What has been your worst nightmare about work?

Nurses General Nursing


  • Specializes in OB, Med/Surg, Ortho, ICU.

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174 Posts

Specializes in Emergency.
Spent one whole day asleep dreaming that I was running from room to room adjusting malfunctioning IV pumps. I awoke to find road work out front. Apparently the backup "beep" on the dump truck was the same tone as our IV pumps!

I had the SAME thing happen to me..only it was my cell phone beeping because the battery was dying..and in my dream I couldn't figure out which room the beeping IV was in..so I was just wandering around the unit in circles. What woke me out of this dream was staffing calling to see if I could work that night..I answered the phone with my unit's name, as I would at work- and the staffing lady couldn't stop laughing. I realized I REALLY needed a vaca!!

nerdtonurse?, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 2,043 Posts

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.
My most recurrent nightmare is getting to the end of my shift and realising there is one patient I have never even seen and don't know if he is even still alive. I tell myself "Gosh, I've dreamt this so many times and now I've gone and done it." I'm always fully convinced that this time I'm not dreaming and really have neglected a patient. You can't imagine my relief when I finally wake up.

I have this same one!

dudette10, MSN, RN

1 Article; 3,530 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Academics.

When I first started working, I would have a recurring dream that I opened my front door, and there were literally hundreds of injured and sick animals on my lawn. I would immediately start tending to them and feel overwhelmed that I couldn't help them all, and I didn't know what to do with some of them.

You don't have to be an expert in dream interpretation to figure out what that one means.


256 Posts

Specializes in OB, Med/Surg, Ortho, ICU.

I hear bed alarms in my sleep, does that count?


256 Posts

Specializes in OB, Med/Surg, Ortho, ICU.
Bad news, this question has been asked and answered, check out the allnurses central site. It has non-urgent, non-technical, not strictly nursing related topics.

I disagree that it not strictly nursing related. Dreams about work show our anxieties and coping methods' effectiveness. As far as being non-urgent and non-technical, that is not a requirement to post. I must have not used the correct words in a search, but resurrecting the topic can be fun. I'm glad you like it though!


174 Posts

Specializes in L&D, PP, Nursery.

I've had a recurring dream that I dropped a baby. I work L&D, PP, Nursery.


793 Posts

Specializes in ICU/PACU.

I've had a dream where I'm floated to the floor or tele ( I usually work ICU ) and I was assigned to say 5 patients. Well in my dream I never saw the 5th patient. All day I forgot about him, I didn't even go in my room and assess him.


715 Posts

I dream about leaving used syringes in patient's beds. eeek. Luckily, I've never done it. *knock on wood*

Specializes in Medsurg/ICU, Mental Health, Home Health.
I had a horrible dream once where I walked into our ER and there was so much blood on the floor, it was about 2 - 3 inches deep. Even worse a dead child was hung on a hook on the back of a door like you would hang a bathrobe on a hook, the hook was through the back of his neck!

What on EARTH did you eat before bed?


3,413 Posts


I don't think it was what I ate! Maybe I had been watching too many homicide TV shows!

Like I said the worst part was I didn't wake up all upset and don't even remember feeling upset during the dream. I think the ER was empty of staff and other patients, I think I was more concerned where the staff had gone than feeling upset about the child and the blood!

I was the night supervisor when I dreamt this. The worst part of that job was finding staff if we got a lot of admits during our shift, and finding staff to cover high census or sick calls for the day shift.

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

1 Article; 5,114 Posts

when i first started working cardiac surg icu we did 15 minute vs on our fresh postops. i dreamed an entire shift, every single vs, drip rate, cardiac output determination, ms ivp, lab draws and k+ replacement, abg, vent change, suctioning, unit of blood, chest tube stripping, and u/o, the works, the whole damn flow sheet, every fifteen minutes, all of it. when i woke up i was absolutely exhausted, like i'd just worked a double. in a way, of course, i had.

Specializes in ER, progressive care.

I just had a dream last night about "the forgotten patient" - It was already 0400 and the patient's wife came out wondering if we were short-staffed or something because no one has been in there since 1830. Very scary!

And for the record, I have been off for 6 days, too...tonight is my first night back!

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