Please help me, I'm in trouble.

  1. Hello. I have been a nurse for about eight years. I have been employeed in a skilled rehab unit for about five years. This past weekend I made a serious med error. I gave a resident another residents medication. I administered oxycontin 20 Mg instead of the ordered oxycodone 10 '=: This was realized at change of shift. As soon as I realized the error I assessed the ot and contacted the doctor as well as told the nurse assuming care of this pt. I told my supervisor that I had made a med error and she said make sure you call the MD. I did not go into details as it wa already two hours past the end of my shift, and you do get written up for being late out. Not to mention that I had twice as many patients as I should have due to staffing problems. Later that same night the supervisor calls me for clarification. I did not fill out the proper paper work. More importantly I wrote in the drug manifest "Wasted" To adjust the count from the pt that I took the meds from. After I wrote that I thought well its not actually wasted so I documented beside my signature "Given to wrong patient" In a very small space. Well long story short a few days later my DON questioned me statng that I falsified the document, I was being terminated and reported to theboard. I am in complete shock.. she said it looked like a cover up. But remember I told the other nurse and called the doctor and no harm came to the patient...thank god. Now im out of a job, will face the board and I don't know how to get a job after being fired. Please please help me.
  2. Visit ShellyRn1117 profile page

    About ShellyRn1117

    Joined: Apr '11; Posts: 82; Likes: 110
    from US


  3. by   tiroka03
    I am sorry to hear about this. It seems that likely you would have never made the mistake except because of being dumped on by the amount of pts. You were doing a good deed. But, you bite off more than you could chew. First of all you should have never been put into that position. Second of all (a little late to hellp) you should have never taken the extra patients. I am sorry it's too late to do it all over again. I don't know what will happen in your case. But, I feel your pain, and can only imagine the thoughts buzzing around in your mind. All I can say is to look up and pray. Walk in dignity,and remember you did the right thing. That ought to go a long way with the board. My prayers (already said them for you) are with you.
  4. by   pinkpig
    I would contact a lawyer specializing in nursing matters, this will affect getting a new job so you want to know what is being written about you and defend yourself. Sadly, i have found in these matters everyone is out to cover their own butt.
  5. by   ShellyRn1117
    Is it really falsifying? Sadly I cannot afford an a single mother of two, and it will be all I can do to afford food.
  6. by   79Tango
    I do not see how that would be considered falsifying.. If she thought she had you on something she wouldve sent you out for a UA immediately. Too bad she didnt as a clean test wouldve been some saving grace for the BON. Since that didnt happen I would CYA & go pay for 1 at LabCorp. Maybe you can find a witness that will write a statement for you?
  7. by   morte
    Quote from ShellyRn1117
    Is it really falsifying? Sadly I cannot afford an a single mother of two, and it will be all I can do to afford food.
    I admit to not knowing where you are going to get the money for an attorney, but you better start looking because you need one!!
  8. by   ShellyRn1117
    I was put on unpaid leave as soon as she realized the issue. I offered a drug test but she said she knew where the med the wrong pt, and no question of diversion. I asked her to test me but she declined and said it was a matter of documentation....false documentation at that!
  9. by   ShellyRn1117
    Oh God, I want to just die.
  10. by   79Tango
    I would track that DR and Other Nurse down and beg them to write a Memo for Record while it is still in their memory.
  11. by   ckh23
    Do you carry your own liability insurance? If you do, contact them and they should provide you with a lawyer and defend you against the board if need be.
  12. by   tyvin
    Go file for unemployment ASAP. It sounds like you have a good chance to challenge the firing and be able to collect. The Unemployment agency will do a review and decide. With the overload of patients ect... I think you should be able to collect. I suggest doing this now so you will have something coming in.

    Don't curl up in a ball and quit; your kids need you. You sound forlorn which I completely understand but you should be able to call around to attorneys specializing in employment/unfair firing etc... and get a half hour free session.

    With eight years I would think that you can sue for unfair firing. They didn't even suspend you, warn you and all that stuff; it sounds totally unfair and that's what you got to get a hold of an attorney for. With the info you provided you have a good chance of being rehired if you fight it. Most lawyers will forgo payment if they have a good case and have you pay at the end. You can sue for lawyer fees, pain and suffering, unpaid wages etc...

    Doesn't your work place have an appeals process etc... Look it up and get going; times a wastin!
  13. by   jahra

    Sit down and write out all the facts and who was involved in detail.
    My suggestion is to notify your nursing insurance company immediately.
    Also, most lawyers will do a first consultation for free, so it is worth
    running it by an attorney to get their opinion. Tvvin is right, you have
    rights as well and attorneys will defer the fees until the case is settled.

    I am so sorry to hear you are in this situation. You need to get all the
    professional advice (non nursing) that you can.
  14. by   nanacarol
    Shelley1117RN, Please find a friend or go to your local bank for the money for an attorney. Hind sight is always twenty twenty, meaning a nurse should always have his/her own liability insurance. Just so you are aware the cost is a one time yearly deal. Enough of that. Hopefully you documented in both patient's charts that the incident happened and that you notified the nursing supervisor and whoever els according to protocol. the fact that you notated even in the margins that the medication was given to the wrong patient will be seen as favorable. As for getting a new job, if you have not be notified by the Board this incident is not one that is required to be declared or discussed with a prospective employer so you can honestly say you do not have any actions before the Board. Go out find yourself a job, hold your head high, make sure you have notes and documentation (if possible)concerning staffing and your actions.
    God bless. Nanacarol