OK, to offset the thread "What was the most incompetent thing you ever saw a coworker do" I will start this thread. How many out there are brave enough to admit to mistakes they have made, and what we learned from those mistakes?
Let's make this thread a positive one and hopefully we will help each other avoid the same errors in the future....
Here's one of many of mine...I will add more as we go:
I got hoodwinked into staying over and doing a double. I was exhausted with a sick baby at home and had not slept well in a week. I was like a zombie making that last med pass at 6 am..and I had 13 patients on medsurg to pass meds to.
Well, we were short (and this was 20 years ago...not much different now is there?) and I was behind so I cut corners...found out later I had completely mixed up two patients' medications.: patient A got patient B's meds and vice versa.
Well, luckily these ladies were astute enough to not take them. I wish they had said something to me at the time, but as I said, I was rushed and behind so I probably didn't give them a chance...just pushed the pills at them and ran off....
My director called me at home later very sternly..to come in for a counseling. I felt awful. The ladies, of course, had spoken directly to my boss about this mistake I had made. No harm done, Thank God, as the patients didn't take those incorrect meds I gave them.
I learned not to let myself get talked into working extra when I know I'm already exhausted. Saying 'No' is the safest thing to do in those circumstances, to avoid potentially serious errors due to exhaustion.. And I also learned never to shortcut the '5 Rights' of medication administration because I am 'running behind.'
Anyone else ready to 'fess up'? :imbar
Jun 7, '02
I have had a few. I've been Nsg for 2 yrs now and I started off a brand new nurse with no experience. I started working in a nsg home that I had done clinicals it. Well Some pts had armbands and some didn't. Probably nore didn't than did. Well I ask a nurse who a pt was and she pointed to her...or so I thought she did. Well I ended up giving...I think it was a sort of vitamin to the wrong pt. Now things I have seen others do wrong that is numerous. Say a woman chart that a foley was drining Clr yellow urine at one time and I checked 45 mins later and the pt had sediment in the tubing and hadn't been draining for a while. I remove the foley and she soaked her bed. It really gets me thta some people do stuff like that. But I guess that becuz I care. And there are so many that are in this profession for the wrong reasons and don't care a bit. I also had another incident where we had a Dr that you were not allow to hold his meds no matter what. So my pt had Lantus Insulin order. His Accucheck was 70ish so I didn't wanna give him the lantus esp since I knew he had frequently dropped in the 40's and lower. I went to my charge nurse and told her and she said of that is Dr ___ Pt and he never wants us to hold any of his meds. I felt iffy but charted excatly what my charge nurse said and I gave the med. I kept an eye on him and it was getting late and he went to sleep. I was still iffy about the whole thing and things struck me as wrong whe I went to check on him so I tried to wake him up. He didn't wake. His bs was in the teens. They did the push meds and got his BS back up to 60ish but he never aroused. We shipped him to the ER. TO this day I don't know if he lived or not. But what I learned from this is if you don't feel comfortable doing something...we as nurse have the right to refuse to do it. I'm a young nurse so things are hard for me sometimes and I feel like I should listen to the charge nurse becuz she knows better. I have learned this is not always true and I now have no problem refusing to do something I'm not comfortable with.
**These experiences are why I made the Signature quote I have. I truely believe it!
Last edit by AmandaDawn on Jun 7, '02
Jun 8, '02
OK, guys, I KNOW there are more nursing mistakes out there than this....as we are ALL human...... Come on, be brave and help out younger nurses...admit the mistakes you made and what you learned!!!!
Here's another of mine:
I was a new nurse in ICU and I was taking shift report from the offgoing nurse. The last thing he said to me was "Oh I called the cardiologist and he just called me back, I haven't written the order yet but he said to hang Dopamine at 5 mcgs" Well, this made some sense to me as the BP was borderline low, so I went
and hung the Dopamine, then got report on my other patient.
After an hour or so my other patient's doc hunted me down, he happened to make a second set of round. He screamed at me " What the *XX## is Dopamine doing hanging on my patient?" With a heavy heart, I went to the chart, and sure enough, the previous nurse had written an order...but to hang DOBUTREX not Dopamine.
What did I learn? ALWAYS take shift report in ICU with the chart RIGHT IN FRONT of both nurses, and ALWAYS check the written order, do NOT take another nurses word alone without double checking the chart and/or MAR. Obviously, the day nurse had a 'brain fart' and SAID 'Dopamine' instead of 'Dobutrex' to me, BUT I MADE THE ERROR and got in trouble for it.
OK, guys, I'm waiting to see more...:kiss
Last edit by mattsmom81 on Jun 8, '02
Jun 8, '02
Always report a med error, even if it is minor and you think it won't harm the patient. First of all, you don't know what harm the med might possibly cause, or how it may interact with other meds. And second, integrity is an important part of being a professional. One should never put self interest above honesty and patient safety.
Last edit by RNinICU on Jun 8, '02