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Specializes in Paediatric. Has 2 years experience.

Hey everyone!!

I'm new to this forum but I would like advice, critics and comments please.


I'm a registered children's nurse, qualified and working for 1 year. Never had any complaints from patients, patient families or colleagues. I'm very hard working and enjoy my job.

What happened:

5 months ago now I was on a night shift.. I was caring for 5 patients, the nurse in charge had 0 patients... 1 other nurse had 2 patients and 2 other nurses had about 3 patients each.

The nurse in charge has had many complaints in the past regarding her attitude and practice, she doesn't delegate according to priority but she delegates in ways so her "best friend" of the shift does not have many patients so they can gossip and chat all day/night.

So a new patient came onto the ward whilst I was busy attending to another patient.

This baby was 2 days old, low sodium levels in blood so required a drip. The nurse in charge and another staff nurse took handover for the patient and set up the iv fluids and began the admission. When I came into the room I was told by nurse in charge to take over and carry on the care... which I did.

Cut a long story short.

Roughly at 01:00 the fluid pump began to alarm. I WITNESSED the nurse in charge pause the pump "tweak" the cannula site and then un-pause it. This was clearly done to stop the pump from alarming. I was then TOLD to go on my 2hour break. The nurse in charge documented the pump reading which helps prove that she had contact with the pump at that time. Nurse in charge also went on her break with me.

Another staff nurse took over the care of my patients whilst I was gone, including the neonate. She documented each pump reading after the "tweaking" incident.

When I returned with senior nurse, baby was irritable (on and off)... Charge nurse just advised mother of baby to constantly feed.

At end of shift got a phone call from senior nurse I was working with saying I am in BIG TROUBLE. She said she received a call from the manager shouting at her regarding the baby. She told me the baby's cannula had tissued causing swelling and slight burning to hand. The senior nurse also tried to create a back up plan by giving me things to say when I get the call. (Really she was covering herself)

(The tweaking incident must have caused cannula to dislodge which may have resulted it in making the fluids flow in her arm and not her veins)

No one called, so I ended up calling the hospital myself. I was told I was not allowed to return to work and had to attend a meeting

In the meeting I was suspended from work.

I was the only one suspended!!!!

I call everyday, they give me minimal updates. No updates as to when I will return to work or if I will get dismissed.

The whole suspension process has been depressing :(


So I applied for new jobs (almost out of boredom)

Had an interview for somewhere I have always wanted work... And I got the job... yay me!!!

I declared my suspension so no secrets there

BUT!!!!!!!!!! My reference has not replied to their emails :(

I think they are holding back and don't want to let me go!

I can't go back to where I work, I was treated unfairly and I won't feel comfortable working there again, I feel like they will question my practice.

What do I do, would my job offer still be valid?? Huff such a depressing situation.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Based upon the terminology used in your post, it seems that you are not in the US. Employment processes are very different here, so I have no advice for you.

BrandonLPN, LPN

Has 5 years experience.

Is a "registered children's nurse" an actual thing, or is that just your way of saying you're a RN with peds experience?

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

So at 01:00, the IV was beeping and another nurse attempted to trouble-shoot it. Fair enough, babies move a lot and IVs can easily become kinked. If she was just trying to un-kink it or something like that and it was patent thereafter and flushed with no signs of infiltration, I don't see that as a problem. You then went on break from 01:00-03:00 (2 hours is more than I ever got for a break in my entire hospital career, haha). The nurse covering your break caring for the child was monitoring the IV and documented on it.

So you then returned from break at 03:00 and cared for the baby for the remainder of the shift. (Till 07:00? I'm not sure what hours you worked.) Regardless, for the end of the shift the baby was your responsibility. Did you assess her IV during that time and document that it was infusing well/was not infiltrated? When I worked in the hospital, it was policy to assess and document on running IVs q1hr. It seems that this IV infiltrated at some point during the remainder of your shift and you missed it. That can happen to anyone and IVs can infiltrate rather quickly... especially with a little one who's flexing his hand and flailing about. While I don't think anyone should have been suspended for this, I don't really see why you are upset that other people weren't suspended. If it's your patient, it's your responsibility to assess the IV site regularly. The charge nurse was trying to help when she "tweaked" the IV. Did you ask her what she did to your patient after you "witnessed" it? The other nurse was covering your break. It seems like we don't know for certain when the IV infiltrated but you make no mention of having assessed the site when you returned from break. The baby was irritable so something was wrong... did anyone check her IV site the remainder of the shift?

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 40 years experience.

