Forgetting a syringe!

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    I have been a nurse since September '13 and at my job for about 3 months now (a LTC facility) and I love it. The problem is, a few weeks ago an aid got stuck by a needle that was left in a resident's room and because I was the last person to give that resident insulin, the blame fell on me (it COULD have been me but who knows!) I never denied that it was my fault, but I've seen one left in a room before too, so it could have been someone else and gone unnoticed. Anyways! long story short, it blew up bigger than it should have, I got reprimanded and written up, and now I lay in bed at night after work wondering if I disposed all the syringes from my shift. I'm super cautious but now I'm paranoid! Anyone else forget a syringe on accident? Btw, I make sure I always lock the safety now too!
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  4. 0
    Quote from Alexag09
    I have been a nurse since September '13 and at my job for about 3 months now (a LTC facility) and I love it. The problem is, a few weeks ago an aid got stuck by a needle that was left in a resident's room and because I was the last person to give that resident insulin, the blame fell on me (it COULD have been me but who knows!) I never denied that it was my fault, but I've seen one left in a room before too, so it could have been someone else and gone unnoticed. Anyways! long story short, it blew up bigger than it should have, I got reprimanded and written up, and now I lay in bed at night after work wondering if I disposed all the syringes from my shift. I'm super cautious but now I'm paranoid! Anyone else forget a syringe on accident? Btw, I make sure I always lock the safety now too!
    why don't you have access to safety needles?I I would never except fault for this. If you contract something due to bad practice then you may not be covered. I'm guessing that's one of the reasons your work wrote you up to shift this fault.
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    That never happened to me, but I've made other errors - all nurses make mistakes. To prevent this one, you might add a personal sixth "right":
    Right person
    Right medication
    Right dose
    Right time
    Right route
    and
    Right disposal

    Just think of it as a fail-safe way to protect yourself, your patients and your colleagues. Also, that way, you are building in an on-the-spot check and you don't have spend your pre-sleep hours remembering every needle you gave on your shift.
    Krzysztof likes this.
  6. 2
    Do your rooms not have sharps containers? All of our rooms do and you never set the syringe down, you go straight to the container and dispose of it as soon as you give it.
    poppycat and KelRN215 like this.
  7. 0
    [QUOTE=loriangel14;7713689]Do your rooms not have sharps containers? All of our rooms do and you never set the syringe down, you go straight to the container and dispose of it as soon as you give it.[/QUOT E]I don't think I've ever known any places in LTC with in-room red boxes.

    It took years & years just to get individual glove boxes in the rooms. And there's still probably places WITHOUT boxes in the rooms.

    It is very possible that OP DID NOT leave that syringe in the room. I'm sure we have all found syringes accidently left from some previous employee. And yes, she COULD have left it too. Who's to know??
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    I take back my previous post. I did work at one place that had individual red boxes in the rooms. Only problem with them was that a box could hang there FOREVER without needing emptying. Maybe a PPD syringe and a phlebotomy needle were all that was in it. Don't know if that made them cost effective to supply & maintain.
  9. 1
    Sharps boxes in true long term care, not sub acute, are not common. Making safety devices, ie, syringes that have covers for the needles, all the more important.
    amoLucia likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from Retired APRN
    That never happened to me, but I've made other errors - all nurses make mistakes. To prevent this one, you might add a personal sixth "right":
    Right person
    Right medication
    Right dose
    Right time
    Right route
    and
    Right disposal

    Just think of it as a fail-safe way to protect yourself, your patients and your colleagues. Also, that way, you are building in an on-the-spot check and you don't have spend your pre-sleep hours remembering every needle you gave on your shift.
    Good advice, however; in LTC especially that syringe could have been on that bed for days. Unless the syringe had the nurse's name on it, or had some code to designate which nurse used it, you can't protect yourself from every boobytrap. Maybe they should have tested that syringe for fingerprints before this nurse was written up for an act that cannot be proven to have been her doing? Maybe a meeting could have been called to alert all staff to a syringe being left on a bed, to caution everyone to be more careful, and to reiterate the procedure for sharps disposal? Maybe in the future a needle exchange will be required (meaning, a syringe removed from a cart has to be reinserted into a high-tech sharps container) before the next medication or injection can be removed from the cart? A needle count at shift change that corresponds with the number of injections given on the prior shift? Writing people up willy-nilly, more so when no damage has been done and the offender can't be verified, only serves to increase paranoia and cause more mistakes.
  11. 1
    My bad- I did not see than an aid was stuck with that needle. That changes my thoughts, still- it's not known which nurse left that syringe behind. Another sticky situation- and an even better call for an inservice, with the focus on how to prevent it from happening again.
    Retired APRN likes this.
  12. 0
    One time, I had to have an employee go thru the procedure...he was stuck by an open insulin syringe in the med cart's top drawer. No way to tell if it was used or unused, clean or dirty. Alerted the whole staff, but of course, no one came forward. Even with the best safeguards in place, someone will skirt around it and then problems happen (usually to an innocent party).


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