Just so tired of blame shifting

  1. 4
    I swear some people just pretend to be nurses or have no idea that being an RN involves taking responsibility for ones own actions or lack of.

    The other day I worked with this nurse who like me is also a CN. I was circulating and she was scrubbed for a facial fracture. I accidentally without thinking poured full strength betadine instead of half strength. Full strength is not recommended as it can be damaging to the eyes.

    So as she was about to apply the solution I realized the error and said 'wait is that full strength?" Rather than admitting the error she said 'you poured this for me'. My response to this was 'we were both supposed to check this but I'm comfortable with admitting MY errors''..

    What I really felt like saying is "Ummm your the scrub nurse, your supposed to check every solution with your scout nurse. This is basic knowledge that even a student should be able to tell you....and part of ACORN standards. You can't just blindly accept everything that is given to you, the scrub has to know everything he or she hands to the surgeon.....duh"

    This sort of thing really annoys me. We all make errors because we're only human. But when other nurses immediately start trying to shift the blame solely on someone else I get so angry. Especially when they were partly at fault and try and make themselves look all innocent by pointing the finger.

    Some people I've noticed are happy to have the CN status, get the extra money etc but when it comes to accepting personal responsibility act like children...."it's not my fault...she did it!"

    Honestly I feel like telling these people to grow up and start behaving like professionals....from my experience acknowledging responsibility gains you respect, while people who try and wheedle their way out of trouble are looked upon as people who are not team players and get very little respect.

    Seriously though why don't these types of nurses just grow a spine, admit to their errors and become a better nurse from learning from it? It's not as though anyone is going to get fired over this, in Australia it's sooooo hard to fire anyone!

    Edited to add: Just noticed the mistake in the title!...well I'm tired and it's been a looooong day Could the moderators please kindly fix it for me?
    Last edit by dianah on Jan 7, '10 : Reason: request
    Virgo_RN, neatnurse30, Ivanna_Nurse, and 1 other like this.
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  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Take a look around you and you will notice irresponsible people everywhere.

    Too bad not everyone can be perfect like us
    Last edit by dianah on Jan 7, '10
    JavaMama98 and southernbeegirl like this.
  5. 3
    I don't understand this either. Mistakes are human. Correcting them is part of the game.

    In HH, I once had patient with an IV antibiotic. Indadvertently, I reconstituted it with heparin and not saline. When I realized that, I told the patient what I had done and I discarded the med. I am sure that it cost a lot of $$. There was another dose there, which I properly mixed and administered. It was a hot day, and by the time, I finished, I was really sweating. I felt very stupid. But it could not be undone.

    Later, the HH aide told me that the patient told her what a good nurse I was. It had impressed her that I would not give the wrong med. This patient had the potential to be critical and this compliment from her was unexpected, but welcomed.

    Blame shifting has become an art form in this world. It is my opinion that when a person accepts blame, which I might call responsibility, most people are so stunned that they don't know what to do.

    Well, tinkle on them if they can't take a joke! You know!!

    You get some rest and let this fall as dust from your feet. (That would be dust bunnies, in my house!)

    Word to the Wise: Do not forget what you have just learned about your coworker.
  6. 8
    Wouldn't taking responsibility mean YOU said "wait...I poured full strength, did you dilute it?" ?
    wooh, chelynn, ktwlpn, and 5 others like this.
  7. 6
    Why didn't you just stay "stop for a second, I forgot to dilute it"
    wooh, chelynn, ktwlpn, and 3 others like this.
  8. 12
    Quote from Scrubby
    I accidentally without thinking poured full strength betadine instead of half strength. Full strength is not recommended as it can be damaging to the eyes.

    So as she was about to apply the solution I realized the error and said 'wait is that full strength?" Rather than admitting the error she said 'you poured this for me'. My response to this was 'we were both supposed to check this but I'm comfortable with admitting MY errors''..
    I am really confused as to why you are lamenting the fact that she tried to "place the blame" onto you. Yes, she is supposed to double check, but at the same time, YOU had realized your OWN error, and instead of say "wait, it still needs to be diluted" you remained mum. It doesn't sound to me that you are quite as willing to admit to your own errors and you'd like to believe.

    Nursing is a team effort. It requires the effort and cooperation of everyone involved. Unfortunately, in this specific incidence, both parties came up a bit short.
  9. 5
    When you said "Wait-is that full strength?" you were really putting her on the spot in front of your colleagues.Why would SHE admit to making the error when in fact-it was initially YOURS and you were trying very hard not to acknowledge the fact....
  10. 4
    I understand where you're coming from. When you questioned her about the strength of the solution, rather than saying something to the effect of "Oh my, why yes, it is full strength! Thank you for catching that!", she immediately reacted by trying to avoid responsibility, stating "You poured this for me."

    The immediate, thoughtless, knee-jerk reaction of avoiding acceptance of any responsibility for one's own actions or the consequences of them is a serious problem in the world today, in my opinion.

    I think some of the other posters do raise a valid point though, that the way you phrased your comment, "Wait, is that full strength?" was not ideal under the circumstances. "Wait, I accidentally poured full strength!" would have been much more direct, and most likely would not have elicited the defensive reaction you received from your coworker.
    Not_A_Hat_Person, Batman25, Scrubby, and 1 other like this.
  11. 0
    "Mea culpa" is not a bad thing to say.

    Some people will never understand what that means....
  12. 0
    Quote from melmarie23
    I am really confused as to why you are lamenting the fact that she tried to "place the blame" onto you. Yes, she is supposed to double check, but at the same time, YOU had realized your OWN error, and instead of say "wait, it still needs to be diluted" you remained mum. It doesn't sound to me that you are quite as willing to admit to your own errors and you'd like to believe.

    Nursing is a team effort. It requires the effort and cooperation of everyone involved. Unfortunately, in this specific incidence, both parties came up a bit short.

    Umm no I just asked what the solution was as she was about to paint the patient. I don't understand how I was keeping mum....


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