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I am a new nurse and got busy the other day, I withdrew some morphine out of a vial and completely forgot to waste the remaining, my preceptor told me not to sweat it but I feel nervous about it...any advice?
Many organizations are very strict about their wastage policies, as this is frequently one of the first indicators of drug diversion. FYI, hospitals have ongoing audits that will reveal any lapses in compliance. Make sure you are familiar with the organizational policy. Talk to your clinical instructor about this and see if you need to any sort of follow up. It would be better if you initiated any necessary follow-up rather than have it come back to bite you.
You should have wasted in the Pyxis right away or immediately after you gave the dose but definitely before you discarded the remainder of the vial. It isn't always possible immediately but you should definitely do so before leaving for the day. I always do a pocket pat down for vials and meds at the end of my shift so I can waste and discard before I go home. Don't become a statistic by getting fired for stealing narcotics because you forgot about it!
I agree with HouTx. Go back to your clinical instructor and address the issue.
I'd also let them know your preceptor said it was no big deal. Not to get that person in trouble, but perhaps that person should not be precepting new nurses?