Two stories which will surely make you think .....

Nurses General Nursing


True Story #1

This happened in KY to a RN who worked in a inpatient dialysis unit. I went to school with this RN and received this information from her. The following incident happped approx one year ago: The names will be changed to protect the quilty.

S*** was working as a RN in a local hospital on the inpatient dialysis unit. The charge nurse is Rita. S*** is a very humble person who serves as a 'punching bag' for all the *****es in this profession who 'eat their young'. One day R*** had drawn up all the meds for the pts (which is the job of the charge nurse). While passing the meds of these pts which by the way are ALL given through IV type methods got involved with a pts subclavian port which was not running properly. R*** told S*** to get the meds for a pt a give them to him. The meds were iron, Epoiten and heperin. S*** took the pre-drawn meds and infused them into the pt. Sometime later in the shift the pt died. The cause was internaly bleeding from an overdose of heperin. Of course the cause of death was NOT relayed to the family. The charge nurse R*** and the manager C**** took it upon themselves to cover this incident. When they cked the MAR they discovered the pt had already received the heperin form the midnite nurse. Had R*** or S*** cked the MAR this would not have happened. This was the outcome. S*** was fired with the promise she would be able to draw her unemplyment with NO contest and she would never mention the incident.....Today, R*** and C**** can still be seen walking the halls of the local hospital. S*** is currently working in home-health thanking God she still has her license.


Eariler this year, I accepted a position at a LTC facility. I was the 2nd shift charge nurse for 38 residents. I worked there 56 days. As with any facility, the oncoming nurse takes report from the off going nurse. The first time I met the midnite nurse, K_____, I noted she had a very bad cough with SOB. My first thought was: 'crap, I wish she would stay home and not spread her flu to me' (shame on me...i willl never forgive myself for being so self-centered). After 3 weeks of witnessing K____ come in taking report from me coughing and coughing and coughing and the SOB increasing....I became very concerned. Of course I asked K___if she had seeked medical txment. She replyed with 'Yes its just the flu. I need to stay home from work but I fear for my job'. Finally, one day she called in and told the DON she desperatly needed at least two days off to rest. Of course you ALL know she was practically 'nailed to the cross' and talked about like a dog. 'How dare she call in sick when we are sooooooooooooo short staffed. Also let me add.....NONE of the on-call department heads worked her shift. They put the burden of the rest of us.

I remember on one occassion, I verbilized to the asst DON my deep concern for K___ and feared she had some medical condition which may indeed cost her her life. Her reply was this 'Oh, that cough is a smokers cough she has brought this on her self'. A CMA overheard the conversation and replied with 'K_____ has NEVER smoked a cig in her LIFE'!

After six weeks of K_____ coming in obviously NOT improving, I keep voicing my concern for her LIFE. The cough had an odd sound like the croup or someone with heart problems...her physican had her on an albutal inhaler. She could no longer even stand to count narcs, her job performace was poor for she had no energy or 'wind' to properly to her txments.

Word was getting around the facility that K_____ was going to lose her job if she didn't improve on her job duties. The last nite I gave report to K_____, she had come in 45 minutes late. She shared with me her energy level was so low she could only maintain a speed of 10 miles per hour driving to work. I begged her to call the department heads and have her husband pick her up and take her to the hospital. She made me promise NOT to interfere for she needed her job and would be okay. I left and went home.

The next evening I arrive to the facility and was greeted by the DON who questioned me about K ___s behavior during our report. She asked me if K_____'s speech was slurred. I replied very strongly! "NO! K___ is sick and I fear for her life! I don't understand why you people seem NOT to care!' The DON proceded to tell me K___had called 911 on the previous nite for she feared she was dying. An employee (snitch) had called the DON and reported that K___may be on drugs. The DON arrived before the ambulance and demanded a 'for cause' drug screen and fired Karen for not calling her for she was going to abandon her residents.

Now for the kicker, K___ was diagonsed with heart failure due to a virus in her heart. To live she needs a heart transplant. The DON being the devil she is, called K___ at the IC unit and told her "since I fired you be sure to understand you have NO insurance'.

I don't know if K___ is still alive for I was fired a week later for 2 med errors which caused me to have my license suspended for 2 years since they were already on probation which would have been up this month.....something to think about don't you think?

