Have you ever made a med error? - page 2

i'm a senior rn student & i made my first med error last week. the nursing director said if i make another med error i'm out of the program. Has anyone done a med error as a student? i know i'm... Read More

  1. by   Boston-RN
    as far as making a med error while in school....nope, our instructors were very involved in the process and kept that from happening.....as a new grad yup.... it was from an order that was a hold evening dose that was not "taken off" ... the chart was not marked with the new order indicator.....it was found after the 4pm med pass when the orders were being taken off.....needless to say I check ALL the charts before the med passes now not just the ones marked with new orders - no harm to patient just a heart attack by the orientee (me)
    Last edit by Boston-RN on Oct 13, '06
  2. by   Tweety
    Besides getting kicked out, you could kill someone. Be paranoid. Be very paranoid. Don't ever let your guard down. Good luck.

    I didn't make a med error as a student, and unfortunately I have as a nurse. It's devastating.

    Good luck!
  3. by   PickMePlze
    I once in my 1st semester was going to apply a nicotine patch on my patient, and in my nervousness forgot to check it off with my instructor. I got wrote up for it. I guess you could call that an possible med error.
  4. by   DutchgirlRN
    Twice. Once 31 years ago as a new nurse I gave a patient the other patients drugs in the nursing home. It was iron and an aspirin but I was horrified. Second time was 4 years ago. I did the same thing gave the patient another patients meds. It was a laxative. I was horrified. You can feel the blood draining right out of your head and your legs begin to wobble. An awful feeling. 300,000 hospitals deaths a year are contributed to med errors. Scary stuff!
    Last edit by DutchgirlRN on Oct 14, '06
  5. by   RN1263
    well, I had to do a paper on a medication administration nursing journal article and I found one that was appropriate for the situation called "Innovative Approaches to reducing Nurses' Distractions During Medication Administration".

    Here's part of the paper I wrote from the article (maybe it'll help someone else):

    The article I choose for this paper is appropriately titled "Innovative Approaches to Reducing Nurses' Distractions during Medication Administration". In an effort to maintain medication schedules, nurses are often hurried, distracted, and interrupted during critical steps in the process. This article refers to how there are limits on human cognitive function and the degree of stimulus tolerated before processing breakdowns occur. The two types of errors that were focused on in this study were (1) slips and lapses and (2) mistakes. Slips and lapses include situations when an individual forgets to do a seemingly simple task after arriving in the intended destination, whereas mistakes result from the wrong plan or choice. Distractions and information overload were found to affect the new nurse more often, than the experienced nurse. Also, distractions can cause nurses to lose focus at a critical time that can easily end in tragedy.

    According to, "The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing" some nursing departments have forgotten the importance of focus and concentration on error prevention and methods that reduce distractions and promote focus are needed. They point out that omitted medications, wrong patient and wrong time were the highest volume of errors in their study. The "5 Rights plus one" campaign commenced and included re-educating nurses about following the basic elements of medication administration- the right medication, right dose, right route, right patient, right time, and right documentation. Nurses used standard protocol checklists, wore buttons as visual reminders, and signs were posted in medication administration areas. In addition, nurses were urged to avoid distractions, interruptions, and conversations during medication administration. After 3 weeks, there was a decline in the number of reported medication errors. Nurses also reported getting more work completed in less time.
  6. by   soon2bim
    HI.
    I wake up in the middle of the night TERRIFIED that I will make an error. It makes me sick to my stomach really, to think that I may. We haven't started our clinicals, we are a little more than 1 week away, so I can't really give any advice. I can say, like someone had mentioned check the MAR and Med 3 times. I can say, however, our class IS NOT TO PASS A MED WITHOUT OUR INSTRUCTOR PRESENT. I think I will be so nervous that even if that were not the rule, I would want them present to help me double check I have completed all of the checks/re-checks like I should.
  7. by   Kelly_the_Great
    Quote from wdwpixie
    have the pt state their name
    Never made one as a student but have made one as a practicing nurse; working in ENT office, performing allergy shots, called Mrs. "X", lady presents, answers to Mrs. "X" x 2, adm. inj., inform Mrs."X" of her next appt. date, she states, "Oh, did you call me Mrs. 'X'? I'm Mrs. 'Y.'" :uhoh21:

    I reported it immediately and no untoward effects came from it but see below:

    Quote from DutchgirlRN
    You can feel the blood draining right out of your head and your legs begin to wobble. A awful feeling.
    Yes, it is.
  8. by   BSNtobe2009
    There was one new RN that posted that she had lost her first nursing job at a hospital due to repetive med errors. Her post weighed heavily with me, as that could have been any new nursing student, and I cannot imagine what she is going through after years of hard work.

