icky stuff I saw at clinical.

Nurses General Nursing


I just had to post what I encountered when I had my clinical rotation the other day. I was being precepted by a nurse in her mid to late 40's, maybe. Well, she totally disgusted me. She wore gloves, but not like she should have. This nurse was told to give a medication straight into the patient's vein. She dug and dug and finally got it in, then pulled the needle out and there was bleeding. She put a swab on it to contain the bleeding, but in the process, got blood on her fingers. She knew this guy personally, and said, "don't worry, I know you don't have anything." She washed her hands and went on her merry way. Later in the afternoon, another patient came in with difficulty voiding and had to be catheterized. His urine was red and he had blood clots. He c/o feeling like his cath was coming out so I asked the nurse to look at it after I did. She did not put gloves on and handled his penis and got some more blood on her hands. It was at this time or another time that she said that older nurses didn't wear gloves like they should like us younger students and/or nurses.

OK, guys, what is your input on this situation. I mentioned this to another nurse but without as much detail and she said I should talk to the supervisor. Could this be seen as an ethical or a legal dillema? I ask this because in my paperwork due tomorrow, we have to discuss a legal or ethical dillemma that we encountered in clinical. :) . Perhaps, I am just too wrapped up in what we learned in school. But after witnessing what I did at this particular hospital, I don't want to take myself or my kids there to that particular unit. Yuck, yuck, YUCK.:eek: :o


583 Posts

I don't think it is an ethical or legal dillema.

It is however pretty disgusting. In today's climate of infectious diseases I can't understand anyone who does not wear gloves when in contact with a patient. Using the excuse of, we are set in our ways, or, we never used to wear gloves, is just plain stupid and lazy.

The only way I could see it becoming a legal dillema is that if somehow the pt were to develop a UTI and then try to make the hospital responsible for it as a nosocomial infection. I think that would be fairly easy, UTI's seem to be fairly high on the list of nosocomial infections. So, if he could say he got a UTI from the nurse because she did not wear gloves, a case could be made for a lawsuit (only because there are scumbag lawyers who would).

And then again, there was a recent thread about someone here whos husband had MRSA on his hands....could be pretty scary.



22 Posts

Pretty nasty nursing you saw that day... You could consider this an ethical delemma (to get your homework done) because, do you say something to this nurse? To her supervisor?

Just an idea, I know how hard it used to be to answer questions like that in school



839 Posts

if i am not mistaken, if this had occurred in nys, could lose her license for professional misconduct....


992 Posts

I believe the facility can be slapped with fines if an employee is caught not using PPE (personal protective eqiupment). There are only 4 people in this world that I would dare to touch without gloves if they were bleeding or such. My husband and my kids. Period. Other than that, no one. I think I would report this incident to your instructor ASAP!!! This nurse is in clear violation of OSHA/JCAHO/state health depatment regs and probably a few other regulatory departments I have forgot about. If I were a student, I sure wouldn't want a nurse like that precepting me. I would insist on her not being my preceptor at the next clinical rotation. Not only is this nurse jeopardizing her own safety and well being, she is jeopardizing her patients and her co-workers. Good luck.


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

It seems to be an ethical matter for YOU (whether to report this nurse, etc.), so you can write that up and will have completed your assignment.

You might also want to read the "do you wear gloves?" thread on this forum.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

Umm yes it CAN be a legal problem......it involves OSHA safety matters......certainly the hospital CAN be sued if nosocomial infection can be linked to this nasty nurse and her lousy habits! Just ask Any Risk Control manager.......She is definately violating Universal Precautions----it's up there on the list of JCAHO special-interest items, for good reason.

She is unnecessarily exposing herself, you, her coworkers, and the other patients to potential infection, not wearing gloves. Handwashing is not enough in this case to be sure...This really should be reported, before she makes someone critically ill. It could be YOUR Loved ones in the line of fire, next time...or YOU.


992 Posts

I forgot about the infection control nurse. :eek: I think I would almost rather face the wrath of JCAHO and/or OSHA before having to explain myself to our ICF nurse. I saw our ICF nurse chew out a maintenance man the other day and it was not pretty. Granted this employee had it coming to him, but she was very vocal about her dissatisfaction over a situation. She was about 110 lbs and this maintenance guy weighs over 300 lbs. I can tell you who was backing down in the corner and it was not our ICF nurse!! I could almost guarantee you that by the time our ICF nurse was done with the offending nurse at that facility the offending nurse would either a) resign immediately, or b) would totally change her way of doing things.....Our ICF nurse is not to be messed with.....kind of like Vegas and that big ole' purse of hers....:D


2,719 Posts

There are legal implications here. I see a possible ethical situation for you in reporting this.

However I don't see either as a dilemma since a dilemma is by definition a situation where 2 alternative courses of action are equally undesirable. Unless you consider somthing like the following

For example: report this person and have her angry with you and maybe retaliate but protect the patient or not report her and have her as your friend but put patients as well as this nurse at risk.

If this is an issue you face then you have an ethical and maybe even legal dilemma.


586 Posts

Thanks for the replies. I did feel very uneasy with that particular nurses actions. I did mention to my instructor about this particular nurse, and another student did as well. My instructor is pretty ballsy and also works at this hospital, so I guess we will see what will happen.


156 Posts

Specializes in critical care.

At my clincal recently we observed what was supposed to be a sterile dressing change and there was no way that anyone could pretend this thing was sterile. she contaminated herself multiple times. We told the instructor, but we don't know if anything has been done.

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