.. First Night Floating... First Med Error

  1. Ah... I suppose this will be my story.. unfortunately, my first night floating to another unit and my first med error will be intertwined. Kind nurses, lend me your ears (or eyes). Started work in August, really alone on the floor sometime in mid-November. First float to another unit last night. Two patients on PO Synthroid in the AM.. was getting nervous that my meds were coming up quickly, and I didn't want to look foolish leaving so late after my shift was over (I find it a little more acceptable on my own unit, where people know me better). Grabbed the 125 mcg Synthroid for my little old lady that was meant for my middle-aged man and gave it. She was really due for 75. <sighs> I always check, always always. I realized it immediately, told the nurse manager, called the MD. Patient was fine. I hate thinking that my first impression on these new nurses was my incompetence.. even if they were completely understanding.. even if the MD said it's okay, and it shouldn't affect the pt.

    New nurses (and old nurses), for the record... you look much more foolish leaving late because you're filling out an occurence report on the computer than you ever would giving meds out a little later than they're due. Always, always, always take your time.

    I know it's important to go easy on yourself after this. To learn. Still sad.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   BlueEyedRN
    I had a nurse tell me the same thing one morning. I had worked four nights in a row (I'm a day shifter) and I was sluggishly trying to get everything done. I asked her how much trouble I would be in when I clocked out two hours late. "Not near as much as you would be if you didn't get everything done you're supposed to." Thanks for the reminder and I'm sorry that happened.
  4. by   nurseangel47
    I would never work a shift on an unfamiliar circadian rhythm against my inner body clock (IF I could avoid that, I know sometimes we 're oncall and don't have a choice, unfortunately!)...but the dose of synthroid you gave is negligible, at least she was already on synthroid anyway, didn't have any allergies, etc. and all was ok with the outcome. So, yeah, do NOT beat yourself up. And don't think what other nurses think of you. Do your very best, even if it DOES mean working overtime a bit on a unit/shift you're unfamliar with! You're only human! I know it's nervewracking. I've had to float and work unfamiliar units myself. Just take up for you when the time arises. Don't be someone's doormat even in your imagination!
  5. by   newbiern2006
    you started work in august and you weren't on your own until november? i want a job like that - i was thrown onto night shift after just two weeks of precepting, and given a new preceptor who didn't want to work nights and hated precepting. after just five weeks of precepting, during which i never learned how to operate the computer system adequately even after repeated requests, i went in to work one night and was told "you're on your own now." i am still struggling because of the extremely inadequate precepting period and training. i have talked to my nursing supervises to no avail, and i've even been floated to the icu after two months on the floor on my own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm leaving as soon as i get my tuition reimbursement check. i have a job waiting for me in the homecare agency i worked for as an hha while in school. i didn't work so hard to earn my license to risk it in a place that could not care less, and i sure as heck am not willing to go to jail, which now seems like a very real possibility, considering the case in wisconsin. i've never, nor would i ever break the rules of safe medication administration, but i have made a couple of errors because of the confusing and archaic system, overwork, and lack of support for new nurses (any nurses, for that matter) where i work, and it scares the daylights out of me.
  6. by   Barb101
    I had a friend whos preceptor left her after 2 weeks so its the same down under
  7. by   adean
    I am new to the hospital im at in the ICU. I am also a LPN. I have been a nurse for one in a LTC facility. Our preceptor program is for 3 ENTIRE months and if your not ready they give you more time. IT is WONDERFUL!

    Thanks for post to always remember SLOW down and do it right the first time!

    APril
  8. by   oualie20
    Dempather:

    I am in no way an experienced nurse but I can say it's better to be safe than sorry. If you have to stay an extra couple of minutes then so be it. Amongst your peers I think it'll look better if you stay to make sure things are done correctly vs not doing things correctly and leaving on time.
    HTH
    P.S. I take synthroid and and IMO an extra dose isn't going to harm the pt.

    Happy New Year
  9. by   Dempather
    i've even been floated to the icu after two months on the floor on my own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    that's out of control. although i didn't really start on the floor until mid-late october, my hospital is great with allowing a supportive and lengthy orientation. nonetheless, regardless of how much experience you have, if the conditions aren't right, mistakes are bound to happen. my hospital is big on speaking with employees after incidents, not pointing fingers, but asking how instead this could be avoided in the future (in the grand scheme of things). they also encourage employees to come forward when they *almost* make a mistake - seeing how focusing on those conditions as well can prevent the real things.
  10. by   all4schwa
    Quote from newbiern2006
    , and i've even been floated to the icu after two months on the floor on my own!!!
    ditto, i'm not comfortable with that. but they do assign float nurses appropriate patients, and i knew when i started that our unit floated there often, so i've been able to deal. they won't float the lpn's there, so us rn's take alot of turns...
  11. by   RYNOBLASTER30
    Quote from Dempather
    Ah... I suppose this will be my story.. unfortunately, my first night floating to another unit and my first med error will be intertwined. Kind nurses, lend me your ears (or eyes). Started work in August, really alone on the floor sometime in mid-November. First float to another unit last night. Two patients on PO Synthroid in the AM.. was getting nervous that my meds were coming up quickly, and I didn't want to look foolish leaving so late after my shift was over (I find it a little more acceptable on my own unit, where people know me better). Grabbed the 125 mcg Synthroid for my little old lady that was meant for my middle-aged man and gave it. She was really due for 75. <sighs> I always check, always always. I realized it immediately, told the nurse manager, called the MD. Patient was fine. I hate thinking that my first impression on these new nurses was my incompetence.. even if they were completely understanding.. even if the MD said it's okay, and it shouldn't affect the pt.

    New nurses (and old nurses), for the record... you look much more foolish leaving late because you're filling out an occurence report on the computer than you ever would giving meds out a little later than they're due. Always, always, always take your time.

    I know it's important to go easy on yourself after this. To learn. Still sad.
    To be honest with you, i wouldn't have said a thing. That little difference, one time, wasn't going to hurt either of them. Put it behind you and move on. **** happens.

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