FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK
What do we as nurses consider our rules when dealing with peers?
- Don't kill anyone (duh)
- Don't leave pee, poop, vomit or other goodies for the next shift to clean up (unless they say its ok and MEAN it!)
- Don't leave the rooms trashed
- If you say you did something.... you better have done it
- If someone is screaming for help, or if their patient is tanking, you help them
- Don't do anything unsafe, or leave a patient in an unsafe condition for the next nurse
I picked up 4 patients in the green mile last night from a traditionally shitty nurse to follow behind. His rooms are ALWAYS a mess and I don't think he understands how to prioritize. One patient had the flu and was getting IV fluids, another was a psych guy with random belly pain. The other 2 patients were sick... really really sick.
The first was a 39 year old with a fever (103) low bp (70-80 systolic) and a heart rate in the 140-150 range. Yeah... sick girl (hello is the word SEPSIS going off in anyone's mind?) She had been there for hours, was not on the monitor, not even changed from her clothes... potassium was being run straight in. Grrrr.....labs sent (no blood cultures) and vitals had not been documented in hours. It took a long time to get her straightened out...
The other patient had something similar to Steven's-Johnsons Syndrome. They were calling it something else. She was in her 70's and her skin had been sloughing off like a burn for a day. She had popped blisters all over and was soaked from them. Her temp on arrival was 94.4 and very little had been done to warm her. She had no IV, and the IV fluids, labs and antibiotics had not been given. This poor soul was in really bad shape.... especially after waiting 9 hours before I even showed up. The attending, Dr B, had no idea she didn't have a line until my relief had gone. She quickly got an IJ, labs, fluids, IV pain meds (!) and cleaned, warmed, wound care and big warming blanket. I gave her fluids a little on the gentle side since she was old AND had a recent MI. Despite all of this, she was awake and alert, smiling through everything and thankful for her care. When I called burn (she went there for the wound care) I explained the whole situation, apologized profusely and took her to the unit myself.
I had already contacted my supervisor and made copies of the charts this morning when Burn called me back. My patient tanked her pressure after getting to burn, was placed on Levophed and then coded and died this morning. I was soooo angry that I could hardly think straight. Yes, she had lots of medical issues and may have been on her way out the door, but as my very good friend said later, "she may have been going out the door, but we didn't have to throw rocks at her while she left!"
I anticipate some phone calls over this one. To what extent would you hold the previous nurse accountable?
GRRR... I am SO very sorry. I'm sorry for my patient and her family. I hope that she is somewhere warm and dry and that the events of her last day aren't even a memory. I'm just so sorry (and mad) that this happened.