What NOT to do as a new RN.

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Visiting my FIL in the hospital, post-op Day 1 after spinal fusion. As always, I'm doing my best to fly under the radar and not announce by word or action that I'm a nurse. It's apparent that we have an orientee tonight, as 2 nurses always enter and leave at the same time and one is obviously instructing the other. Preceptor explains rationale behind d/c'ing IV fluids and PCA. Instructs orientee to hep lock the IV, then leaves the room. I'm looking the other way when out of the corner of my eye, I see a blur of blue scrubs flying out of the room and hear "I need HELP in here!" shouted into the hallway. My eyes fly to my FIL, who remains A&O, eyes wide, looking at me as if to say "Am I dying or what?" I look to his IV site, where the blood is pouring out so fast that it could very well have been arterial, exept for the color and the lack of pulsation. By the time I jumped to the bedside, the orientee was back, applying pressure to something (not sure what) since blood continued to pour out. I reached across the bed and quickly crimped the tubing and stopped the blood flow. The orientee actually looked at me as if to say "WTH are you doing?" I just quietly said "if you'll use the clamp on the tubing, the blood will stop running out." She finally found the clamp and used it.Lesson #1: Never, EVER run into the hall screaming "I Need HELP!"Lesson #2: Never walk/run away from an IV site that is draining blood onto the patient. One way or another, clamp that sucker off.That is all.

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

FYI - I TWICE put paragraphs into that post. Blame my iPad.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,023 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

my ipad does the same thing -- and it won't allow my navy blue comic sans, either!

good story, by the way. i hope your father-in-law is doing well!

allnurses Guide

Hygiene Queen

2,232 Posts

I had that same scenario when I was doing my ICU rotation.

I saw the IV and almost bolted to get a nurse.

Eh hem...

I stopped myself and thought, "You dumb ***! YOU ARE the nurse!"

Can I have an eyeroll, please.

I took care of it and was so glad I got myself together before I made a fool of myself.

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.
I had that same scenario when I was doing me ICU rotation.I saw the IV and almost bolted to get a nurse.Eh hem...I stopped myself and thought, "You dumb ***! YOU ARE the nurse!"Can I have an eyeroll, please.I took care of it and was so glad I got myself together before I made a fool of myself.
Triple "like"!

LouisVRN, RN

672 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg.

On a related note, as a new grad I once was taking care of a pt with an AKA and on a heparin gtt. My shift was over, pt and I had a good night and developed a good relationship, so when he said he'd like to get back to bed during bedside report i told him I'd go ahead and help him so he wouldn't have to wait for his day nurse to come back. So promptly grab some gloves, help him out of his wheelchair and pivot at the bedside. Of course he pivots the wrong way, wrapping his IV line behind him and despite my, "Hold on just a second so I can get the line out from behind you" he proceeded to sit on it and I have no idea how, broke the tubing in half rather than just pulling it out. Being on heparin the blood was pouring out. Thankfully was able to clamp it off and the patient helped apply pressure while I ran to get new tubing. The patient profusely thanked me for providing him some excitement - he had been hospitalized a long time - but I was mortified.

Aspiring_RN_

71 Posts

Visiting my FIL in the hospital, post-op Day 1 after spinal fusion. As always, I'm doing my best to fly under the radar and not announce by word or action that I'm a nurse. It's apparent that we have an orientee tonight, as 2 nurses always enter and leave at the same time and one is obviously instructing the other. Preceptor explains rationale behind d/c'ing IV fluids and PCA. Instructs orientee to hep lock the IV, then leaves the room. I'm looking the other way when out of the corner of my eye, I see a blur of blue scrubs flying out of the room and hear "I need HELP in here!" shouted into the hallway. My eyes fly to my FIL, who remains A&O, eyes wide, looking at me as if to say "Am I dying or what?" I look to his IV site, where the blood is pouring out so fast that it could very well have been arterial, exept for the color and the lack of pulsation. By the time I jumped to the bedside, the orientee was back, applying pressure to something (not sure what) since blood continued to pour out. I reached across the bed and quickly crimped the tubing and stopped the blood flow. The orientee actually looked at me as if to say "WTH are you doing?" I just quietly said "if you'll use the clamp on the tubing, the blood will stop running out." She finally found the clamp and used it.Lesson #1: Never, EVER run into the hall screaming "I Need HELP!"Lesson #2: Never walk/run away from an IV site that is draining blood onto the patient. One way or another, clamp that sucker off.That is all.

Good thing you were there!

canoehead, BSN, RN

6,841 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 30 years experience.

If she gets overwhelmed by a running IV, I'd encourage her to ask for help. Often.