Originally posted by D.Johnson:
I have to disagree with spacenurse. 3 of the factors contribute to errors. The bottom line is the Nurse. It is his/her responsibility to assure correct time/dose/patient/etc. Are some errors unavoidable? Maybe. Are we always up to date and informed on medications/policies/ outcomes/etc? Hardly. Yet it is still our responsibility to do the right thing. Be it questioning MD's orders; Refusing to give as ordered; Verifying with pharmacy; etc. We are the first line. And this is a war!
Of course it is our responsibility to follow the "five rights".
It is also the responsibility of the hospital to provode enough staff, support systems, and equipment for adequate care.
How is a nurse to be perfect at all times? What about the 16th hour of mandatory overtime when your newest admit is your 12th med-surg patient. The temperature is 103F. You call the MD, get blood, sputum, and urine cultures, write an order for antibiotics to be started stat as soon as the cultures are obtained, there are 8 call lights on, one patient is in stool from ankles to neck, another c/o chest pain, another is suddenly confused with SOB. You put the antibiotic order into the computer and FAX the order to pharmacy. Get an EKG on the chest pain, put O2 on and call the doctors of both these patients.The confused SOB patient who cannot be left alone due to safety reasons. You call the supervisor from that room for help and are told, "Do the best you can." An Aide magically arrives to sit with this patient so you can admit another patient, however the bed is not clean. You clean the room and bed, take vital signs on the new admit, read the EKG while giving the 3rd NTG,give report to the next shift, try to finish charting all of this and then GET WRITTEN UP FOR BEING LATE WITH THE ANTIBIOTIC THAT HAS NOT EVEN ARRIVED FROM PHARMACY YET!
Are you, the nurse the only one responsible?
You have now been at work from 7:00PM untill noon! You are also in trouble for staying to chart! How can ONLY ONE person take ALL the blame?
You made a "war" analogy. Is the nurse the enemy. Management wants us gone so they can make ever increasing profits. How many patients can you care for?
We are all only human. We should look to the true problem. Everything you said was true. How can we be the first line if that line is stretched so thin? A line can be broken. Those who send us off to fight a war should be sending us to care for the sick and injured! Those who send us to fight behave as though they are the enemy!
Do you think ANY nurse WANTS to make errors? Miss a dose? Should we have time for caring too!
Thank you from a hard working, caring, imperfect nurse
[This message has been edited by spacenurse (edited October 03, 2000).]