I made a med error today

  1. I am a new grad...graduated in August. I am in my fourth week of orientation. I made a med error today. The order was for 0.5mg and I gave 1mg...somehow I missed that I had to break the tablet in half. I did my five rights and looked at the wrong column in our electronic mar and totally missed the 0.5mg vs 1mg. Then I stuck myself with a "clean" needle. I had just drawn up the med I needed, clicked the safety latch on the counter like you are supposed to...then went to take it off the syringe like you are supposed to and the needle slid thru the safety latch somehow....what a day.........sorry for the vent....just trying to let it go....yes I know everyone makes mistakes...my preceptor and the nurses on the floor were wonderful trying to make me feel better with stories of how they have made med errors....bless their little souls they were trying to make me feel better...but instead I ended up crying in front of them all and feeling like a bigger idiot because of it.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   augigi
    Sorry you had such a bad day However, we've all made mistakes and if we're smart, they make us better nurses. Let me guess - you'll NEVER make that mistake again, right?
  4. by   dazey71
    i think you learn more from your mistakes than just listening to 'always check your 5 rights' I doubt you'll ever read the column wrong again. Don't beat yourself up over it.
  5. by   nurseangel47
    Hey, if it makes you feel any better at all....I've made plenty...including hanging an antibiotic piggyback into the vein of someone who happened to be ALLERGIC to that antibiotic!!! :smackingf
    And that's not all....have done other "smaller" infractions of med errors.
    Another biggie....gulp..... was giving an entire syringe of morphine plo gel to a lol needing breast ca pain relief....order was for .01 and it was in a tiny tuberculin syringe (1.0 ml sized syringe) so in I go and give the entire tiny syring full=1.0 rather than .01 !!! :selfbonk: Had to call the doc, the nursing don at home, the patient's daughter, fill out the incident report....felt like crying, didn't...felt like the biggest fool on the entire planet til I forgave myself and NEVER will repeat that same med error again as long as I live!!! If you let yourself learn from your mistakes, you've accomplished something positive from the error itself. Not to take errors lightly, but at least there's that one positive outcome....
  6. by   cardiacRN2006
    Well, I gave 1000ccc of lactulose via enema instead of 300cc. So that was more than triple the dose! I said at least 3 times, "gees, doesn't 1000cc's seem like a lot?"

    I paid the price for that one all day!

    And I have cried at work, so don't feel like a fool for it. We had ALL had those days!!!
  7. by   AuntieRN
    Thank you for your support. I am trying really hard to let it go. Yall are wonderful for sharing and caring.:spin:
  8. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from AuntieRN
    I am a new grad...graduated in August. I am in my fourth week of orientation. I made a med error today. The order was for 0.5mg and I gave 1mg...somehow I missed that I had to break the tablet in half. I did my five rights and looked at the wrong column in our electronic mar and totally missed the 0.5mg vs 1mg. Then I stuck myself with a "clean" needle. I had just drawn up the med I needed, clicked the safety latch on the counter like you are supposed to...then went to take it off the syringe like you are supposed to and the needle slid thru the safety latch somehow....what a day.........sorry for the vent....just trying to let it go....yes I know everyone makes mistakes...my preceptor and the nurses on the floor were wonderful trying to make me feel better with stories of how they have made med errors....bless their little souls they were trying to make me feel better...but instead I ended up crying in front of them all and feeling like a bigger idiot because of it.
    I can say after being a nurse for one year now, I have stuck myself with a clean needle twice.....so it happens! On my first shift I sliced my hand open breaking open an ampule of Fentanyl. I had to sit down and hold pressure on it for about 10 minutes - I sure felt stupid. :trout:

    And yes, I have made a couple of med errors. I agree with everyone; you learn from your mistakes!

    One of the most shocking mistakes I made was the first time I every drew blood from an A-line. I did not pull the the whole attachment off of the blood port and the pt's blood came spilling out of the port rather rapidly I never made that mistake again, LOL!
  9. by   Dempather
    I found that often after I've made one mistake (nursing or non-nursing).. I'm that much more prone to making others. That window period after my first error is when I need to be most cautious (I've become either less confidant or too involved in the first mistake to dedicate all my concentration to whatever I'm doing afterwards). So, in my mind... poking yourself doesnt' count.
  10. by   NurseMMM
    You are a new nurse. You are bound to make mistakes. Your human. Just try to be more careful next time. Check and recheck, twice if you have to. They should be giving you extra time for it, because there is a learning curve with new grads. You'll find the system that works for you. Expect many mistakes in nursing, you will learn from each of them. Especially when the day comes when you are given a verbal order and then the MD recants it and says they never told you that order, when you know they did, etc. Then you have to write out an incident report, knowing you weren't in the wrong. Now that one will really errck you! Hopefully, you'll never have to endure that sort of med error. The one you weren't responsible for, but had to swallow because the MD recanted it last minute.
  11. by   Starr1966
    you are human and we all make mistakes from time to time. thing is you will learn from them and not likely to repeat it, that is what i have learned for myself anyway. just be careful and always double check, if in question, as someone else. don't be to hard on yourself.:icon_hug:

    wanda
    rdnrs:
  12. by   Tweety
    It is hard to let go and forgive, but you will, and you'll be better for it, and you won't make that mistake again.

    I stuck myself to the bone with a clean needle. It's amazing the little bruise I got and how painful that was.
  13. by   mom2michael
    I'm forever cutting myself on glass ampules at work and I've stuck myself more times than I can probalby count with clean needes. It happens.

    As for med errors, the 1st one I made was Morphine. I was in a hurry, I though the order said 10mg, it actually said 5mg. Thank God the doctor changed the order for me. He gave me grief over this for months though.

    On a good note, my patient was a chest pain patient and was totally pain free after the 10 mg. And 10 mg in an ER is not much Morphine, this doctor is just conservative and always errors on the side of caution with narcs. We would've eventually given all 10 mg of the Morphine, he just enjoyed giving me crap.

    But I always double, if not triple check my dosages now and when in doubt, I make everyone else in the department double and triple check as well as go back and verify with the doctor.
  14. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Quote from mom2michael
    I'm forever cutting myself on glass ampules at work
    Go to the baby section of your local supermarket and buy an old-fashioned rubber nipple. It will fit over the top of pretty much any size amp, letting you crack it without touching the glass. I learned this when I was cracking 20 mL amps of etoposide years ago and sliced my thumb pretty deeply.

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