What's the biggest mistake you've ever made as a nurse? What did you learn from it? - page 2

If you feel comfortable posting to this thread, awesome. If not, no biggy! I was wondering what the biggest mistake you've ever made in your nursing career has been. It could have to do with drug... Read More

  1. Visit  nursej22 profile page
    1
    Early in one of my first clinicals I was removing tape from a patient's arm. I was unfamiliar with the appearance or fragility of "prednisone" skin. I caused an ugly skin tear when I removed the tape too quickly. I wanted to quit right there and then.
    sharpeimom likes this.
  2. Visit  bsveillon profile page
    8
    I once gave an injection, back when I was still intimidated by older nurses and Doctors, And I was told to give a Morphine injection, when I went to check the chart for myself for drug allergies, I was barked at by the Doctors. I foolishly followed orders, and yes- the patient was alergic to Morphine.

    I never, NEVER made that mistake again. I lost my bashfulness immediatly.
    The patient was alright, thank God.
    emjay:), CLoGreenEyes, ICUman, and 5 others like this.
  3. Visit  A&OxNone profile page
    2
    I didn't realize as a new grad just how much doctors DONT check allergies. In the ER, they throw around orders and dont think twice about it. On several, several occations I have already gotten the meds and thank goodness I asked allergies.

    Nothing is more terrible than that sinking feeling after you realize you've made a med error. Even a "small" one. Ugh. Makes me sick just to think about it!
    calivianya and ohioSICUrn like this.
  4. Visit  shelleypc profile page
    8
    Becoming a nurse was the worst mistake of my life!!!! I get verbally abused every day by either coworkers,patients or family of. Sick of it. Sould have went into interior design.....
    Kissy1818, Anna S, RN, ICUman, and 5 others like this.
  5. Visit  MomRN0913 profile page
    0
    Worst mistake..... Putting a demerol syringe in the pca instead of the morphine that was ordered when I changed it. Thank god he wasn't allergic, it he was getting the wrong drug and highly undermedicated. The doc caught it, was a cool doc, and we wrote an incident report.From then on I look up brand names, rather than generics ( too much alike) and don't rush and quadruple check!
  6. Visit  DawnJ profile page
    0
    Great topic!
  7. Visit  calinurse11 profile page
    0
    My first error was for a patient that was on two syringes of antibiotics every 4 hours. For my entire shift I gave only one syringe per dose:/

    I also crushed medication that said non crushable, I asked the doc who was there if he wanted to change the medication, and he said to just crush it. I learned later that pharmacy had a crushable version that I should have called and ordered.

    My daughter has been on the receiving end of medication mistakes, once we were in the doctors office getting her allergy results. The doctor came in and explained she was allergic to eggs, milk, cheese and a multitude of other things, then said "you want to get her flu shot today while youre here?" I said sure (this was prenursing, had no clue the egg-allergy reaction from the flu shot). So she got the flu shot and had a major skin reaction that caused her throat/tongue to swell as well as hives all over her entire body.

    The she had to have a medication called albenza, the doctor knows her allergies and still prescribed it (it has an egg allergy alert also) and they also dosed her with an adult dose (over 4 times the max amount for her weight)....again major allergic reaction. Needless to say I got a different pediatrician that day. This was also pre-nursing. Now that I know a little about medication and dosages I meticulously check everything I give to her everytime. Dont blindly think these doctors always get the doses right!!
  8. Visit  cn2007rn profile page
    3
    When I was a brand new nurse and still w/ a preceptor, I misread a MAR and gave 25 units of regular insulin instead of the ordered 25 units of long-acting insulin. My preceptor was mad, I called the doctor and had to give the pt a dextrose IV and do hourly finger sticks. I was pretty embarrassed but I think my preceptor could have been a little more involved, she was in space that day!!! Since then, I always triple check insulin dosing!!
  9. Visit  RNewbie profile page
    1
    Quote from cn2007rn
    When I was a brand new nurse and still w/ a preceptor, I misread a MAR and gave 25 units of regular insulin instead of the ordered 25 units of long-acting insulin. My preceptor was mad, I called the doctor and had to give the pt a dextrose IV and do hourly finger sticks. I was pretty embarrassed but I think my preceptor could have been a little more involved, she was in space that day!!! Since then, I always triple check insulin dosing!!
    Just wondering if your facility has a policy that insulin and other high alert meds have to be verified by 2 nurses? I had a near miss with insulin one time. It was night shift and I was going to give sliding scale insulin based on the day time scale. When checking it with another nurse it was brought to my attention that the pt was not suppose to get any insulin based on the night sliding scale. Mistakes are so easy to make. I usually triple check my meds but somehow in this case I was reading the MAR wrong, didn't scroll down far enough to see that there was another sliding scale below the daytime one.
    ARTPOPIST likes this.
  10. Visit  1pinknurse profile page
    8
    Thank you so much for this topic. It reminds me that I am not alone & none of us are perfect (especially the one's who can't admit it).
  11. Visit  cayenne06 profile page
    1
    I will never forget my first med error. I was caring for a mom in labor with her 3rd baby. GBS positive. I gave penicillin, even though it was BRIGHT red on her chart, labeled everywhere that she was allergic. Thank god, she was absolutely fine with no reaction. It scared the bananas out of me.

    This isn't a med error per se, but I gave a kid a water bolus through his gtube with the extension clamped and the med port open. Water everywhere, all over his freshly changed clothes, the linens etc. I gave like 50cc before I noticed what was going on.
    smartypantsnurse likes this.
  12. Visit  sharpeimom profile page
    0
    Calinurse,

    If it makes you feel less panicky and scared about your daughter's egg allergy, I was allergic or intolerant to
    so many foods as a baby, that I was tested early. I repeatedly tested positive for an egg allergy (and still do!)
    so my mom didn't give them to me in any shape or form.

    When I was about three and a half, the babysitter fell through and my uncle and his brand new wife volunteered to keep me overnight and bring me back in the morning. They, together, knew virtually nothing
    about little kids and somehow, my egg allergy was forgotten.

    We had scrambled eggs and pancakes for breakfast and I mentioned later how good breakfast had been, to my
    mom. When she called the pedi, she said either it was a very very mild allergy or a false positive.

    Decades later, I still test positive to eggs, but eat them with no problems whatever. I'm not trying to give medical advice. I'm just saying don't give up hope, since she didn't react to the shot.
  13. Visit  becca001 profile page
    0
    My biggest mistake was a med errror on a pediatric pt. I had recently been transferred to the ED after working for a couple of years on a stepdown unit and while the rest of the hospital uses metric system, the ED uses standard. Still being in the mindset of my former unit, I thought the triage nurse meant 20 kilos and did the mental conversion in my mind from kilos to pounds and entered the information. So when I admitted the pt, I started her antibiotics right before she was to go to the floor. Unfortunately, the pharmacy was dosing her at 44lbs and this wasn't caught until the pt arrived on Pediatrics. Thank goodness for pediatric nurses. The antibiotics were not enough to hurt the pt but the potential for damage is there. Now I double and triple check everything on peds patients.

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