I'm a new RN working on a medical oncology unit and went off of orientation last week. Today a Dr came in and told me she'd like me to administer 2 units of PRBC's. She added that she'd like the patient's fluids, normal saline, to be reduced to 70 ml/hr during the infusion and returned to 125 ml/hr (the current running rate) after the transfusion was complete. I know you're typically not supposed to mix anything with blood, but being that it was normal saline and that's what we prime the transfusion line with I went to ask my trusted past preceptor what he thought. Together we agreed that I would get a second pump to run the blood through using the Y-port tubing, which is standard on our unit, and then connect it to the line running the NS. I connected the blood line to the lowest port, closest to the insertion site, on the fluids line. When the night shift came on I got reamed for making such a mistake. I don't know if what I did was truly wrong or if I was just being bullied. The RN II on nights is very mean to new nurses, but my colleagues have stated she's especially rough on me. Spending my ride home in tears is pretty commonplace. Anyway, I've spent the last 3 hours googling and haven't found a concrete answer. Though some sites indicate it's ok to run PRBC's concurrently with NS. My old preceptor pulled me aside before he left and told me it was fine and that they're compatible. The RN II said I read the order wrong. The Dr had not written the words "run concurrently". The order just read reduce rate to 70 and then return to 125. But when she verbalized it to me I took it to mean run together. I'm exhausted with anxiety. Besides answering regarding this issue, can you also tell me if things get better... Right now I feel like a failure, because no matter how many times I'm told I'm doing well, this woman (RN II) makes sure I go home feeling incompetent nightly. :/
Thanks in advance fellow nurses!