i feel so stupid

  1. last night, i made such a stupid mistake and have been beating myself up ever since.

    i called a doctor about a patient's high blood sugar (493) and got new insulin orders. while i was sitting there writing the orders, my pct and i were discussing why the blood sugar could be so high. we realized that this high blood sugar was actually on the patient in the next room! imagine my horror when i had to call this doc back and explain that i had made a mistake! boy, was he angry! he chastised me and told me that my care was "sub-standard" and that our hospital was run like a third world country. by the time he finished chewing me up and spitting me out, i felt like scum. my charge nurse tried to make me feel better by telling me that none of us are perfect, we all make mistakes, i caught my mistake (by divine intervention, i believe), and no one was harmed, but i just can't get over it. i wanted to break down and cry, but i managed to finish my shift without breaking down.

    i've certainly learned from this and am so thankful i caught it before i bottomed my poor patient out. i will always be more careful when it comes to accu-checks, but tell me, how do you cope with your mistakes and stop beating yourself up????
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   santhony44
    Don't take everything the doctor said to heart. I think he has some issues with your facility and they didn't start with you.

    Far better to have caught this one when you did than later. Far, far better!!!

    You will be extra-careful from now on, as well.

    When that voice in your head replays what he said to you, tell it to shut up and stop lying (when you hear that you're giving substandard care, for example). Repeat to yourself that you give good care, that you have learned from your mistake, and go on.
  4. by   llg
    Separate the truth about your error from the physician's emotional reaction.

    Yes, you made a mistake and you need to learn from that mistake so that you don't repeat it. Fortunately you caught the mistake before any harm came to the patient. You also learned behaviors that will help you avoid mistakes in the future.

    Yes, the physician had a right to be angry. Don't deny him the right to be angry and vent a little. We're all human -- including physicians -- and just like you wouldn't like someone waking you up erroneously, he has a right to be a little angry at being awakened by your mistake. So don't demonize him in your mind just because he blew his stack. He made a mistake by over-reacting to your mistake -- now, don't you make another mistake by over-reacting to his mistake.

    We all make mistakes. In this case, both you and the Physician made mistakes. Don't escalate the situation. You made a mistake and got chewed out for it. When that happens, the best response is usually, "I'm sorry. I'll try not to let it happen again," learn from it, and move on. Forgive yourself and forgive the physician. He should do the same.
  5. by   Tweety
    Excellent post above.

    Be gentle with yourself. Forgive yourself. You probably caught the brunt of the MD's feelings about a lot of other things, not just your one incident, not that he's right, but don't obsess on it.
  6. by   Bubbasgirl
    thanks so much for your support, guys!

    i have been a nurse for four months now and work at a large teaching hospital in the heart of a city that was ravaged by a hurricane (hint hint). i work on an extremely busy and hectic med-surg unit (sometimes floating between 3 different med/surg units). i feel as if each shift i am struggling to keep my head above water. on top of being a brand spanking new nurse, i am working in a place where we are so understaffed, it is crazy! i thought working nights would give me more time to spend with my patients, but most nights, i'm doing good to get all my meds passed and charting done.

    on the other hand, i am getting lots of great experience, management is very supportive of nursing, my co-workers are wonderful, and the pay is nice.

    again, i thank you for your input. i would still like to hear from others!
  7. by   anonymurse
    Quote from Bubbasgirl
    how do you cope with your mistakes and stop beating yourself up????
    Well first, you realize the world is gonna beat you up plenty and it doesn't need any help. And second, you understand that getting yelled at is a long way from "being in trouble," which I define as having your basic identity messed with, either by yourself (doing something you know is wrong whether or not others know or actual damage results) or by others (being accused, rightly or wrongly, of something that damages your ability to put food on your table for your family). By these standards, you're a LONG way from "being in trouble."
  8. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from anonymurse
    Well first, you realize the world is gonna beat you up plenty and it doesn't need any help.
    I'm taking this as my new signature line.

    Hang in there. Better to own up to an error and get a little grief than hurt someone.
  9. by   snortzmom
    I would cut yourself some slack Sounds more like that doctor isn't happy with his job .. One phone call in which nobody got hurt? Is he serious? Like its your fault he doesn't like the hospital he works in.. Gimme a break!!

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