5 Nurse's Pet Peeves
Pet Peeves. We all have them. They're things that happen on long hospital shift that just dance on your last nerve. Venting in a safe space (without violating HIPAA) is therapeutic for many of us and some peoples' pet peeves are hilarious. I wanted to share a few of mine and ask you to vent yours. C'mon, you'll feel better. I do.
1. Going Up (Already): I twitch at people who push the elevator button when it's already lit up. Or worse, those who rapid-fire aggressively push that button 9 times in a row. I get that we're all stressed. You may believe it will get us there faster, but really it just makes me wanna smack your hand. It's lit. Let it be. We'll get there. Wanna jet? Take the stairs two at a time.
2. Beep, beep, beep, BEEP!: People who don't turn off bed alarms and bathroom alert lights when they're standing in the room. Unless you need help, turn that shit off. I know sometimes we forget, but get it in your workflow, folks. Alarm fatigue is real and it makes me crabby AF. Also if I walk to the opposite end of the unit to help your patient and you're standing there chit-chatting with them.....Grrrrrr.
(Disclaimer: if you're in an emergent situation like an ABC problem, a fall, or some other need to draw more people to you - definitely don't turn that alarm off. And on the flip side, don't ignore lights just because you know one person went into address it a few minutes ago.)
3. I Screen Calls: When anyone in any role comes to me and says "your patient wants you" but they have no idea why. I'm like "are they dying or do they need a water refill?" I've got a lot to do and limited time, so steam comes out my ears when I get called away from what I'm doing to change the patient's TV channel. I've got seven hundred time-sensitive medications to administer in the next hour. Be a good call light responder and ask what they want, offer to help them yourself until you know the RN is the only one that can fill the need. Kthx.
4. Leftover Tragedies: SMH at crusty, stale, picked-at food "left for the next shift to enjoy". Every unit I have ever worked on needs to up their game with not leaving break room messes for the next shift. I will promote potlucks on the unit till the end of time but don't make me clean up the leftover cake that looks like someone sat in it and then left it in the sun all day. I will strive to do the same for my day shift homies.
5. Can You Bring Me A...: You've all had those shifts where you go into a drawer, cabinet or closet only to find that the item you want is not refilled or is out of stock. Then there are the shifts were EVERYTHING you go to get is gone. Sometimes this adds miles to your shift and minutes to every task. In my downtime (what's that?!), though it is the official responsibility of our CNAs on my unit to restock many things, I will refill those things that are most annoying or critical to be without. Having the supplies you need in a convenient place in the quantity you need can make or break a good shift.
If your shift is ending and you know you used all the butt-wipes, suction catheters, and alcohol pads in every single patient room, you either better throw some more in there or warn the next nurse to grab supplies on the way in to see patients. It's not only the kind thing to do, but it's also safer in many ways. If my patient's trach is full of secretions, I don't want to leave them and walk across the unit to get more suction catheters. Help each other be successful!
So what do you think? Do we share any pet peeves on this list.
If you want to hear what some of my other pet peeves are, check out our old episodes: