Oh crap, what do I do?

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    Tonight, I did the laundry, and found an Ativan vial in my scrub pocket. Unfortunately, the label came off when my scrubs got washed. How do I go about handling this awful situation? Usually I'm good about emptying my pockets at the end of shift, and often I've found half used vials then, but somehow this one got missed. How will this be handled, especially since this vial has no label now?

    I swear, I am not a user. I made a very stupid but honest mistake. Every day, I am so scared of losing my job. My coworkers don't think much of me as it is, despite my efforts, and this situation is not going to help my reputation.

    In other words, I'm ******.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Apr 3, '13 : Reason: TOS
  2. 11 Comments so far...

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    Won't the Pyxis show that you pulled the med? I don't know if you'll be able to return it though since it would be hard to verify it is the same med you pulled. I have never had a situation like this but I think your only option is to be honest and approach your charge nurse saying you made a mistake. And try to get out of the habit of putting any meds in your pockets. Hope everything works out for you.
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    Did you give any of the Ativan? I'm going to be completely honest, I wouldn't tell anyone unless you're approached. If someone asks, be honest and tell them the truth, but otherwise I'd plead the 5th. You can't return the med so telling someone about what happened really won't help anything except clear your conscience..

    Just to clarify, I'm not saying you should lie, but just don't mention it unless it's mentioned to you? That's what I would anyways.

    Hope it works out
    gloryfied and Esme12 like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from SweetMelissaRN
    Did you give any of the Ativan? I'm going to be completely honest, I wouldn't tell anyone unless you're approached. If someone asks, be honest and tell them the truth, but otherwise I'd plead the 5th. You can't return the med so telling someone about what happened really won't help anything except clear your conscience..

    Just to clarify, I'm not saying you should lie, but just don't mention it unless it's mentioned to you? That's what I would anyways.

    Hope it works out
    I agree! Will the Pyxis show the a "waste" not accounted for?? Not sure on this one. After I/we waste we throw it in the sharps anyway. There is no way for anyone to dig through there and verify a waste. Did someone 'waste' with you when you pulled it? If so, I would dispose of it and not say a word. I do this with my pockets also, not a good idea. But I am not sure what else to do. We use EMR and they all have to be scanned, so we take the vial to the bedside...I sure would rather have it in my pocket than to set it down somewhere for someone else to grab...idk...Actually the best answer is to waste ' on the spot' with the other RN, and then all we are carrying is an empty vial. But we do get in too much of a hurry sometimes :-/
  6. 3
    We had a nurse at my hospital do the same thing. Instead of being honest she tried to cover her tracks and was fired for it. Honesty is the best policy, because IF you are found out and you didn't come clean you will certainly be fired. If you fess up and admit your mistake chances are better. JMHO
    4_Sq, brillohead, and wooh like this.
  7. 0
    I gave 1 mg of Ativan, and kept the other half in case I needed to give it before my detoxing patient went to the floor. I didnt waste it in the Pyxis. Needless to say, I'm not keeping half used vials again. I'm going to waste immediately after even if I deplete the supplies of Ativan in the Pyxis. It's a waste of resources, but I don't want to place myself, my charge nurse and my manager in this situation again.
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    So since you gave the 1mg, that means someone signed as your waste for the other 1mg, correct? In that case, the waste is accounted for. I personally wouldn't worry about it.
  9. 0
    Tell the truth. Immediately. They will find out and fire you. I know of 3 nurses in just the past two years that were fired because they didn't tell anyone about their "honest mistake". They will find out. I don't know how they do but they do. If this really was an honest mistake and the first time you've ever done something like this, you'll get written up (maybe) but you don't want to risk not saying anything. Honesty is always always ALWAYS the best approach. Good luck.
  10. 0
    Many times during my stint on a med-surg unit I would leave and forget to waste medications (i did actually waste them, just forgot to get back in pyxis and say I did). Nobody ever called me and said "hey how come u didn't waste this medication, I see you only documented you gave 1mg, where did the other mg go". So, unless your hospital has a system that makes it very easy for them to look through the pyxis and then some how see your documentation and catch the discrepancy I would stay quiet and make sure never to do it again. I think if you mention it, it might actually cause more trouble they make look back and try and find other errors.
  11. 1
    Quote from LynnLRN
    Many times during my stint on a med-surg unit I would leave and forget to waste medications (i did actually waste them, just forgot to get back in pyxis and say I did). Nobody ever called me and said "hey how come u didn't waste this medication, I see you only documented you gave 1mg, where did the other mg go". So, unless your hospital has a system that makes it very easy for them to look through the pyxis and then some how see your documentation and catch the discrepancy I would stay quiet and make sure never to do it again. I think if you mention it, it might actually cause more trouble they make look back and try and find other errors.
    Yeah, I'm usually in the honesty is best camp, but my hospital has fired nurses who accidentally take the med home and then remember and bring it back, whereas if there's a discrepancy you fill out a piece of paper and get whoever took the med out with you to cosign. I don't know what I'd do in a similar situation, and do not envy your position
    Esme12 likes this.


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