First med error

  1. 0
    Just got notified by my agency that I have to come in and "discuss" a med error that was found by the LTC facility that I was at the night before. I passed 2 halves of med #1 and one half of med #2 and it should have been reversed I am absolutely sick to my gut as this is the one thing I have feared the most. I have not worked LTC in 10+ years and this is why, popping meds like crazy and making sure you have given all on time and correctly. When the regular nurses tell you the med pass is hard how does that make the agency nurse feel. I started working LTC again for the last 6 mos for an agency I love while I am in school but HATE the unit I got assigned to ( this was my third time on the unit in 6 mos) as it is a heavy med pass with heavy narc load as well. 4 chem strips with first med pass and 11 chem strips plus meds at second med pass then 3rd pass plus treatments and interuptions. ARRGH! As an agency I wonder if I can ask to not be assigned to that unit. Any advice out there???

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  2. 15 Comments...

  3. 0
    I assume you can refuse certain assignments. You need to ask your employer. As for the med error, please know that it happens to all of us at some time. We did a study last year in our hospital regarding errors in a 12 month period and compared the number of errors to the number of agency working. Turns out our own staff caused most of the errors, due to fatigue. Made a nice case for hiring.
  4. 0
    I am trying to not let it bother me but it just sickens me. Thanks for responding.
  5. 5
    Everyone makes med errors. Try not to be so hard on yourself! Try to make it a learning experience instead of a self-bashing. You're still the same good nurse you were before you made the error.

    Med errors, by the way, are often (I'd say usually, actually) a result of a system error, such as too many meds/not enough time... When a nurse makes an error, it helps the facility figure out what needs to be done differently to get rid of those system errors. Sometimes they can't do a thing, but if the same error keeps popping up, eventually they'll work on it.

    Again, please don't be so hard on yourself. We've all been there and empathize with you. The important thing is...was the patient harmed? I bet the patient is A-Ok. This too shall pass.

    Sending hugs to you...
  6. 1
    Don't beat yourself down. The patient was not harmed and I'm sure you learned something from this. You're not the "only nurse" that has made a med error. So keep your end gate up and move forward.
    Tait likes this.
  7. 0
    I, for one, tend to do medical errors sometimes. I gave an extra dose of amlodipine 5mg after she had been given by last shift's amlodipine. I checked the drug study and max dose is 10mg/day, but still, having given the drug made me feel fear. Lapses happen because of overfatigue or failure to recheck the order, among other things. These happen to everyone, whether to new or experienced nurses. It's just up to us on how to handle the situation.
  8. 0
    I work in LTC and had my first med error this week also. My charge was flushing the pick line of the resident and I went to the next one. I never went back to give the med. I was working a 12 hour shift and was on a med pass I was not familiar with. It took me almost 3 hours. By the time I was done I completely forgot. My charge was wonderful , she explained the procedure and assure me the resident was fine and we called the physician and the DON. Mistakes happen and the best thing that could have happened to me is to learn from my mistake.
  9. 0
    My first med error had me so scared for my patient and myself that I kept waking up all night feeling squirmy that I might do it again, hurt someone by it, proved to the other nurses that I suck as a nurse, etc.

    You don't, and you're ok! But I definitely remembered to triple check my meds afterwards, and you will too.
  10. 2
    It won't be your last med mistake. The most important thing is to never hide it, always monitor your pt closely, and learn something from it so that you don't make the same mistake twice.

    Hopefully, they didn't give you a hard time.
    nola1202 and brillohead like this.
  11. 0
    My teachers always prepared me that I would make one, and I did. Gave 1 capsule of an antibiotic instead of 2 capsules. Sad part is the patient noticed, didn't feel like telling me, and reported me the next day. Bleh. lol The DOC was great and supportive. Med errors are common b/c of the system like someone above said. When you have approx 90 patients to one nurse like in retirement/LTC, I'm more shocked not to see more errors.

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