New nurse, Second Medication error, Scared - page 3

by Kaysonrose 23,365 Views | 27 Comments

Hi I'm a new RN and I was recently hired at an acute setting in October 2010. In the past three months, I have made two medication errors and my DON told me the third one will be up for termination? After hearing this, I've been... Read More


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    I know you made two drug errors, and so have the rest of us. I wonder why your management sucks so bad that they would not have a system that isn't punitive- so that you can learn from your mistakes.
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    Get into the habit of following your medication checks, and also checking your medication charts B4 u leave to go home. Get into a routine with doing meds, one at a time, don't mix meds up (ie: don't get two out at once to 'save time'), don't get out or give two meds at the same time, don't let people interrupt you (ie say: I am doing meds right now, I will get back to you). If you get interrupted (and you will), start the checking process from the beginning for that particular med again. Also check med charts (or whatever u have there) BEFORE going into the patient's room, as the patient will start talking and interrupt you. Always check with other nurses if unsure of anything.
    We all miss things, and having you written up has made you more nervous.
    did you make the potassium mistake cos the orderr was hard to find? If so tell your NM about it.
    Also why is pharmacy writing up coumadin? Is that a US thing? Just curious.
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    Quote from Kaysonrose
    Wow thanks guys for all the support! I'm new to this site and you guys make me feel like I'm not alone in this situation. I will defintely be more thorough with my medications. I just don't really like the fact that the unit secretary can take my MAR at any time and write down an order without telling me. Of course it's not an excuse for making mistakes but maybe there's a better system to reduce med errors.

    I will definitely check the chart with the MAR every chance I get in between the chaos that goes on at work. Again thanks for all the advice and support!

    Kaysonrose
    Whoa! Now I'm more confused and curious!
    The Unit Secretary can take your med chart and write down an order? What does THAT mean? And why is she doing that?
    This does not sound like a good system. If people are adding stuff onto charts all the time, they should at least be TELLING YOU, ie: putting it down on the handover tape, or telling you face to face. No wonder you are missing things! You need to have a meeting with your NM I think - this does not sound like a safe system to me.
    Also I meant to say, get a cheat sheet (or make one up) with the patient's names & room number down one side and times (each hour of work) up the top and list all your meds at those times, procedures to be done, etc. I highlight meds in red then cross them off after I'm done - that can help you as well.
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    if you give less than the prescribed does, is that also considered a medication error?
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    Quote from lvnnars1
    if you give less than the prescribed does, is that also considered a medication error?
    Yes. If you did not follow the 5 rights of medication administration, then it is a med error. Right patient, right med, right dose, right route, right time. Giving less than the prescribed dose means you did not give the right dose.
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    Quote from April, RN
    Yes. If you did not follow the 5 rights of medication administration, then it is a med error. Right patient, right med, right dose, right route, right time. Giving less than the prescribed dose means you did not give the right dose.
    ahh ok, but what if the doctor came in during your med pass and you didnt notice him walk in and he didnt flag out the new lowered dosage in the chart? isn't that an honest mistake?
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    the doctor isn't giving the meds, and he isn't there to check up on you essentially he is there to see the patient.

    they are ALL honest mistakes!! we never want to or purposely give meds wrong. honest or not med errors suck but they do happen for we are all human.
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    Quote from carolmaccas66
    Whoa! Now I'm more confused and curious!
    The Unit Secretary can take your med chart and write down an order? What does THAT mean? And why is she doing that?
    This does not sound like a good system. If people are adding stuff onto charts all the time, they should at least be TELLING YOU
    , ie: putting it down on the handover tape, or telling you face to face. No wonder you are missing things! You need to have a meeting with your NM I think - this does not sound like a safe system to me.
    Also I meant to say, get a cheat sheet (or make one up) with the patient's names & room number down one side and times (each hour of work) up the top and list all your meds at those times, procedures to be done, etc. I highlight meds in red then cross them off after I'm done - that can help you as well.
    This is why I check my MARs many, many times throughout the shift. Our unit clerk can toss a new med on my MAR without me knowing it. Sometimes she walks up to my desk and does it.

    So you must Check those MARs all the time!


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