S. O. S. - page 2

For the first time since I started nursing (I graduated last June) I feel really discouraged with myself. It all started last week. I made a med error. I was waiting and waiting for a now order to... Read More

  1. by   mario_ragucci
    Wha'sa'matta'wichew, you feeling down, huh? Your only human - YOUR SUPPOSED TO MAKE MISTAKES - They are the only things you can truely call your own (B. Joel)
    You should try to laugh at your frustrations, and just wonder about that death thing. That must be an experience.
    The meds mistake, you hafta be careful. Go ahead and beat yourself up for that. I'm learning in nursing classes how that is against the law, to make a mistake when it comes to prescribing drugs, so let any guilt or self-abuse over the meds burn in real good :-) Like monopoly, you probably get aphew "get out of jail free" cards. Don't use'em up :-)
    Cracker jack RN???? Was there a wrapped gizmo prize in his box?
    You were brave to handle the death. Of course it's gonna impact you in unknown ways because, unless you do something like that all the time, your brain takes awhile to process that sort of input. We all fear death; no exceptions.
    I should shut up now, sorry.
    Have a great time doing something for yourself!
  2. by   lever5
    Hey Mario,
    You been listening? We all make med errors. When you consider that the hospital I work for holds us responsible to check the home meds against what the Dr. ordered and then inquire about the discrepency. Med error if you don't. Try getting that information when your patient tells you he takes 2 pills for blood pressure and can't remember their names. Of course it is 2AM, my way around this is to call the family at 6AM and ask. But, how rude is this. Calling someone and hopeing they are awake. I do this to keep the day shift off my back. Med error if the order is transcribed wrong and you only caught the first 2 errors the previous shift made. That is on you also. So they got us checking the orders right from admission, on all shifts. Every nurse and every unit secretary. It goes on from there. There are a million ways to be wrong in nursing. I seem to get slapped with a new one every month. Nursing will make you feel bad once a week. You learn to blow it off. The first 5 years and sometimes thereafter nurses spend sleepless nights worrryyinggg about what they did and if it was right. Then you learn to say, can't change it, (I will never do that again). And you don't, but there are a million other ways to ****up.
  3. by   peggysilva
    All nurses have made errors and we all live for another day. Two things that I advise is 1. if you have any doubt, discuss it with an experienced RN and if you still have a doubt, call for clarification. In the end it is your decission. It is unfortunate that you were not able to deal with the death of a pt. during your clinicals when there is the direction and support of your instructer and class mates. There is currently too many experiences that the new nurse must face as an RN rather that while a student with all of the extra support that goes with that. It makes being a new nurse harder, but you can make it. We all did. We all had the first time for everything. With your sense of caring and responsibility, you will do just fine. Know in your heart of hearts that you are doing your best. No one can take that away unless you give it away.
  4. by   live4today
    TO SHAVSHA....((((HUGS)))) AND A BIG :kiss !

    Welcome to nursing! Ahhh, the days of med errors rings a bell in me head! :imbar I gave 25mg of Dilaudid to an elderly patient instead of 25 mg of Demerol that was ordered. Both meds came in a white and brown box at that time, and were stocked side by side in the "old med cart". There were about four nurses grabbing meds from the cart, reaching over one another (it was a hectic surgical unit), and we were all running around like energizer bunnies that day, but then I usually am anyway! :chuckle I realized my error after I had given it, wrote myself up, gave it to the Nurse Manager, reported the incident to the patient's doctor myself, and thank God, they were both so understanding. The Dilaudid 25 mg that I gave only made the elderly patient sleep two hours longer than she would have on the Demerol 25 mg. She woke up so refreshed and no worse for the wear! Thank The Lord! You'll go through things in nursing that will make you second guess your choice of being a nurse in the first place. Forgive yourself, and move forward having learned from mistakes made. We've all been in your shoes at one point in time! Welcome to the world of nursing, Shavsha! You are now one of us! Laughing with you, not at you! :kiss
    "Experience is the name everyone gives to his (her) mistakes." -- Woodrow Wilson
    Last edit by live4today on Feb 27, '02
  5. by   betts
    Read my Motto...
  6. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by Renee Williams
    [B]TO SHAVSHA....((((HUGS)))) AND A BIG :kiss !

    Welcome to nursing! Ahhh, the days of med errors rings a bell in me head! :imbar I gave 25mg of Dilaudid to an elderly patient instead of 25 mg of Demerol that was ordered. Both meds came in a white and brown box at that time, and were stocked side by side in the "old med cart". There were about four nurses grabbing meds from the cart, reaching over one another (it was a hectic surgical unit), and we were all running around like energizer bunnies that day, but then I usually am anyway! :chuckle I realized my error after I had given it, wrote myself up, gave it to the Nurse Manager, reported the incident to the patient's doctor myself, and thank God, they were both so understanding. The Dilaudid 25 mg that I gave only made the elderly patient sleep two hours longer than she would have on the Demerol 25 mg. She woke up so refreshed and no worse for the wear! Thank The Lord! You'll go through things in nursing that will make you second guess your choice of being a nurse in the first place. Forgive yourself, and move forward having learned from mistakes made. We've all been in your shoes at one point in time! Welcome to the world of nursing, Shavsha! You are now one of us! Laughing with you, not at you! :kiss [/
    I couuldn't believe you wrote that Renee,.... because that happens to be the very same error I was referring too!!! It wasn't until I went to unscrewed it from those metal syringe holders we used, that I realized my error.
    And I remember those "old med carts" too.
  7. by   mattcastens
    Originally posted by Renee Williams
    I gave 25mg of Dilaudid to an elderly patient instead of 25 mg of Demerol that was ordered[/B]
    Look on the bright side, Renee: you probably did the patient a favor. I hate Demerol! It's a horrible drug -- especially in the elderly. I find it amazing that some hospitals still have it in the formulary for pain control. The only -- only -- thing we use it for is to control shivering in post-op patients.