    This is a great thread b/c there are some nurses that never make errors and some that make them all too often and there has got to be a difference in how they go about their daily tasks to make sure the right patient gets the right meds and the dosages are correct.
  9. by   Kelly_the_Great
    Sometimes error can occur d/t inadequacies of the institution in which nurses are practicing, i.e. poor staffing with too many pts, etc.

    The OP mentioned that the floor she was working was very chaotic. Also, I gathered she/he was performing these med passes w/o an instructor present and/or w/o much guidance from a preceptor.

    She/he may want to explore any contributing factors, such as lack of guidance, being rushed, everybody trying to get into pexis @ once, how many pts. was the student responsible to giving out meds to, etc. and discuss these issues with the instructor.

    Not saying the student should avoid personal accountability for the error but I do feel that all of the circumstances involved should be taken into consideration.
  10. by   RN1263
    Quote from Kelly_the_Great
    Sometimes error can occur d/t inadequacies of the institution in which nurses are practicing, i.e. poor staffing with too many pts, etc.

    The OP mentioned that the floor she was working was very chaotic. Also, I gathered she/he was performing these med passes w/o an instructor present and/or w/o much guidance from a preceptor.

    She/he may want to explore any contributing factors, such as lack of guidance, being rushed, everybody trying to get into pexis @ once, how many pts. was the student responsible to giving out meds to, etc. and discuss these issues with the instructor.

    Not saying the student should avoid personal accountability for the error but I do feel that all of the circumstances involved should be taken into consideration.
    i'm the original OP and yes i have taken personal accountability & i have discussed the circumstance w/ my instructor and the don of the program. They feel that rushing and even multitasking during med pass, ect. is part of nursing & w/ out it meds won't get passed on time (so, deal w/ it basically).

    Also, i had 2 pts. in the same room & other than my instructor getting the meds from the pixus, i was on my own (which is allowed by state board at the discretion of the instructor, so i have learned). you are correct there were circumstances involved (choas, interuptions (3 of them), rushing, ect.)that lead to the error, but no one is willing to officially step up and say that those things contributed to the error. so, i take the fall on my own, w/ out anyone in authority saying.... "ya-know, maybe it all was a bit much for a student?".

    funny how they want students to have dignity, honesty, admit to errors, ect., but are unwilling themselves to officially admit there were contributing factors, ect. when an error is made. what i HAVE learned from this other than the obvious is that IF you make an error you will be on your own to take the fall, so even if rushing, multitasking is what OTHER nurses do during med pass it won't be what "I" do from now on!!!....I don't care how long it takes me, it's going to get done correctly.
  11. by   Tweety
    Quote from dijmart
    funny how they want students to have dignity, honesty, admit to errors, ect., but are unwilling themselves to officially admit there were contributing factors, ect. when an error is made.

    It's a bitter pill to have to swallow that no matter what the circumstances, the nurse is always the one to blame, although there are sometimes problems with the "process" that interfere with safe and effective medication administration, such as unsafe staffing.

    It would be nice if higher ups would say "you're accountable for the error, because you made it. However, we acknowledge the circumstances weren't the best and we're at fault too." 99.99% of the time that isn't going to happen. It's probably good you're learning this now.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 15, '06
  12. by   Kelly_the_Great
    Quote from dijmart
    funny how they want students to have dignity, honesty, admit to errors, ect., but are unwilling themselves to officially admit there were contributing factors, ect. when an error is made.
    Quote from dijmart
    what i HAVE learned from this other than the obvious is that IF you make an error you will be on your own to take the fall, so even if rushing, multitasking is what OTHER nurses do during med pass it won't be what "I" do from now on!!!....I don't care how long it takes me, it's going to get done correctly.
    You've probably learned something else, if you think about it, Dijmart. You probably see a greater need to extend compassion and caring to fellow nurses as well, don't you? Remember this experience and be the nurse to speak up and advocate for other nurses when the need presents.

    In the meantime, I wish you luck. :icon_hug:

    How much longer do you have on this particular rotation/unit and how much longer is your program?
  13. by   RN1263
    Quote from Kelly_the_Great
    You've probably learned something else, if you think about it, Dijmart. You probably see a greater need to extend compassion and caring to fellow nurses as well, don't you? Remember this experience and be the nurse to speak up and advocate for other nurses when the need presents.

    In the meantime, I wish you luck. :icon_hug:

    How much longer do you have on this particular rotation/unit and how much longer is your program?
    yes, i will speak up for other nurses in the future & i have compassion already for others who have made a med error, it feels terrible! i have 3 more clinicals on this unit for this semester and will be done w/ the program in may. thanks for the comments!

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