Tuesday, May 16, 2017

CF Awareness Month - Mess Ups

The mess up that makes me the most annoyed got it's own blog post here. I found it infuriating because it was something that wouldn't have happened at all if the resident (ugh, don't get me starts on how much I dislike residents!) didn't take two seconds to double check what he was doing. Luckily, outside of some (a ton) of unnecessary stress there was no real harm done.
The other most horrifying mess up happened at one of my most recent hospital stays. Before I share this story I understand my port can be complicated. I also know I should learn to access my own because of this, but for some reason I can't get myself to that point right now. I am allergic to chloreprep so I need nurses to use betadine. The problem with betadine is that once the needle has been accessed the leftover betadine needs to be removes with alcohol or I will react to the betadine. If that wasn't bad enough I also need a very specific set up for my port coverage that I will not get into because it is complicated and boring. Anyway, the nurse in the hospital seemed a little nervous about accessing my port, but I assumed it was because I had so many port "rules."
Unfortunately, that assumption was very wrong. First, the nurse set everything up on a non-sterile surface, my dinner tray! I had to tell him to throw everything away and do it again on a sterile surface. I should have told him to get someone else, but I dumbly didn't. I then had to tell him at another point to change his gloves because he touched a non sterile item during the sterile part of the port change. Unfortunately, this is not the only time I had to ask a nurse to change gloves due to not keeping with sterile protocol. I also had a PICC nurse that I had to politely ask to change gloves for similar reasons!
The part of this that scares me the most is that most of the time I am feeling well enough in the hospital to watch my nurses. I ask a lot of questions and confirm things are done the way they are supposed to be done. My fear is if I am in the hospital and I am not in a position that I can advocate for myself I am at the mercy of the nurses. Now, 99% of nurses are amazing at their job, but one slip up with a not so great nurse can have fatal consequences.



  1. Yay!! I'm so glad you've been able to join in these last few days! :)

    And oh my goodness, YES...hospital stays can be SO stressful because of this very reason! Obviously it's good that we're so mentally "with it' when we're in the hospital, but all the things I notice can really stress me out. When I'm in for an admission, I'm constantly watching every nurse/technician/doctor/RT/cleaning lady to see what they touch, change, etc., and it's a never-ending battle in my head trying to decide when to say something and when to let it go! Sometimes I wish they'd let me lock myself into my little isolation bubble and just throw my food and meds in the door and let me do it all myself, haha.

    Keep speaking up when something clearly isn't right! It'll keep you safe, and probably a future patient who isn't as strong as you!

    1. Thanks for inspiring me to join. I feel you on wishing we could be in an isolation bubble! Blah, so much more stressful than just being home.