Your Blunders Unnoticed by the Patient

Nurses General Nursing


we all have performed them; not life threatening, a mistake, or offensive. just a blunder that if your patient ever knew, they'd question your existence as a human being.

i once told a patient of mine that his mother was coming in to see him in the ER where i work. he had been given demerol/phenergan iv, and was quite somnolent. when his wife got back to the room, i knew there was a reason God had provided that somnolent side effect.

leslie :-D

11,191 Posts

i had a patient who was in the actively dying phase.

she was shivering, even though obtunded.

i grabbed the folded afghan from her roomate's bed and covered my patient in it.

the roomate's daughter came in and was upset that i had borrowed the blanket.

i had borrowed this blanket because housekeeping didn't have any up from laundry yet.

the daughter brought the afghan home with her.



20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

Leslie what a compassionate nurse you are!


255 Posts

Specializes in ICU/ER/Med-Surg/Case Management/Manageme.

One I'll never forget, but unfortunately, the patient did know and suspect she was dealing with a complete idiot!

I was relatively new to the ER. Triage put a woman in the "OB" room - simply due to lack of beds. Little Miss Nancy Nurse here goes in to assess, finds the woman literally writhing in pain (what turned out to be gallbladder pain and we know how painful that can be). part of my assessment, I casually ask how far along in her pregnancy she is. I mean...that's a pertinent question. Except...

If looks could kill. In spite of her horrendous pain, she rolls over, glares at me, and announces, "I'm not pregnant." Ooops! What do you say then? Not much that isn't going to make the situation worse. " look pregnant to me." No, probably not the thing to say. :imbar

Now I'm the first to admit...I know nothing about OB, barely know where babies come from, and gladly defer to all those OB people out there. However, lessons learned. Seventeen years later, I've never made that mistake again! With the possible exception of the baby actually crowining (and personally witnessed by me), I don't think I would ever again ask someone "how far along are you in your pregnancy."


16 Posts

I hate when you are trying to be ever so thoughtful and careful, but somewhere between helping them to the bathroom and getting them back in bed, you manage to step on one of their toes. Hey, how did that get there? :imbar

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.

When I was a GN, I was rushing around trying to get things done when I noticed that an IVF was about to run out. The patient was an RN. So I grabbed another bag of fluids, ran in, stopped the pump, and unspiked the near-empty bag.

Except for one lil problem.

The "empty" bag I took the spike out of--while it still hung--had a surprisingly large amount of fluids left in it, as evidenced by the waterfall that doused patient, myself, bed, and floor. :imbar


Thankfully, the patient was very gracious about it. Needless to say, I never spiked an IVF quite the same way again.

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