you ae are also unbelievably handsome. I know that could be misconstrued as sexual harrassment...but I can't help it...have to fire me.:)

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