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15 Startling Things You Never Want to Happen on Duty


When you thought everything will be just fine, and it’s almost the end of your shift when, unfortunately, 10 minutes before endorsement, something crazy will happen. It’s either your patient will fall from the bed, or complain of severe chest pain, or self-extubate his/her self. An adventure, you say?

Here are some other things that probably startled you while you are on duty:

  1. When you just received your patient from the endorsement, and his/her cardiac monitor reading goes like this:



2.When you’re on code blue… and when you open your emergency cart…. It’s EMPTY!




3.When the ongoing nurse endorses that the patient is GCS 15, but when you made rounds and assessed his neuro status… You can’t wake him/her up!



4. When you arrived at your patient’s room, and you can see his/her empty IV fluid bottle and air to his/her IV line.



5. When you see your patient’s arm and linen are filled with blood because his/her IV was dislodged.



6. When you receive a patient with this condition and contraptions… Say, what?



7. When you just finished assisting intubation, and you discover there was no available mechanical ventilator… Will I do manual bagging forever?

anesthesiologist use ambu bag for oxygenation


8. When you accidentally spill or broken expensive medication in an ampule or vial, and it’s worth your one week’s pay!



9. While you are still getting ready for endorsement and you already have a huge wave of admissions waiting for you.



10. When a baby or a toddler is rushed into an emergency dept. for resuscitation. Not only it is startling, but also heartbreaking.



11. When you are about to give a shock, but then the defibrillator is low batt!



12. When you have 5 patients for stat OR! That’s crazy! Are they having an OR party or something?



13. When your patient is on shock or severe hypotension, and his/her drips of inotropic and vasopressor are almost empty.



14. When the chief nurse or director of nursing saw you sleeping while on duty. Are you going to wake up? Or just play dead? Besides, you’ll make an incident report anyways.



15. When your patient’s results are back, and yes… you should have observed strict isolation precautions the whole time. If only you know beforehand…



Nursing is a roller-coaster ride. So just embrace the thrill because you will never know what’s in store for you!

Do you have any crazy experiences while you’re on duty? Circumstances that made your heart skip a beat? Share it with us.

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  1. First of all its report not endorsement! Am I right? Always hate to hear a CRASH right before report. Ugh someone fell. One day I answered a light right at change of shift and this lady wanted to brush her teeth. Ok no big deal. She had to get up and stand at the sink. She is like 90 yrs old. I know I have to stay with her or she will fall. She proceeded to do more grooming activities than I have ever seen any woman do. I got off work a half hour late. :/

    • Some patients dont understand that our shift dont last forever. Thanks Terri for sharing your experience with us. I think most of us can relate to that.


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