35 signs of a bad nurse

Stories - Check Mark Pencil (yellow)Bad nurses are no laughing matter, but sometimes, you just have to think what a really bad nurse would do in a certain situation. Some of these are serious and some of them tongue in cheek, but all of them might describe a really bad nurse.

1. She uses syringes as squirt guns in the break room.

2. He calls them Pampers instead of the politically correct Depends or Attends.

3. She’s always ready, willing, and able to pass narcs to your patients.

4. He doesn’t use hand sanitizer or wash his hands between patients.

5. She ignores contact precautions in isolation rooms.

6. He uses clean bedpans as a dish for popcorn.

7. She’s always overwhelmed, constantly asking for help.

8. He goes from room to room, changing the channel, to watch the big game.

9. She gives bowel prep and then disappears.

10. He leaves the floor without reporting to anyone about his patients.

11. She always lets her IV bags run dry while she’s conveniently on lunch.

12. He always says the “patient refused” his attempts to start an IV.

13. She spends more times chatting with doctors than with patients.

14. He is stoned, fatigued, and nearly unresponsive for his shift.

15. She calls off – all the time.

16. He always wants to be charge nurse so he doesn’t have to get an assignment.

17. She is always complimenting the manager, whether he deserves it or not.

18. He talks about you, patients, and other coworkers behind their backs.

19. She bullies new nurses by refusing to help them.

20. He never cleans up Code Browns, expecting the CNAs to “take care of that.”

21. She wouldn’t empty a garbage can if it was on fire.

22. He always takes the only seat and refuses to move unless forced to by patient care.

23. She always calls off on Sunday morning . . . after having too exciting a Saturday night.

24. He uses all the gauze wraps in stock to pretend to be a mummy.

25. She drops meds on the floor and gives them to the patient anyway.

26. He is more interested in the party after the shift than the state of his patients.

27. When codes happen, she doesn’t know what to do and freaks out.

28. If he doesn’t feel like giving a complex medication, he charts patient refused.

29 She never smiles when she’s on the floor.

30. No matter the infraction, he always tells management what you did.

31. She thinks she’s better than other nurses in other departments.

32. He’s always too busy to help, even in an emergency.

33. She tries to wheedle her way out of new admissions, not wanting to do the work.

34. He never speaks up to the doctor when he knows she is wrong.

35. She doesn’t talk to her patients any more than necessary.

Not all of these necessarily describe bad nurses, and we all may have done them from time to time. It is a combination of these traits and consistency that tend to make a nurse less than an ideal coworker.

Hopefully, the bad signs don’t extend to patient care, but many times, it does. That’s when it stops being a laughing matter and becomes something that you have to address with the nurse or even with management.

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