patient fell while i was monitoring as a patient sitter


today was the 3rd day as a patient sitter. the first two hours i watched a patient and then i switched with someone to do the video monitoring. i was paying attention and right when i clicked the alarm button for one of the patients, that patient fell. thankfully there was another patient sitter in that room but was watching the patient in bed 2 since no one was assigned for the patient that fell. i felt horrible because i felt like it was my fault although i clicked on the button. i know it's not an excuse that i had no experience and since it was my 3rd day and first time with the video monitoring. i don;t know if i misheard it because i felt horrible, but i thought i heard the nurse mention the staffing nurse's name and calling saying, can you send someone because...and then i heard unreliable. so i thought it was me. there was a nursing assistant who was sitting for a patient in bed 2 and when she came out she gave me this real evil look. thankfully, that patient was okay. after an hour, i hit the alarm again for that same patient, and i saw the nurses put some spongy thing on both sides so he wont fall and took more precaution. i feel horrible and im just worried this will go into my record.


7 Posts

I'm confused.. I don't know how a video monitor works, but assuming your watching the TV and your job is to do as your described? Push the alarm when a patient falls? You kinda make it sound like you have to predict when they fall and push it before, which i know certainly isn't the job of a video monitor, so I can't really see what you do wrong or why you would be worried.

Patients fall all the time, some of them fall and dont go noticed until the nurse/cna walks into the room, Atleast you said you pushed the alarm when he fell, which doesn't have a negative outcome therefore you shouldn't feel anything. Sounds like maybe he should have been in a bed with the bed alarm on, or perhapds with the 3/4 side rails up and a padded.. Sounds like you got the typical girl drama at your work, figures she would give you an evil eye and not say anything, you should have asked if there was a problem. Sometimes sticking up for yourself can give you the answers you desire, and not leave you in such a worrisum state.

Theres a couple of rules I've learned while working in a hospital, 1. Don't trust anyone, it can cost you your job. 2. Be vocal and leave nothing to question. If you think theres a problem, you think you did something wrong, you think anything and need more information, then ask and bring it out into the light, worst thing you can do is let something go unanswered/undone

kool-aide, RN

594 Posts

Specializes in Cardiac. Has 5 years experience.

I think it's unsafe that you're monitoring them by video.. there should be sitters in the rooms if these pts are that high of risk.....

Don't worry about it. I get used as a pt sitter too, and once I didn't catch my pt before he pulled his IV out.. he was just getting abx and ivf so it wasn't that big of a deal.. but I felt like poop. :(


141 Posts

Specializes in SICU.

when i worked as a sitter it was hospital policy that the sitter had to be within arm's length of the patient at all times during the shift. i'm not sure that video monitoring would meaningfully reduce incidence of falls.... does it?

Flo., BSN, RN

571 Posts

Specializes in Developmental Disabilites,. Has 7 years experience.

I have had a pt fall while I was holding them. Although I think we phrased it assist to the ground. People fall, it happens. You try your best and then let the guilt go.

vampiregirl, BSN, RN

1 Article; 798 Posts

Specializes in Hospice. Has 13 years experience.

Just a thought... when someone falls it can mean a lot of extra paperwork and work for a nurse. There are some people who simply try to place blame on someone else, no matter what the circumstances are. I've cared for people who no matter what precautions I put in place, they always find a way around them. Some illnesses or conditions can make the brain work in very strange ways. Often it's a team effort to keep a patient safe.

I would encourage you to learn exactly what precautions you should take to keep your patients safe or what you need to report to the nurse immediately. If it's only your third day, you still have a lot to learn - and I don't mean that in a bad way at all. Find either experienced sitters or your manager and ask for feedback. Good luck:)


437 Posts

Current theory is the patient has a right to get up even if we know they are not safe to be getting up alone. Sometimes, even with the best of precautions we are not going to keep them from falling. sounds like you did what you were supposed to do. The patient was no worse off for the wear. Chalk it up to experience. There is a lot of experience in our jobs!!!

vampiregirl, BSN, RN

1 Article; 798 Posts

Specializes in Hospice. Has 13 years experience.
I have had a pt fall while I was holding them. Although I think we phrased it assist to the ground. People fall, it happens. You try your best and then let the guilt go.

Where I work, if someone slides out of a chair or a similar event, it's called a "change of plane". Still is considered a fall though even if no injuries. I am just amused by the terminology:)


82 Posts

I'm confused. Aren't patient sitters supposed to be at the bedside. I never heard of patient sitters watching a video screen. That's new to me.