Finally, in the nursing news this week, I bring you a not-so-nice nurse in the news item. I found this article over at NJ.com where a New Jersey nurse running a flu shot clinic admitted to giving flu shots to sixty-seven people using the same two syringe barrels, only changing the needles between patients.

I’ll pause while you gasp.

Don’t Reuse Syringes! Duh!

nurse preparing syringeYep, reusing syringes in this day and age should be something for the history lessons in nursing care but this really happened. A Nebraska company was hired by a New Jersey company to provide a workplace flu clinic where a nurse would come to their site and give the needed flu shots to the staff.

Apparently, the nurse showed up and realized that the company had not provided her with the correct supplies. They were supposed to provide her with pre-filled flu shot syringes but they only sent her three 10-dose bottles. This was not enough to vaccinate the entire staff of sixty-seven.

The provided supplies also only included two syringes and the wrong kind of syringes at that. They were insulin syringes and were not marked in milliliters as needed. The nurse went ahead with the injections anyway, just eyeballing the dose levels in the syringes and giving the injections with just needle changes in between. She cites as a reason that she didn’t want to lose her job. Now she has lost her license.

This story comes out of her licensure hearing at the New Jersey Nursing Board. The lesson here is that professionalism in nursing sometimes comes with hard decisions. Do you risk losing your job or do you risk danger to your patients? I know how I would answer that, but it is something that is presented as a choice to nurses too frequently. The nurse is one who is on the hook in these situations. The company is not. Remember that. You can always find another job. Getting your license back is another matter entirely.

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Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Zika Virus Review with Vince Racaniello and Episode 384.

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