I dont make med errors.

  1. In our professional lives as nurses we all strive to be the best we can,delivery the highest quality of care within our power,some of us are even driven to be perfect,I know Id like to be.
    However,given that we are fallible and human its my assumption that All nurses make mistakes,and God help us that they are not serious.
    To be specific,its my assumption we ALL make med. errors,but I know nurses who deny they make med errors,and even deny they are even capable of making a med. error.
    Heres my question:
    1.Who admits to making med errors?
    2. Who denies ever making a med error?
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   LatteGuzzler
    I suppose theoretically one could refute the possibility of ever making an error if following the "rights of administration" in every instance, but there could be other circumstances- pharmacy error, misplaced nameband, etc that put it out of your 100% control....But really, saying it's impossible is like saying the Titanic's unsinkable! I'd feel like I were tempting fate to say that. Technology, in my opinion, has greatly reduced the risk, especially with automated dispensing and the like, but the vigillance will always be ours.
  4. by   ucavalpn
    I have , thank God nothing really bad . I have learned from these , if I've ever messed up on one thing , I am extra careful about this in the future. Have not made the same error twice. Who knowes someday I may be perfect..... but I kinda doubt it . I will keep working on it .
    Last edit by ucavalpn on Sep 1, '02
  5. by   psychomachia
    ohbet asks:

    Heres my question:
    1.Who admits to making med errors?
    2. Who denies ever making a med error?



    Me: Hmmm....kinda like masturbation...no one admits to it, but everyone has done it...
  6. by   Stargazer
    My feeling has always been that people who say they have never made a med error are either simply mistaken or they haven't been nurses very long.

    I have never, EVER heard anyone say they were incapable (!) of making a med error. I would consider such a person deluded, grossly overconfident and therefore dangerous.

    Liked LatteGuzzler's Titanic analogy.
  7. by   Q.
    Remembering that a med error can constitute any one of the 5 R's, not just dose and med, alot of pro-nursing activists state that any med error that is done is not the fault of the nurse, typically, but a system error in which the nurse was a part.

    I myself have made several med errors in which the med was not given at the right time; that I can attribute to a system error, ie the way the orders are communicated to pharmacy, the method in which they are delivered, ecetera ecetera.

    I have nearly made 2 dose/route errors, that I am aware of, but caught them before I was complete and the med was given. Again, that could be contributed to a system error, meaning, I was working during my 16th hour, no sleep, no food. Whose fault is it really if I made the mistake? Mine, because I held the smoking gun? Or the hospitals, for not providing safe staff levels?
  8. by   Y2KRN
    I have made two med errors since I have graduated from nursing school and it makes you just sick. I thought the other night that I had increased that list to three med errors and this time I was giving a patient a strong beta blocker IV push. I was covering for lunch and we have computerized charting systems. I looked at the medication order twice, the exam room number twice, and the patient's name twice before getting the med from the pyxis. I went into the trauma room and asked the patient if she had any allergies, got my answer and began to push the medication as I was pushing the medication I thought oh I didn't look at the name band the last name on the name band was not the same spelling as the computer had. One name started with a C, the one on the name band started with an S. I felt my knees go week and I stopped pushing the drug, I ran to the computer and verified with the family members in the room if this was the correct patient. They said yes, they had noticed that her name was spelled incorrectly on the computer, but had not alerted anyone. I thought I was going to die. I told them that I had thought I had just made a terrible med error. They thanked me for being truthful, I finished pushing the medication and sat down in the room for a while. It was a very awful experience. The other med errors I had made were not as serious as this one could have been. I told my charge nurse later and she said well at least you did look at the bracelet. It just showed me to always be cognizant of what you are doing especailly when you are rushed for time. I will never start a med and look at a bracelet at the same time again!!!!

    None of us are perfect, it is scary to think my mistake could really harm someone!!! I always try to remember that. I feel like honestly is always the best policy even if you give someone tums by mistake. So, my vote is to always admit making a medication error.

    Y2KRN
  9. by   LatteGuzzler
    This discussion of med errors seems to have all the comfort level of discussing your sex life with your mama.
  10. by   night owl
    Whatever, but I keep telling you all there are only two kinds of nurses...the one who have made a med error and the ones who will make a med error...Happy med pass!
    Guilty verdict here...nothing fatal though
    {{{{{pheeeew}}}}}
    Last edit by night owl on Sep 1, '02
  11. by   Brownms46
    My old instructor who started out when nurses did everything including cooking the meals!! She became a nurse during the time when they had to light lanterns...back in the dark ages....:chuckle. She always said that a nurse who says she/he's never made a med error, are either lying, haven't worked anywhere.....or definitely not for any length of time worth mentioning! After being in nursing for 22yrs...I totally agree.. But I'll add one more...possibility. That she/he...aren't even honest enough to admit to themselves...let alone anyone else! Those are the people I think are the most dangerous of all...!
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Sep 1, '02
  12. by   nell
    Y2KRN: Good story to learn from, and I'm glad it turned out to be the right patient.

    I'm glad that it has been the policy in every NICU that I've been in since 1992 (before that, only certain meds had to be checked by 2 RNs) to check ALL meds with another nurse. Several times I have caught myself with say, 1.8cc (180mg) of Ampicillin instead of the 1.3 (130mg) that it should have been. Also, I have to tripple-check those decimal points! 0.2cc of a med instead of 0.02cc. Maybe I'm JuSt A LiTtLe DySLleXic.
  13. by   adrienurse
    Guilty Guilty Guilty and Guilty.

    Have I made any fatal med errors? No, thank God.

    I have gotten into the habit of locking myself into the medroom when I pull and prepare meds. Not everyone respects this either, but transferring someone from bed to W/C is not an emergency in my books. Always temptation there to drop everything to go solve every little mini-crisis that is happening on the unit, but you just have to draw THE LINE.
  14. by   sunnygirl272
    my only comment about med errors is that considering this is a public forum with lurkers...i would personally be as hesitant about med error confessionals as i would be about offering medical advice beyond "See your primary care physician." to most posters...just my humble opinion...

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