cannot get over mistake - page 2

i'll try to be as brief as possible but here goes - i have been a nurse for about 9 years - when i was new on orientation i was overwhelmed, rushed, panicked and made a mistake by not priming an iv... Read More

  1. by   madwife2002
    Quote from takrn
    i'll try to be as brief as possible but here goes - i have been a nurse for about 9 years - when i was new on orientation i was overwhelmed, rushed, panicked and made a mistake by not priming an iv line properly - the patient got a cerebral embolism and died a week later. since then i continued nursing but have never been able to get over this and have suffered extreme depression. i have never been able to forgive myself for being so stupid - i was a straight A student - the kindest person you could know - since then i have been to therapy - but nothing seemed to help. please try not to be too brutal with your replies.
    I find it hard to understand what happened here, how did you know you didnt prime the line properly, surely if you noticed it at the time you would have stopped the infusion straight away? If you then noticed this wouldn't you report it straight away and start emergency measures?
    Why are you so sure it was you?
  2. by   JBudd
    You've said several times you feel as though you should have been punished. If this was truly your fault, you would have been: you would have lost your license, job, been sued .......

    But we aren't children anymore, a "spanking" won't get rid of it. There is no easy way to get rid of guilt feelings, whether they are deserved or not. When I was feeling badly over something in my past, my husband reminded me, "that's what grace is for". God loves unconditionally, and gives grace (forgiveness) freely, no penance required. Learning to forgive yourself is hard, but it is possible. Simply being told you shouldn't feel guilty, doesn't stop that from being the emotion you DO feel. It is time to move on, to forgive yourself, not to deny the emotion, but to let it go.

    All of us have made mistakes, some serious, some not. The thing is, to learn from them. I'll bet you've been extremely careful with lines ever since haven't you? Remind yourself, I made a mistake, but I DID NOT KILL HIM. How many lives have you had good inputs with in the last nine years? Nursing would be worse off without you. Do as others have suggested, keep seeking couseling until you find the right one for you. :icon_hug:
  3. by   bobnurse
    I would think that small amount of air would remain in the right atrium and become reabsorbed. Everyone makes mistakes. Its what you learn from that mistake that makes you a better person/nurse. So hopefully this is something that hasnt happened again within your practice.
  4. by   roxburin
    I would like to be supportive. You can't change what happened. No one can change things that happen in their life. Life is tough be default. Everyone makes mistakes, and this one is probably not entirely your fault. That being said, my only thought is that if you can't get over it and dwell on it constantly then someone else may get hurt. If you are second guessing yourself or think you will make a mistake then it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. - Let me ask you this question: if the patient were your own kid or parent or whatever would you trust yourself to work on them? If yes, then maybe you should just get over it already! You are not doing anyone any good wallowing in it. Sounds to me like you learned from your mistake. If you don't become a better nurse because of it then you aren't doing that unfortunate patient any favors. If the accident happened to you would you want the nurse to gain something from it? Become stronger in spite of it? Realistically, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and decide if you are a good (safe) nurse or not. Is the world better off with you as a nurse? Go ahead and ask yourself. If not, then don't stick around waiting for mistake #2 to happen. I know that sounds tough. I hope you get the comfort or support that you need. Good luck with it. Remember that if there were no nurses at all then people would be much worse off. Best wishes to you, I hope you find what you need.
  5. by   lady_jezebel
    Quote from takrn
    i jsut want to thank everyone for their support - it was hard to even get myself to read any replies. i've spoken to so many people regarding this and basically say the same thing - you learn and move on - sometimes that helps me and other times it does not. as far as anything happening to me - i felt it was just brushed under the rug - i probably would have felt better if i was punished somehow but i wasn't. anyway i continue to be a nurse and i try to be the best that i can - although this is definetely a hard job. thanks again to everyone - i will try to post more positive subjects in the future - by the way i have been looking at this site for years.
    9 years is too long to punish yourself. please stop. and thank you for educating us on the dangers of air in central lines -- i will be a much more aware nurse b/c of your story. thank you.
    Last edit by lady_jezebel on May 11, '05
  6. by   BabyRN2Be
    Someone mentioned that you might have been a scapegoat in this, and I tend to agree. It sounds like you are placing too much blame on yourself when it isn't necessary. That's what it sounds like to me. Sorry that this happened to you early on when it did, it was just bad timing and I don't think that you are entirely to blame.

    I do hope that one day you will take the time to heal. I will be praying for you.
  7. by   roxburin
    Quote from BabyRN2Be
    Someone mentioned that you might have been a scapegoat in this, and I tend to agree. It sounds like you are placing too much blame on yourself when it isn't necessary.
    I also agree. Did anyone say you were responsible? I have a feeling we are missing something here. You told the hospital everything you told us right? If you were mostly responsible then you would have heard something. The fact that you didn't should tell you something.

close