I am so sorry you are going through this........unfortunately, regardless of what was done in between assessments ans care. The baby was your patient and you were responsible for the IV site. It sounds like the IV site infiltrated and that is why the baby was fussy and crying....the baby's hand hurt form the IV.

It doesn't really matter what the charge nurse said to the MOm about feeding the baby...you are still responsible for the infant and the IV.

I agree however that your charge nurse was NOT fair in her assignments giving the new admit ot the nurse with the most patients. But I don't knw if there is much you can do about that. Offer the new employer another reference. Tell them they are holding out so you can't leave.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 32 years experience.

I suspect that the OP is in the UK as children's nurse is something the UK uses and London in her title I don't think means London Canada.

If not already I would suggest if in a union (RCN, CUPE etc) contact them and get the union behind you. I am surprised you mention 2 hour break as I never had anything like that in the NHS but makes me wonder what shift pattern you are working.

Please confirm where you are working as this needs to be moved to a more appropriate forum

tyvin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice / Psych / RNAC.

I would have insisted on inspecting the site myself before going on break. Especially with an alarm going off on my own patient while I was still in the room. That was your responsibility. I know it's gone and done but you need to realize your part in all this. You put "told" in all caps which tells me you're still trying to put the blame on someone else. Doesn't anyone check IV sites at your place... What about after you came back from break...who was monitoring the baby? Looks different after you put it down in written form and you get real responses...

Are you suspended with pay, obviously you're not part of a union or you would have mentioned it or are you? So you haven't been terminated...is that it? If that's it and this new job wants you, you're going to have to give your notice. But before you do that I would make sure you have a valid offer. The nursing world is small and things get around and of course exaggerated. I would think deep about what to tell the new job about the suspension. Didn't they ask why you were suspended?

It's possible to go back but you need to trust your inner gut. Don't burn any bridges; take responsibility.


Specializes in OB, ER. Has 12 years experience.

Seems odd to be suspended for an IV infiltration. They happen and are often now anyone's fault. Every nurse has had it happen and I've never heard of anyone being suspended for it.

The uneven patient load is ridiculous! You should not have been given the 6th patient if other nurses only had 2 or 3.

If I were you I would take the job you were offered and run far away from your current job!

Seems like you are being held accountable ( and rightly so) for not assessing the IV site. Doesn't matter who "tweaked" the IV, you are still the primary nurse and left responsible.

Whenever you are overwhelmed you are prone to make mistakes, you could have refused to assume of the new admission if you didn't feel like you could safely care for the paitent.

I'm sorry this happened to you. If you have any co-workers that you are friends with then maybe you can ask them to provide a reference.

Good luck.

PS. You get a two hour lunch break? That is freakin awesome!

I think the thing going on here is that AS well as the infant, they had 5 other patients to monitor as well whereas the other 3 nurses only had 2 patients and the CN had none so why didn't the CN take this patient?

IMO work is a place for professionalism not to 'socialise' as a CN yo do not give your bffs a low patient load just so you can catch up on the goss, also as for the IV infiltrating why wasn't a forearm splint and crepe bandage used to help reduce this possibility by immobilising the arm?

Hmm, a lot of I.V. get infiltrated and causes swelling, we can't really do anything about it...

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

Hmm, a lot of I.V. get infiltrated and causes swelling, we can't really do anything about it...

This isn't really true. There may not be anything we can do to prevent an IV from infiltrating in an infant who's going to be flailing about but we can assess the site, note that it's infiltrated, remove the IV and elevate the extremity rather than ignoring it and allowing the fluid to continue to infuse into the tissue for several hours. Severe infiltrates can cause tissue necrosis and compartment syndrome.

I've seen some pretty bad infiltrates in my day... I once had a two year old whose IV was infusing without any problems all night, soft with no signs of infiltration. I was assessing the site every hour as was policy with an infusing IV. When I went to take him to the OR, his hand was the size of a balloon. This was a 2 year old with fluids running at probably 50 mL/hr or so... his IV had infiltrated within the past hour and already met the criteria for a stage 4 infiltrate. That amount of fluid infusing into a little hand can do that in a short amount of time. I wasn't fired or reprimanded because I caught it, removed the IV, put his hand up on a pillow, notified the OR and filed an incident report as was required by my facility.

I have also seen infiltrates from IVIG and Vanco that were pretty bad. Some that even required a plastic surgery consult (none of which actually required any surgery). I've never heard of a nurse getting fired or reprimanded just for an IV infiltrate but if an IV had been infiltrated for several hours and left running/not removed and the child suffers because of it, the nurse wasn't doing her job.