We all know that to err is human, and can give us a chuckle in the meantime. And while it may be considered bad form to laugh at the mistakes of others, to do so makes us human too. Nurses are not above making bloopers once in a while, teaching them not only how to avoid them again in the future, but how to accept that they are never going to be perfect. None of the following bloopers in nursing care caused grave harm to any patient, but they all serve to teach nurses valuable lessons in patient care:
Be Careful With Mad Patients
One nurse recalls talking to a patient whose arms were tied down due to being combative. As she bent over to check on the wound site she was struck in the head by his leg with such force that she was knocked down to the floor.
Don’t Mess With the Equipment
A student working with a double amputee made the assumption that there was no need for leg rests on his wheelchair and took them off. We all know where assuming gets you. As soon as she let go of the wheelchair on their next outing, it started to tip backward. Luckily for the patient, she was quick enough to catch the wheelchair before it hit the ground.
Bloody Bloopers Can Be a Mess
A nurse was giving a lesson on how to hang blood using a patient who already had a bag hanging. Momentarily forgetting protocol, she pulled the spike while the bag was still hanging and ended up covered in blood in front of her nursing student.
Sometimes the Blooper is With Leaving the Doctor in Charge
A post-operative patient was left in the care of a nursing student and doctor while the attending nurse was busy with another patient. In her absence, the pair went ahead and suctioned the chest tubes without first putting a suction canister on the tubing. What was being suctioned went straight to the wall suction and then the ceiling, leaving the room and the patient covered in bodily fluids. It took two teams two weeks to get that room back in shape to receive patients again.
Did You Check the Date?
Following orders to administer as many flu vaccines as possible, one nurse was able to pull off 20 in one shift. Sadly it was found that the vaccine given was from the epidemic the year before and of no use. All 20 patients had to get a new shot, and 20 medication error reports filled in to help erase this blooper.