This thread is about a mistake i made nearly a year ago. At the time i was about 6 months in to being a grad nurse. Where i work they do team nursing - 2 nurses working together to look after 8 surgical patients. My partner was on break, it was the patients dinner time and i had a pt return to the ward post-op and a new admission.
In the middle of this chaos i remembered i needed to give pt B their insulin. I gave the substantial dose of insulin to pt A, a diabetic pt not on insulin. I recognised the problem shortly after, notified the nurse in charge and doctors immediately and apologised to the pt profusely. The pt was understandably very angry at first but later tried to comfort ME and said 'mistakes happen". the pt recieved IV glucose and hourly BSLS o/n without any hypos or adverse events. The pt was even discharged the following afternoon.
I felt like dying that night. I came to this profession to help people not potentially kill them. I returned to work the next day with the attitude that i wanted to show everyone i was in fact a competent nurse and get on with my job, i really needed to convince myself. years of education had drilled into me the 5 rights the 5 rights the 5 rights and in one brief moment of overwhelming stupidity i threw it out the window and seriously compromised a pt.
The ward staff were almost overbearing at the time with 'dont worry mistakes happen', 'we dont think any different of you' and 'hey, no one died' - thats scary isnt it? in our profession the highest form of reassurance is non one died. i just wanted to sink into the very biggest deepest hole i could find and stay there indeffinently. I was so humiliated by how seriously bad things could have been, i thought everyone would think so much less of me and wouldnt trust me to do my job .
Some days now, when I'm at work and a pt compliments me on my abilities or i feel good at work the memory of that day floats back and reminds of the nurse i was in that moment, the nurse i will not allow myself to be again. I suppose I'm using this thread for some support, i'm hoping someone will tell me 'hey, you're not a bad nurse' and i'm hoping i'll believe them. I love my job, i care so deeply about my pts and i need to move on from this incident. I know that i am valued by my colleagues and patients, but as of yet, nearly one year on, i find it hard to value myself.