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

Story #1 - I would NEVER give meds drawn up by anyone else. Never. And always do the 5 med checks. And I would never have agreed to be fired and to keep it quiet.

Story #2 - If this is the true story, broadcast it openly.



27 Posts

Story #1 - I would NEVER give meds drawn up by anyone else. Never. And always do the 5 med checks. And I would never have agreed to be fired and to keep it quiet.

Story #2 - If this is the true story, broadcast it openly.


what's with the 'if this is the true story' statement?' I notice this alot on many threads........why tell an untruth? The upper management of this profession is very successful in making sure WE don't create unity in one-another. I certainly would NOT have taken the time to tell these situations just for something to do....And WHO exactly would you broadcast it to?????? NO one cares! Over 100 people at the facillity knows one cares as long as it is not happening to them!


449 Posts

What did the drug screen say? You didnt say why she got fired? And doesnt the COBRA law cover her?

Even if you get fired STILL have insurance until the days you have allready paid in run you time to COBRA. She still had insurance, no matter WHAT the DON said.


59 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Psych and more Psych.

Color me aghast x 2



Specializes in ICU, CCU, Trauma, neuro, Geriatrics.


jnette, ASN, EMT-I

4,388 Posts

Specializes in Hemodialysis, Home Health.

I'm a bit confused.

Being a dialysis nurse, I would think that the only heparin given would have been the initial heparin1000 units push flush (which ranges from 1-10 ml depending on pt. weight.) This is given 5 minutes before initiating dilaysis tx.once the patient has been accessed, or "stuck".

I fail to see how the "midnight nurse" would have given his heparin, and then another nurse give it again??? If the patient had already been "stuck", his lines would have been in, with the heparin flush syringe still attached to the venous line, and the saline flush syringe still attached to the arterial line.

It would have been obvious that the heparin had already been given prior to initiating tx. or the syringes would not have been on the fistula needle lines.And if the patient was already dialyzing, there's no way (or reason) to give the heparin then. Even if the patient was on a heparin pump.. the syring would have still been in the pump on the machine.

The only other heparin which would be given would be a heparin block.. for those with cathetar access...5000 unit dose.. usually approx. 2-2.5 ml in each port at the end of their tx. to keep the cathetar patent.

Even IF the cathetar patient had already been blocked by the midnite nurse, and another nurse went and reblocked this patient (highly unlikely, as the cathetar lumens are capped immediately after blocking, so it would have again been obvious that the patient had been blocked))... it is such a miniscule amount that I do not believe it would have caused harm. Nurses have accidentally pushed in the blocks on occasion, and the docs tell us there is no cause for concern.

So this story is missing some details, or remains unclear to me.. kinda fuzzy. Would sure like to know the details, so it could make sense to me...???

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts


hmmmm, indeed.

Jnette, me too.

The DON as quoted is wrong.



27 Posts

K***** was fired for planning to leave the facility without notifying the DON. The drug test was done per protocol. I personally spoke to the DON and she respnded at one point during our conversation: "I didn't realize she was so sick, I demanded the drug screen per protocol".

As to what did the drug screen show??? Please! This was an act of NO compassion and an excellent situation of how upper mngment lurk in the dark corners creating falsehoods against good nurses. We were never told the results of the drug screen. Think people! The results of the drug screen are confidential! The bottom line is ........the nurse was in heart failure r/t a virus. To me and the other nurses in the facility this was all that mattered!

As to Cobra! Of course the DON was full of BS tellling K**** her insurance would't cover! The DON was especially speaking of the insurance we all payed for which covers short and long term illness which pays 75% of our wages.

Don't try to understand and find a valid reason for K*** being treated she was NOTHING! Just know it happened and such acts need to be stopped!

In r/g to the dialysis post.....r/g the heperin.......this is exactly what S****** conveyed to me. Again .....the bottom line is a pt died. Why would she tell such a story and carry the guilt of her part in the death of a pt???

boulergirl, CNA

428 Posts

Specializes in Home care, assisted living.

In response to story #2--I hope there's a special place in hell for that DON.


27 Posts

I totally agree! How in the world can a person work in nursing where caring for people is our business be so un-caring for an employee who is a human being.....I just wish you all could have experienced the whole scene! No nurse in this profession would have even entertained the thought in their mind for 1 second that this girl was serioulsy ill.....

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