    Still, a med error is a med error.
  8. by   live4today
    Hi Brownie46!

    Get out of town, girlfriend! You really did the same thing I did? I sure hope they changed the box colors by now. No two boxes should have the same color when they are narcotics. Do you agree?

    One time I gave a cepacol (sp?) lozenge to a patient in "bed B" when it should have been given to patient in "bed A". The patient in bed B said, "Oh, how did you know I needed a throat lozenge. My throat is so irritated right now. Thanks, hon!" My reply was "No problem Mrs. "B". Hope your throat begins to feel better. Then patient in "bed A" said, "Honey, do you happen to have my throat lozenge on you, too?" I looked over at patient in bed "A" and she was sucking the life out of that lozenge. I told the patient in bed "A" that I would go get her one, too. When I rechecked the medrecords, lo and behold, the lozenge actually belonged to the patient in "bed A", and the patient in "bed B" did not have an order for a lozenge. Both of these women were very alert and in their early 60s.

    Due to my med error, I told the Nurse Manager what I did, she laughed, rubbed my back, and said, "That's okay, Renee. How about tagging each wall in front of the beds of your patient assignment to help you remember which one is "Bed A", and which one is "Bed B". Since I was new on that job, I did exactly as she said, and it really helped. That was in 1987, and I am still laughing about that one. Thank God I only gave a throat lozenge.

    Well, I'll be back after Survivors goes off! See ya! There's some real cuties on there this time.
    Last edit by live4today on Feb 28, '02
  9. by   live4today
    I'm back! Love that Survivor show!

    Matt, thanks for your encouraging words, too! Sometimes our med errors could be a lot more serious, so we should just be thankful that whatever med errors we made, didn't cause a patient's death, or cause them to be worse off than they already were prior to being given the "wrong med".
  10. by   nsmith_rn
    Hey look on the brihgt side you did not kill anyone...
    we all have been to " that place"
    don't be so hard on yourself
    you will make it
  11. by   Brownms46
    Get out of town, girlfriend! You really did the same thing I did? I sure hope they changed the box colors by now. No two boxes should have the same color when they are narcotics. Do you agree?


    Yes...Renee...SAME med...SAME dose...probably the SAME reaction from the doctor...etc. And YES..you're right... they shouldn't look a like. What I believe I did...was in the reaching...and you know how that went...reaching for the Demerol, and picked up the Dilaudid instead. But instead of focusing on what I was doing...I let myself be distracted. Our med carts were kept in front of the nurses's station, and you would set up your meds there, and then put them on those "trays" with the med cards. Everyone would be standing there trying to grab their meds at just about the same time. Ahywho...no excuse for not doing the "5" R's...and checking the med with the med sheet, for the right drug, the right time, the right pt, the right dosage, and the right route.

    Also I understand A/B situation bed situation . I worked in a facility last nite, that bed 1 was next to the window, and bed 2 was next to the door. I thought I was the only one who thought that was backwards. But another agency nurse came up to me...asked which was which also. No matter where I go ...I take the med sheet with me to the room and check it against the pt's. ID band so I KNOW I have the right pt. If I'm in a facility where everything is on the pc, I print out a list of the meds for each pt.

    Except at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) everything is on pcs, and they have a terminal at each bedside in the CC units.


  12. by   RNPD
    "I gave 25mg of Dilaudid to an elderly patient instead of 25 mg of Demerol that was ordered"-Renee Williams

    "...reaching for the Demerol, and picked up the Dilaudid instead."-Brownie

    25mg of DILAUDID?? Are you sure? 25mg of demerol is a fairly light dose-25mg of Dilaudid would probably KILL a person!Dilaudid comes up to 4mg/ml injectable and 4mg po, or 3mg suppository. So how could you give 25mg by mistaking one Dilaudid syringe for a demerol syringe?

    Alos would like to add that marking the beds is a good idea. My new job has the A bed near the window, the B bed near the door-exactly opposite of my previous job. Have so many times said to someone 260A when I meant 260B. Of course the best way to avoid a med error in this case is not to give the B bed's meds to the person in what you think is the B bed, but rather to check the armband when giving meds to each patient so as to ensure you have the correct patient!
    Last edit by RNPD on Mar 1, '02
  13. by   Fran-RN
    I work in long term care and was giving meds to 2 ladies at the dinner table one night. one was alert and oriented the other was very confused. I was getting ready to hand the alert one her cup of medications, when a fight broke out across the room. not thinking. I set the pill cup down and went to break up the fight. when I returned, the confused lady was setting the pill cup down on the table. I panicked. I started whacking her on the back and yelling "spit that out!" luckily, she hadn't swallowed them yet. not one of my finer moments in nursing. but we are all distracted at one time or another and we all make mistakes. no harm came to this resident, not even from the beating i gave her while trying to get her to spit out the meds. lol

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