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 come from pharmacy...also waiting for the chart to come back from the unit secretaries...I gave the med iI "thought" was prescribed and low and behold it was the wrong dosage. Called the doc...no adverse effects...felt really stupid and humiliated. ( I mean the three med checks are basic and I ALWAYS do them. I don't know why I didn't think to just wait and do it properly
I had an IV site that was looking bad and leaking and I was to hang Vancomyacin. I was uncomfortable with Vanco going into that vein so had the CCU nurse come and try to start him (he had a reputation of being a very hard start and I am relatively new so I deferred to her) She tried twice and could not get it and said "His veins are shot...they are all scarred" So I called the doc and got one of his ATB's PO and took a telephone order to hold the vanco. When the night crew came on there was a cracker jack RN who had served in the army and low and behold he started it..."Yeah". It was the end of my shift so I left. The next morning I get a call wondering why the vanco order read "hold" and why the orders where never noted....I assumed the night nurse would have handled things. ALSO that same night I had a lady who passed away (expected) This was my first death so I cleaned the body, comforted the family, called the mortuary and asked my charge what else to do. She said I had to fill out this paper which I did and the morturary guy came and picked up the body. Then I got a call from the supervisor...I did not contact the doctor... BIG MISTAKE! It may sound silly but I really did not know I was suppose to call him. In twenty-twenty hindsight it makes a lot of sense. (Now I am feeling really stupid and humiliated.) THEN LAST NIGHT...my first night back ...everything smooth...after report the night charge came out and said "That sliding scale insulin report should have been "BLAH BLAH BLAH" Dr. so and so has terrible handwriting...I know because we discussed it with Days , they had a question too. This insulin dose seemed a little off for the BS (that should have been a red flag right there ) but I double checked it with another RN as is our policy and I also asked the patient about it and she said "That's right - my doctor and I are right on top of my diabetes" No clarification order had been written even thought there had been questions but the bottom line is that I SHOULD HAVE QUESTIONED IT...again, no harm came to the patient. At peak her BS was still 130. Again 20-20 hindsight...I was lulled by this patient's very hands-on management of her diabetes and the fact that the order looked clear to me. So, I filled out an UNUSUAL OCCURANCE report AGAIN. The second in as many days. I know I am a new nurse. I expect to have a growth curve but I FEEL SO DOWN and am beginning to wonder If I lack judgement. I did very well in school and had excellent recommendations and a very positive preceptorship and now I feel like I will be considered incompetent...or maybe I should find some other area of nursing that doesn't have so much stress. PLEASE....sister and brother nurses.... I need perspective.
Feb 27, '02
I'm so very sorry that you're in such despair. Lord.... I remember the med error I made as a new nurse. The pt. had no adverse effects from it...but I felt lower than low...for not using the 3 R's! I found my own error....and could have slapped myself silly!!! I informed the charge nurse...called the dr., and wrote the incident report. I felt whatever he screamed at me....couldn't be worse than what I was screaming in my head to myself! But for some reason ....pity...too sleepy...or whatever...he didnt! But I FELT he should have.
But you know....I never made that mistake again. I agree with hapeewendy. Don't let this take away your confidence in yourself and your abilites. No one is beyond making a mistake. We hope that we don't cause any harm to those we care for....but in reality...it could happen to anyone....not just a new nurse.
Pick yourself up...dust yourself off...and keep striving. You only truely fail when you allows your mistakes to become stumbling blocks to your success! NEVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF!
Last edit by Brownms46 on Feb 27, '02