Just like every other profession out there, nursing has a good side and a bad side. We always emphasize good nursing practice, but bad nursing practice also exists. We all know it. We’ve all seen it. Heck, we’ve all (bashfully) probably been guilty of performing one or two of these practices from time to time.

Whatever you do, don’t be that nurse who is known for any of these bad practices:

  1. Leaving (full and empty) vials of medications in the patient’s room
  2. Looping IV tubing back into itself when traveling
  3. Not cleaning off the IV port when using it (scrub the hub!)
  4. Disconnecting a running IV to take a patient to the bathroom and leaving the bare end dripping
  5. “Borrowing” supplies from a fellow nurses’ station and not notifying them
  6. Continually “not hearing” the phone ring or the call bell go off
  7. Leaving garbage (med wrappers) all over the floor while the trash can is a foot away
  8. Leaving a medicine cup of loose pills at a patient’s bedside (assuming they’ll take them all with their meal)
  9. Leaving the oncoming shift with an empty IV bag or an empty TF container, or a patient with a full colostomy bag or full foley catheter bag
  10. Never restocking your med drawer or room supplies
  11. Never placing a date on a dressing—when was it changed?
  12. Always being late for report, but johnny-on-the-spot to give report to the oncoming shift so you can get out on time
  13. Turning monitor alarms off
  14. Failing to label the spaghetti mess of IV lines
  15. Repeatedly “forgetting” to do I/Os so that the oncoming shift has to blunder through the correct balance for the providers
  16. Disappearing from your unit without reporting off to someone
  17. Disregarding isolation precautions because it’s inconvenient
  18. Conveniently helping to “hold” the patient when turning or cleaning, but never volunteering to do the cleaning
  19. Being the first to want/need time off, but never volunteering to pitch in extra when the help is needed
  20. Logging on to a computer that is clearly being used by another nurse without first asking if they were done charting

Don’t be that nurse!