What is your biggest nursing pet peeve?

by ferfer ferfer Member

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28 Posts

when i worked ob hall, it would drive me crazy when someone would ask for pain medicine and about the time the nurse walked out of the room, the patient would go downstairs to smoke. i mean, you must have not been hurting too bad!!



122 Posts

I work in ob and my biggest pet peeve is people walking in my pts room without knocking. Especially other nurses or lab persons.

Or the next shift coming on sending students in to my pts room, while she is pushing and after they have been told (both students and oncoming staff) pt requested no students. Yes, I was a student once and needed to learn, but the pt comes first.

The other deal that REALLY irks me is someone saying the want to breastfeed, you invest alot of time and effort working with mom and baby, then it goes to the nursery and gets a bottle (on certain shifts). Or the mom changes her mind, which is okay too, but just say so without making a lame excuse like "he doesn't like it". Or the baby is acting hungry and the mom says "he just ate 5 minutes" and doesn't want to feed him anymore. If you want to breastfeed I will help and encourage you in every way possible- if you don't, just say so, thats ok too.



262 Posts

when i worked ob hall, it would drive me crazy when someone would ask for pain medicine and about the time the nurse walked out of the room, the patient would go downstairs to smoke. i mean, you must have not been hurting too bad!!

I can certainly understand that position if you have never been a smoker. I used to be a heavy tobacco user, so I can tell you that I would have had to be practically comatose to keep from smoking. The addiction is separate from pain issues. JMHO.

I would like to add that I quit smoking before I conceived.



Specializes in Critical Care/ICU. 1,277 Posts

I've been thinking about this for a while now trying to come up with a pet-peeve. I KNEW I had one!

I am very pro family. Maybe it's just a gift that I have that 99% of the time, I'm more than happy to see the family of my patient walk through the door and I understand their anxiety about their loved one's condition. This is, after all, an ICU.


When a patient is hooked up to a VAD for a failed heart, CVVH for failed kidneys, a ventilator that pushes air into his lungs, has got a butt tube to catch the result of lactulose given for liver failure, and are on 16 drips and the family member who left the room to get something to eat just a little over an hour ago comes back and asks...

"how's he doing, is he any better?"


This usually happens after I spend a great deal of time during our first meeting of the day explaining what everything is and what it does and saying that your brother, husband, father, wife, sister, son, daughter is VERY VERY sick.

Before I answer them, I try to make eye contact with them and hold it for a few seconds and then all I can say is that there's been no change in the last hour. What I'd really like to say is look at him...does he look any better?!

It just kind of bothers me. The patient looks exactly the same as he did an hour ago. No. Miracles do not usually happen during lunch.

I have to admit that I have pangs of guilt as I type this. I really do have sympathy, even an empathy for families. But, c'mon. These also turn out to be the families that never understand that their loved one probably won't be coming back and continue to push for everything under the sun to try and save them.

It's very frustrating.



Specializes in Med surg, hospice. Has 4 years experience. 26 Posts

NursesRmofun, you said it! The job of the nurse in the units is actually like 10 jobs, and nursing is maybe 10% of it.

Interesting answers. I think #1 the biggest of pet peeves is when patients or their families think the smallest of things is very, very important and you should stop what you are doing immediately to do what they want. I know, they don't know any better and to them it IS important, but it still BUGS me. #2 has to be when the family or the patient stands at the desk and waits to either speak to you or the doc taking in any and all conversation. Of course, I always ask them to wait in their room, but I can usually see they dislike this and want to listen to things that are not to be heard. It is just annoying. That's my 2 cents.


3 Posts

My biggest pet peeve has always been when co-workers are talking about patients during break time. It's the last thing I want to hear about. It's my time to unwind, relax, and eat something wholesome.



47 Posts

Word from mgt " pt satisfaction scores must go up or no more bonuses for you" Odd that pts spending 2 days in the ER or staying in PACU overnight would be unhappy with the service. Not to mention the poor understaffed floor nurses. Did I mention floor pts in the SICU there are no bathrooms or phones for the pts of course they arn't happy. So I guess my pet peeve would be those people in the ivory tower that are absolutely clueless about what we go through



559 Posts

When a new person comes to the unit and someone says they have been

ORIENTATED..... the word is ORIENTED, people!!!

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management. 7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

You know how you wash your hands, and you're dripping, so you reach for a paper towel and drip onto everything underneath the paper towel holder?

It just drives me nuts when I see personal items like dental care or water cups under the paper towel rack.

Roy Fokker, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER/Trauma. 2 Articles; 2,010 Posts

When I first decided what I wanted to go to college for after taking a year off, I told a friend at work that I had decided to be a Nurse. Her comment was, "Nursing isn't even a real job!" I asked her what then is her version of a real job. She stated, "A Pharmacist or a Doctor." I was too hurt to say anything at the time but boy did I let her have it a few days later! We are not near as close as we were before. All in all I guess my pet peeve is just people who think Nurses don't need any kind of real training or knowledge base and that all they do all day is go around changing bed pans and slapping bandages on open wounds. If I wanted to stare at pills all day and constantly be on the phone with insurance companies, I'd be a Pharmacist. If I wanted to go to school for 6+ years and not have much concern for a person's overall holistic well-being, sure, Doctor would be for me. But you know what, I'm a future Nurse, through and through. And I'd appreciate a little respect for my decision, thanks.


THANK YOU! Thank you for that wonderful post! If only you could say the same things to half my family:

"A nurse! Why not be a Doctor? You certainly have the brains and the ability. Why do you want to settle for any less and that too as a NURSE"

"Listen to me! You are making a hasty desicion! have you ever bothered about your social standing? A MAN... being a NURSE?!!! Couldn't you find something better?!" :(

"You, a nusrse?! haha! Such a GAY profession!" :(

"Why would you do that? You know Pharm majors make more money than you'll ever dream about?"

So on and so forth....

Some people... just DON'T get it. Oh well, small price to pay for doing somthing that makes me feel good :)



Specializes in CCU. 187 Posts

Lately, it's been when the nurses leave the oral care stuff next to the butt cream on the bedside table. A lot of nurses are not proud of keeping their rooms clean, after all, most of the time the patient can't even move to make a mess :rolleyes:



12 Posts

Talk about opening a can of worms...... :rolleyes:

I could go on and on, but I'll limit my pet peeves to 2 of them.

1. Not being relieved on time/relief nurse not showing up to work! This is especially annoying when you've worked a double shift or it occurs on a holiday, when your loved ones are putting things on hold until you get home.

Now for the clincher:

2. We are all human! When a nurse at any healthcare facility makes a mistake, that nurse gets yelled at, reprimanded, talked about, you name it. But when a doctor makes a mistake (yes folks, they are not infallible), it gets brushed off and swept under the rug.

(Quietly stepping down off my soapbox)