Punishment for sharps

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Jason Hautala RN Jason Hautala RN 4 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #9579

    If anyone in the ER leaves a dirty sharp out, such an an MD leaving a suture needle out, or a nurse leaving an IM shot out, they have to buy pizza for the entire department. Does anyone else have any fun/punitive traditions?

    Profile photo of cmbearor

    NO, but that is an EXCELLENT IDEA! I have other issues I could apply this to. However, from an HR standpoint…can you enforce this?

    Profile photo of Arron A
    Arron A

    Most HR people will stop this because it singles someone out and if they are in a position that they can not buy pizza then that would strike up more harassment issues.


    It is all good natured. The nurses are good about not leaving sharps out, so it is just the docs who end up buying pizza, and they aren’t hospital employees, but contractors, so HR doesn’t have anything to do with them. If an employee does leave a sharp out, it is all good natured ribbing to get them to cough up the goods, and they always have the option of just buying off the person who found the sharp with a soda instead of buying the department pizza like we talk the doctors into.

    It is not enforceable at all, but it does keep people motivated to take care of their own sharps. Back in the day, physicians would leave suture needles out all of the time, but once we implemented this policy, they are very good about taking care of their own sharps.

    To help make up for the risk they take and the occasional pizza they have to buy, I do friendly wagers with them, such as if they get a champaign tap (lumbar puncture with no red blood cells under micro) then I give them a dollar or the drink of choice. We have also been known to gamble on lab values, mostly blood alcohol levels, but we will also gamble on more exotic blood tests that we have to send out for the results, just to keep the suspense elevated.

    I think mostly we just try to have fun in a stressful situation. HR has come down on some of our fun past times, and I’ve been suspended a couple of times for having a little too much fun at work 🙂 but I have only been fired once, and they hired me back, so that is a good thing.

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