Post your daily nightmares here.

  1. It ain't all roses out there. You know it, I know it. Share 'em here. I'll start. 70 something year old patient admitted for 'altered mental status'. Restraint order obtained by the nurse before me but not initiated. He has his mitts on, but is now trying to jump out of bed (very spry). Verbal reasoning is futile and get's combative. I push his call light to summon help and he begins swinging at me. I block his blows then he starts kicking at me. So, here I am holding his ankles with one hand, ducking and weaving his fist blows with the other and when help arrives they just stand there and look. "Need any help?" DUH! We finally get him properly restrained and sedated but not without further struggles. The next day, guess who I'm assigned to? Yup. (continuity of care you know) His head is a bit clearer now (probably septic and the ABX have started working), but he's telling stories of past hospitalizations where he's knocked nurses to the ground by hitting them with his tele box. He knew quite well what he was doing at the time, and he's now laughing about it. After 15 years of this stuff ... I'm done. I'm moving on. What's your story?
    Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Aug 27, '12 : Reason: ToS
  2. Visit Biffbradford profile page

    About Biffbradford

    Joined: Sep '10; Posts: 1,117; Likes: 1,707
    from US
    Specialty: ICU


  3. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Moved to nursing colleague patient relations forum
  4. by   Aeterna
    Terrible, terrible day today. In order to critical-ness...

    Patient #1: A cancer patient who took a turn for the worst yesterday (I was also working that day). He is a DNR, but still...O2 sats low even with high-flow humidified O2, but he was confused and disliked the mask and so kept pulling it off. His sister, also a nurse, consented to just putting him on nasal prongs to make him less agitated, knowing very well his O2 sats would just drop more. His Foley was draining blood, and predictably got clogged, so we had to put a new one in. Confused (likely due to hypoxia), he started getting aggressive and was swinging at us. We managed to calm him down for a couple of hours with some sedatives, but then he got agitated again, and we had to start a continuous infusion of Versed. I also spent a lot of time on the phone between the doctor (determining a plan of treatment) and EMS (because the plan ended up being to stop treatment and send him to his home hospital to be closer to his family before he dies).

    Patient #2: New admit, a young man with febrile neutropenia. Doc wrote tons of new orders. Of course, lots of antibiotics, some of them through IV. His hemoglobin was low so I had to transfuse 2 units of blood. PICC line dressing needed to be changed, too.

    Patients #3 & #4: Pleasant guys, but also require total care (which nurses mostly provide where I work; we have a couple of PSWs for baths but not enough to cover all patients) and intermittent pain control. One of them is also quite sick and had a PICC line inserted for chemotherapy to start soon, and he also recently had spinal surgery. Yay.

    So, yeah. Not a good day. Thank goodness for helpful co-workers! One of the nurses practically did half my work and I still didn't do some of my charting until the end of the day >_< The part that gets me? I picked up this shift voluntarily to cover a sick call...
  5. by   Beverage
    A coworker had a confused pt in his 70's who got out of his wrist restraints and she saw me & called for help. Pt ripped his Tele box off and hit the MD x2 with the leads. I grab his right wrist while primary RN is holding his left, 2 CNA's walk in and stand at foot of the bed. Pt tries to bite me and when I'm dodging his teeth, he raises his rt knee and tried to hit me in the head. 2 staff at foot of the bed just stand there, "can someone grab a leg please?" Once his legs were held, I was able to tie his right hand and go to the left side of bed and untangle restraint so Primary could tie the left. It happens, and we deal with it as best as we can while remaining injury free.
  6. by   sockov
    You had all 4 of these patients in the ICU you work in!?!?
    That's crazy!
  7. by   BelieveN
    Had 70 something with dementia, family quoted he is a sweet kind man would not hurt a fly. Total denial, when they left he started yelling at staff and other residents. Trying to assist with Adl care took 3 to 4 staff members everytime. Finally after him breaking a staff members arm hitting few in face stomach and twisting my arm in process of transfer from bed to chair with assistance of course. Facility refusedto do anything and family refusing meds to be given. Only did they do something when he attacked the administrators grandmother in law and sent him to be evaluated and placed on meds. We as nurses and Cnas do are best to help the patient and family as well as each other but there are some families in denial about there loved one and how aggressive they can get, and not having the faculty to back up there employees is a disgrace to that company. It happens in this specific company all the time and its wrong. Yes we have to go thru times like that but when more than one staff member is getting hurt than they should of fixed it by sending for eval pearlier.
  8. by   Parkerone
    My worst patient ever was the aids patient with dementia who kept removing his super huge open wound dressing and spraying blood all over the place. I believe he could not be restrained due to the dementia. I had other patients in the hospital to tend to but by the end of the shift I was tending myself ( now lol). Whewww...
  9. by   monkeybug
    Any day I have to have any contact whatsoever with my nurse manager. I know that sounds like I'm trying to be funny, but I'm not. I can handle anything, literally anything, better than I can handle having to see her/hear her/ deal with her.
  10. by   Mulan
    Where ya moving to?
  11. by   JordanRose
    Nurses and other healthcare members need to start filing charges against patients who assault us. It is total nonsense that healthcare workers even have to put up with this nonsense. If these patients (the ones who are A&O of course) would treat other service employees (sales clerks, hotel employees, airline employees, POLICE OFFICERS, etc) like this, they would be arrested and charged in a heartbeat. For some reason, healthcare workers are expected to put up with this nonsense because they are dealing with "sick people." Nonsense. Just because you are sick, doesn't give you free reign to attack and assault others. If a person pulled that crap on a plane, it would be a federal offense!

    It is high time for nurses and other healthcare workers to "fight" back agains this type of behavoir and put a stop to it.
  12. by   Aeterna
    Quote from sockov
    You had all 4 of these patients in the ICU you work in!?!?
    That's crazy!
    Were you, by chance, referring to my post? (as I think I'm the only one who has mentioned 4 patients so far...)

    Nope, I don't work in the ICU! I work on just your plain ol' med/onco floor, hence why the 4 patient load. Our ICU nurses get just 1-2 patients each.

    My nightmare for today:
    Not so much craziness and chaos, but one of the worst things in nursing, I think, is to watch a patient suffer. Near the end of the shift, one of the nurses asked for some help. His patient (diagnosis: Lung Ca) was struggling to breathe, O2 sats 70-75% on a non-rebreather. He was going cyanotic, too. I had taken care of him not too long ago so we still remember each other, and I know we're not supposed to have favourites, but he was one of mine. I sat with him, held his hand, got him a cool cloth, and basically talked him through it. He looked at me and asked, "Am I going to die?" I didn't know what to say.
    Last edit by Aeterna on Aug 30, '12