Do all nurses make fatal mistakes? - page 2

I am a nursing student and today one of my fellow students was telling me how she expects to make a mistake in her career that will lead to a patient's death. She then said every person she knows in... Read More

  1. by   canoehead
    I've made an error that could have killed my patient, but we pulled her through.

    About every five years I hear of a mistake, and the patient ends up dying, though there's usually other factors leading to the death.

    Only once have I heard of a mistake that directly caused a death. The provider was visibly shattered for weeks. One of those times when you could look at someone and see the pain in their face.
  2. by   evastone
    Oh dear. Still in nursing school and already your buddy is planning on killing someone. That's a really dangerous attitude. If I thought I would be killing a patient during the course of my career I wouldn't have become a nurse.
  3. by   LovingLife123
    So, your friend expects to kill someone, and is on with that? That is what is most concerning to me.

    Most nurses do not make fatal errors. They are few and far between.
  4. by   Davey Do
    Quote from evastone
    Oh dear. Still in nursing school and already your buddy is planning on killing someone.
    th2-jpg
  5. by   Agatha12
    I have only 3 years experience. I made a few medicine errors but all were harmless, not even close to fatal. Its not that easy to kill patient unless you work in ICU and overdose very potent drug.
  6. by   Davey Do
    Quote from justtryintonurse
    She then said every person she knows in the medical field has made a fatal mistake at some point.
    Let's just stay away from every person she knows in the medical field.

    It's like the Winter I was 19 years old and had a recently healed comminuted fracture of my R femur. A friend asked me to go sledding with him.

    I said, "I just broke my leg in three places!"
    "Well", he advised, "Just stay out of those places!"
    Quote from justtryintonurse
    Are the any experienced nurses that can shed some light on this?
    Well, I have found out it is more difficult to kill Patients in Psych.

    That's why just about anybody can work in Psych.
    Quote from justtryintonurse
    Concerned/suddenly terrified student
    In all sincerity, justtyintonurse, I hope you've gotten the message that fatalities do happen in nursing, but unlike what your friend has said, fatal mistakes are not a common occurrence.

    And I hope you realize that I was not making fun of you.

    I was merely having fun near you.

    The very best to you, justtryintonurse!
  7. by   Been there,done that
    Quote from elkpark
    Well, I've been in nursing over 30 years -- I've made my share of med and other errors, but I haven't killed anyone yet.
    Must second what elkpark said, but add... I saved a lot more.
  8. by   meanmaryjean
    40+ years, haven't even come close to what your classmate is describing. He/ she is an idiot.
  9. by   dishes
    If your first job as a new grad is on a unit where there is a high turnover in nursing staff and most nurses are novices or advanced beginners (as defined by Benner's novice to expert theory), then the chances will be greater that there will be poorer patient outcomes, greater incidence of mistakes and failure to rescue patients. If your first job is on a stable unit that has a mixture of staff who are advanced beginners, competent, proficient,and/or at the expert levels in their practice, then the chances are better that you will be make fewer mistakes, learn when to recognize signs that the patient is deteriorating and needs intervention and have better patient outcomes.
  10. by   sevensonnets
    I've been doing this 38 years, all in CVICU/Open Heart. Never killed anybody yet nor do I expect to. I'm not out here to kill them, nor am I stupid enough to do accidentally.
  11. by   traumaRUs
    Please don't listen to your classmate.
  12. by   hppygr8ful
    Quote from elkpark
    Well, I've been in nursing over 30 years -- I've made my share of med and other errors, but I haven't killed anyone yet.
    Same here 17 years and no patient dead due to a mistake on my part. Same is true for most of the nurses in my general circle - but I don't imagine they'd talk about it much if they did. Sounds like an urban legend. Tell your friend that if she expects to make a fatal mistake she better invest in good malpractice insurance. It can be purchased quite cheaply when you are a student and your premium stays low throughout your career!

    Hppy
  13. by   ponymom
    Yeah and make sure to inform this board of where she goes to work. Maybe inform the police and the media too so everyone will be there on the big day.

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