stupid mistake(my fault) may get me fired.


LTC, Had a resident with a pleur vac system, drain q3days, never seen this system before. went to hook her up to drain, it did not work well, couldn't get the seal to break. opened system, broke it with a pen, then rehooked it up. In retrospect, did not really understand it, my total fault. Resident complaint, I'm suspended w/o pay. Funny how people can make mistake after mistake and not get in trouble over them. I have 1 resident complaint(although I understand it) and BOOM! I feel the wall coming down, see the writing and the wall. and feel like I'm probably going to be fired over it. I'm a prn nurse there, and usually work 6-7 shifts a month. They've talked about getting rid of flexi's(due to having more money per hour,although no benefits), and cutting my hours. The DON says the film is in the chart room, and I'd like to know where since there is no P&P books there either. How am I to know when I only work every few weeks? Advice?

I've felt unsafe there for a while, have had nights where by self between 12-6AM, responsible for too many residents.

I think regardless of outcome, I am going to submit my resignation if they say they are going to fire me(I have another job, so employment will not be a issue).


38,333 Posts

Give it a little time to see if things blow over. No sense in jumping into the river until you are sure the boat has a leak. Good luck.

If they were going to fire you they'd have done it. Hang in there.

locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,396 Posts

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

true, ca, but I hold myself to a higher standard, and I guess I just have a tough time with it when I do make a mistake, plus the DON comes off "holier than thou" everytime she talks to you about issues. I've only talked to her maybe a grand total of 15 minutes the entire 1 year she's been working there.

Sue, thanks, that helps. I'm sure I can use my stellar record and the fact that usually I have no complaints and this is my first issue ever being brought to my attention, to sway things my way. If I have to take a written warning over it, no problem, I'll happily sign away and keep on being employed.

I have started looking at other part time jobs just to see what's out there, maybe I'll find my dream The one where they pay me to be on the beach, telecommute, and drink a cold frosty mug of beer while others do what I tell em......where do I sign up for that one?

Ginger's Mom, MSN, RN

1 Article; 3,181 Posts

Has 41 years experience.

Yes, you should have known about a pleurovax, but the LTC should have inserviced you and why are the accepting a patient with this type of therapy.

Don't be too hard on yourself.


2,228 Posts

A chest tube?


2 Articles; 120 Posts

Just because you broke the seal with a pen? Someone clue me in here....

liebling5, MSN, RN

1 Article; 143 Posts

Specializes in Stroke Seizure/LTC/SNF/LTAC. Has 9 years experience.
Just because you broke the seal with a pen? Someone clue me in here....

The seal is there so that fluid or air can safely get out of the thoracic cavity. You are usually only supposed to measure and record the output (fluid) and make sure that the system is bubbling (air escaping properly). Breaking the seal releases the pressure (vacuum) and defeats the purpose of the chest tube drainage.

Not only that, she exposed a sterile area (the lungs) to contamination. :eek:

Specializes in ER, TRAUMA, MED-SURG. Has 22 years experience.

Stupid question - was it a patient that had a pleura-vac r/t a pneumo or a wound that had a wound-vac? I just wasn't sure which. If it's the latter, I hate to mess with them. Always have trouble betting it finished and then having the top dsg to look right and then show that it's working, so that you see the opsite sucking down on it.

Anne, RNC

Specializes in Cardiac, ER. Has 18 years experience.

I'm confused,..a chest tube to drain only every three days?? Why do you have to break the seal to drain,..????

locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,396 Posts

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

it's capped off, and I realized that I broke the seal a little too late( like a whole 3 hours later when I was thinking about it.) It's ok....I'm coming to terms with I'm not perfect, and such is life.....if they are going to let me go, it's the way it has to be, and I will be ok. I always have a tendency to overthink things, and freak out about it. oh well, I just hope there is no harm to the resident.

Besides, any forigen introduction would have to migrate all the way back up the catheter...not a short tube, we're talking about 4-5 feet all told, I did not break sterility with the cap or the hook up or the dressing around the tube, just that location. I am going to go into work next time and let it go...if it comes up, I am deftly going to say "i don't want to talk about it."

locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,396 Posts

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

we're not talking a big system here, we're talking the bottles and tube system here...because our system is too cheap to pay for a better way.