My first MED ERROR!!!

  1. I feel horrible, I am in my 5th week of orientation and I made my first med error!!! I was asked to give a new admit some pain medicine while the nurse I was with was in a meeting, I checked everything except the route, I gave the patient Demerol IV instead of IM, and the patient became unresponsive and had to be given narcan. I am so used to giving pain meds IVP that I just automatically did it that way. Luckily the narcan worked and the patient is doing fine, I just feel so bad. No one was upset with me because they said that it turned out the patient was very sensitve to pain meds and the same thing happened in the OR when she was given Morphine IV, but I did not receive report on the patient so I was unaware of that. I did learn a valuable lesson from that and I will be a lot more careful next time and I will also be more assertive and not give meds to a patient I am not familiar with. Sorry so long, I just had to get it off my chest.
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Okay, now take a deep breath! Yes, this is a med error. Some med errors are easily avoided with experience: in this instance, the dose for IM was probably larger than what one would have given IV.

    Good luck.
  4. by   DolphinRN84
    It's ok to make mistakes in general. I am a new nurse myself and I can understand what you're going through. This will make sure you don't do it again. Don't beat yourself over it (hypocrite here! :chuckle ) I know it's difficult trust me! (((((HUGS)))))
    Last edit by DolphinRN84 on Dec 9, '06 : Reason: Had to clarify
  5. by   GrnHonu99
    Give yourself a break. You didnt do it on purpose, it was an accident and we all make them. Just think of it as a lesson learned and be thankful no harm came to the pt.
  6. by   joRPN
    I am reading this, having made my first med error today! I am now questioning my competence. I know it was an error, and that i should not beat myself up about it, but how does one get over it, and move on? Fortunately my patient is okay, but now i am lacking confidence in myself. Damn! I am a good nurse, but having made this one error....
  7. by   axelnurse
    I made my first error around the 3rd week of my orientation. Everyone told me not to worry about it and to just learn my lesson. I am not going to say that to you. I know that you are going to worry about it. I can still drum up that feeling in my psyche that I felt when I realized my mistake. Just please focus on the learning opportunity that this has provided. Give learning more power than worrying about what might have been. You are still an RN. You still got through nursing school, passed NCLEX, and got a job. We are going to be learning for the rest of our lives, and unfortunately, we will be making mistakes for the rest of our lives. (Despite the fact that our patients, coworkers, and families expect us to be invincible!
  8. by   MurseNeutron
    how many mg of demerol did you give?
  9. by   amy0123
    I just made my first med error today! I feel really bad. My patient is ok, the nurse manager spoke to me about it. This whole ordeal just makes me want to leave nursing all together because it makes me, the nurse manager and other nurses I work with realize that I am a new grad that could kill someone.

    I wish I could say that I'm perfect but honestly, my mind isn't 100% clear at times when I have multiple tasks waiting to do and many patients to run to for 12 hours.

    How could I expect not to make another error in the future? Maybe this is just not for me.
  10. by   jjjoy
    As a newbie, you've really got to sort out the feedback you get. You'll hear a lot about what you didn't do and what you should be doing, etc... You need to listen and then ask yourself "Do I know this already?" Oftentimes, the answer is "yes." Like when someone reprimands you about a med error - "You ALWAYS need to check!" You probably know quite well that you need to check meds carefully. You're already on it. Mentally check it off your list and put the wet noodle for self flagellation away. The person reprimanding you can't judge whether this is will be a regular problem with you or if it's a one-off honest-to-god mistake. You know better your strengths and weaknesses. There's also a lot more you'll be learning about yourself as you continue to work. What you learn is uniquely your own. Maybe you learned that the med forms you use at work are hard to read. Maybe you learned what to do if a med error happens. Maybe you learned about using narcan. Maybe you learned that no matter how hard you to try to do everything right, mistakes sometimes happen, we deal with them, however large or small the consequences, and move on.
    Last edit by jjjoy on Dec 1, '06
  11. by   RN1263
    Look up the post-

    "Have you ever made a med error?"

    I posted that thread a few months ago & it got 100 replies!!! Hope it helps!
  12. by   Tweety
    You learned your lesson and will never do it again. Sometimes life's best lessons are a bitter pill. Been there and done that.
  13. by   oldnewnurse46
    Any nurse who claims to have never made any med error at all is not telling the truth. They are horrifying. What a scary profession, when we can have one off millisecond, and someone can die. Humans make mistakes, that is reality. We just do the best we can to minimize them, and SPEAK UP when mgt pushes more on you than is humanly possible.
  14. by   ERNirs33
    I made a med error with a nitro drip, the dr. wrote it wrong, but I should have caught it and corrected it or sought assistance, asked or something. Fortunately absolutely no harm came to the patient, in fact, the higher dose I gave was the only thing that even touched his BP, it came down to about 130/88 rather than the 200's over 100 range, but still, man I felt like a really bad person and I have anxiety so bad when I get off work now, I lost sleep over this and now after a shift I come home worried that I have done something wrong, I don't know how to just let go of these feelings and know that I am trying the absolute best and doing the best I can, but I hate the fact I made such a mistake that could have been so serious! any advice?

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