the jolliest assignment ever in the history of jolly assignments

Nurses General Nursing


pt 1

wildly manic. going through closets, blowing up rubber gloves, putting them in his gown like boobs, tiptoeing past the nurses station asking for the ladies room. no talking to him. no calming him. no reasoning with him. he should have had a sitter but there was a foul up. sitter wouldnt have helped anyway. i wasnt even finished with report. he wants a razor to shave. NO. now hes pissed. i call the supervisor. you MUST do SOMETHING...this patient is uncontrollable, potential for violence. he hears this, he freaks.

he is leaving. we CANT let him leave. if it comes to this he will need to be 302'd. i call the doc. she will be there soon, she is downstairs. i go to his room where he is completely mad. in my face, screaming at me. i have never been afraid of a patient before. i thought he was going to beat the shit out of me. i leave and call the doc back. she

must come NOW. the other nurses call security.

docs come up. they dont want to sedate him against his will. they want to just leave him alone. i tell them i will not care for him as i am putting my safety in jepordy. security stays all night long. he wont leave me alone. constantly at the nurses station. he sticks his hand in the sharps box looking for paper towels and gets stuck. needlestick protocol. i go have a cig and he asks security to take him down too. finally i ask security to please wait until i come back. i need a break from this guy. he goes off and they finally see the potential for violence. he goes in the linen closet. he lost a necklace. he takes the mattress off his bed and trashes his room looking for it. he draws up a flyer and i make him copies and give him tape. he posts them all over the unit. it gives him something to do.

4 mg xanax, 5 mg morphine dont touch him. i want him sedated and restrained. docs refuse. on and on and on and on and on all shift. i have a suspicion he should be on the psych unit. just a hunch. that has to wait till morning.

pt 2--his roomie

he doesnt want another room cos he likes his roomie. he takes him for wheelchair rides. he sees nothing wrong with his behavior. ok. i let him stay in that room. 4 am his bed is made and he is dressed,complete with coat and elmer fudd hat. where are you going?

im going home. you cant keep me against my will.

and he goes off,swearing at me and telling me he is leaving go get the doc...


he wont let us give him his meds and he wont let anyone touch him. he pisses the docs off. he gets his wish in the morning. no reason to keep him. he is refusing treatment. he says he has nowhere to go. now he doesnt want to leave. he sits in a chair in his coat and hat all night and all day.


400 lbs, drinking golytely and sitting on the bedside commode screaming NURSE all night. four of us get her back to bed. she screams all night.


new admit. abdominal pain. i get her paperwork done four hours after she arrives. shes nice but whines and cries about burning when i give her iv pain meds. the burning is so bad she insists on a washcloth before i give the med. she screams when i inject it. (ativan) it doesnt stop her from calling me every two hours. then she complains because i dilute it. she cant feel it.

oh god leave me alone.


right lower flank pain. now febrile. 3 am c/o chest pain. chest pain protocol. she looks bad. assistant runs an ekg...what does anterior infarction mean?

oh holy shit.

there is a fire alert on another floor. alarms are going off. she needs constant monitoring but there is no infarct. tons of blood work. all new orders.


completely out of it. restrained and trying to get out of the siderails. mumbling to himself. agitated. i give him 0.5 ativan. the needle blows. he gets most of his dose but not all. it wouldnt have mattered anyway. he is up all night.

pt 6

no problem. he lays in bed staring at the ceiling.

non verbal.

pt 7

usually a pain in the ass, thankfully sleeps through the night

pt 8

going to a hospice in the morning. has a trach. looks terrible. nonverbal. keeps sliding down in bed. we keep moving her up.

pt 9

active TB. isolation. she sleeps thru the night but daylight has ignored stat sputum cultures. i cant get one. have to get new order for resp treatment, pg resp. and they come and get it.

i am now mandated overtime. the nurse who is to take my pts has called off. i am now looking at a double. they are going to divide my assignment so i will only have easy pts for the day shift.

i go down to have a cigarette. i am not going to get upset. its 6:30 am. i am looking forward to reporting these loonies off. i go back to the floor. my assistant says go in that room. i do. patient 8 is dead. a fitting way to end the shift.

this is the jolliest assignment in the history of jolly assignments...


152 Posts

That sounds like the WORST assignment I have ever heard of! You must be exhausted! And management wonders why nurses have substance abuse problems sometimes... It makes me wonder, was the rest of the staff facing these types of assignments? I had a charge nurse night like that. It would be a night like that that would seriously make me wonder what in h***'s name did I decide to get into nursing for in the first place. (yeah, yeah, a noble profession, blah, blah yadda, yadda:rolleyes: ) I know this may sound morbid, but at least one of your patients is finally at peace. Gotta love the contagious mania though; that's priceless! Remember, all those baby boomers on down to the self-righteous-the world-owes-me-ers who are gonna want to know what happened to healthcare ought to peruse these boards once in a while to see the abuse we have as healthcare workers been forced to put up with before they ask why there is a nursing shortage. Being the incurable optimist that I am, doesn't it feel a little good to know that you were able to tackle even the most difficult of nights and still come out of it alive? Kinda like a badge of honor, although it doesn't really seem like compensation enough, does it? Here's to hoping your assignment gets changed SOON!!!


657 Posts

this was like the twilight zone.

thankfully i was working with a great crew who REALLY pitched in.

you know ive never seen anything like that. i had taken care of the roomie his entire admission. he was always so sweet and quiet and kind. i didnt realize he could even stand on his

he was like an elmer fudd imitation of the manic.

that was the WORST assignment i will EVER take...EVER.

if i am ever faced with anything close to that again i am going to tell them to get someone to replace me. totally unsafe for so many reasons.

but ill tell you went so fast it was like one big blurr.

and the manager was called at home and told what was going on. you would think she would thank me when she came in. she didnt even say hello.

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

((((( THIS NURSE ! ))))))

O.M.G. I'm so sorry, girl! :eek:


6,011 Posts



Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,064 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

You described one of my nights.....experienced in l979! So sorry another RN went thru this. Deserve the easiest assignment next shift to make up, also a mental health day!.

{{{{{{{{HUG three}}}}}}}}}}}}.


657 Posts

thanks you guys for the hugs.

it really was quite the experience. nothing i want to ever repeat!

the last two weeks on our unit, the patients have been extra sick and extra insane. we are all working at max. is this going on anywhere else?

there is no easy assignment for even if the patients have been no problem all day, they come to life for


32 Posts must be a wonderful nurse to SURVIVE a night like that. Everything that happened sounds way out of the ordinary, or maybe not for you lately. Hope you have time to get some R & R before going back. TAKE CARE....

Jane Ann


657 Posts

thanks ltc. i dont know if its that im a wonderful nurse or that i lack the common sense to have

its just unbelievable that ALL of that happened to me in eight hours. it was like nursing candid camera or something.

TracyB,RN, RN

646 Posts

Specializes in jack of all trades, master of none.

OH, man!!!!!!!!! That is horrible.

Just another nightfull of reasons why I don't work in a hospital.Hope you don't have to do that again.


951 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, Critical Care.

OMG, thisnurse, if I could have flown out to your facility (no idea where you are), I would have! Sheez! You needed to be 15 different people that night! So help me, if you would have been in my neighborhood, I'd have come in...

Ah, there is NOTHING like being a nurse. And they ask why we can't explain what we do....

hoolahan, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,721 Posts

Specializes in Home Health.

:eek: :eek: :eek: {{{thisnurse}}}:eek: :eek: :eek:

OMG!!! I can't even imagine. I would have had a nervous breakdown!! And a death at 6:30 am....OMG!!!!

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