Every department has a Joan.* Joan is a very bad nurse. I don’t mean bad, as in is rude to the patients, or leaves full commode chairs for oncoming staff. (Though she does that too.) I mean bad as in I-just-killed-the-patient bad. Everybody has a Joan story. She is that incompetent. She’s the nurse who inflates the catheter balloon when it’s still in the urethra. She’s the one who hung D5W with the blood transfusion — and pushed Ancef at the lower port while the blood was running. She’s the one who who ran the insulin drip by gravity. And piggybacked a KCl bolus (when we still did those) by gravity. She’s the one who thought there was no real issue with the rectal bleed with a pressure of 54/p. And that the Seroquel od didn’t need a cardiac monitor. Or that the obtunded HBD was okay laying flat on his back.
Joan frightens me badly. I am frightened to work with her. I am frightened to follow her at shift change. I am frightened for her patients most of all.
We have tried remonstration. We have tried using each of these as colleague-to-colleague teachable moments. We have documented. We have complained to the manager. We done have everything short of calling the College of Nurses of Ontario.** Joan just carries on, oblivious and immovable.
*Of course not her real name, and actually a composite of several “Joan’s” I have known over the years.
**Our fear and loathing of the CNO is obviously greater than our fear and loathing of Joan. Sad, but true.