Have you ever made a med error? - page 4

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   beautifulb
    Quote from wdwpixie
    Check the meds 3 times against the MAR-- when you're pulling them, when you're dropping in the cups, and prior to administering...make sure you check the wristband and have the pt state their name and DOB...seems like overkill, but it also seems if you follow the steps to a "T" without taking a shortcut, it would cut med errors down drastically...is this realistic in the real world? Is it actually done daily?!?!

    That's what we've been taught so far, anyway....any practicing RN's agree/disagree?!?!

    Signed:
    New Nursing Student
    I totally agree. That is how it is in the real world. Also when I give the pt. their pills I say each one and what it is for. It is so easy to make a mistake. Remember the 5 rights!
  2. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from beautifulb
    I totally agree. That is how it is in the real world. Also when I give the pt. their pills I say each one and what it is for. It is so easy to make a mistake. Remember the 5 rights!
    This is such a great idea. It not only helps prevent medication errors, it helps educate the patient and gives them the opportunity to ask questions about their meds.
  3. by   dunkinut
    i am a first year nursing student with about 12 years experience in the animal field as a "nurse" doing anesthesia, intubations, iv's, med admin, cath insertion, radiography, you name it, it's been done...including med error, never administration, but caught myself with calculations (thankfully). i had my first med check off today, and through my own stupidity, made an error with my injection of reglan. talk about nerve racking....but rest assured i will, from this day forward, strive to remember this day! we are not perfect, mistakes will be made, and the ground has been broken for us previous to this. its about not being distracted and making sure you follow all the "rights". however, sometimes we see what we want to see also! dont beat yourself up, just use it as one of the best learning tools you can add to your "toolbox".
  4. by   geneann64
    i Have Been A Rn Bsn For 6 Years And Yes I Have Made A Med Error Thank Goodness It Didnt Hurt The Pt I Feel That Alot Of Nurses Think That If They Report The Error Then They Are Implying They Dont Know What They Are Doing But I Feel That If They Are Not Reported Then How Are We To Learn From Our Mistakes We Are Human And It Happens I Think The New Barcoding Of Pts And Meds Will Help This Alot
  5. by   nfahren05
    In my school, you get kicked out after your first med error.

    That is a very unwise policy. Not one of us is perfect, and at some point in our career, we are all going to make some mistakes. It is critical that we acknowledge errors, and make sure that the patient's safety is always addressed first and foremost. To put students in a position where it's "your safety or my career" is just plain dangerous. Good hospitals don't do this with their staff; most recognize that there can be many reasons for med errors, and they review errors carefully. Only in the most egregious cases will a hospital fire a nurse for the first error because they don't want to stifle reporting and patient safety.
  6. by   RN1263
    Quote from nfahren05
    In my school, you get kicked out after your first med error.

    That is a very unwise policy. Not one of us is perfect, and at some point in our career, we are all going to make some mistakes. It is critical that we acknowledge errors, and make sure that the patient's safety is always addressed first and foremost. To put students in a position where it's "your safety or my career" is just plain dangerous. Good hospitals don't do this with their staff; most recognize that there can be many reasons for med errors, and they review errors carefully. Only in the most egregious cases will a hospital fire a nurse for the first error because they don't want to stifle reporting and patient safety.

    I agree w/ you! the students in that program may not own up to an error, if they KNOW they will be kicked out of the program and that may harm or kill the pt.?.....
  7. by   pagandeva2000
    I think that most nurses have made at least one error in their careers. I have not made one as a student, but can say that I did make one in life.
  8. by   Zebonna
    More likely you never caught the error you made. We are only human, and I have found that med errors usually have two or three people involved, ie, pharmacist, nurse who transcribed the order, etc.
  9. by   RN BSN 2009
    good info to learn.
  10. by   KerenRN
    I find it hard to believe that anyone could say that they have never had a med error. there are so many people playing a part in a hospital that it is more than likely to happen... Technically, if a doctor writes an order at 0810 and i'm giving my 0900 meds at 0840, i will try to look at the order before hand... but i can't always find the chart, so i go by what is on the MAR, which is incorrect by 0840... the pharmacy may fill a bin/drawer incorrectly, orders may not be signed of as they should. In the hospital I work we do not have computerized charting or anything, so we scan down our orders to pharmacy.... if the secretary forgets to scan or the scanner is working incorrectly.... all of these create an environment for potential med errors.

    a person may not be at fault for a med error and the mistake(s) may not have been anything detrimental (G-d forbid) or you could simply not *know* it ever happened....but i don't think there are many people who can say they have never made a med error.

    Basically, my point to the writer is to try not to be too hard on yourself. The number one reason for med errors: nurses are HUMAN! Just try to do better in the future.
  11. by   pagandeva2000
    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.
    Absolutely!
  12. by   pagandeva2000
    I remember once, as a brand new nurse, I was giving insulin coverage, and the patient was to receive 3 units of insulin and I gave 2 units. I realized it as soon as I walked out of the patient's room, so, I got another syringe, added one more unit and went back to administer it. Things happen.

    What has to be considered, may it be for a nurse or student, is that at times, administration comes down so hard on people, that when mistakes are made, not many people admit to them because of the punitive disciplinary actions. And, management does not admit that most times, it is because of shortened staff and too many distractions.
  13. by   firstyearstudent
    Quote from dunkinut
    i am a first year nursing student with about 12 years experience in the animal field as a "nurse" doing anesthesia, intubations, iv's, med admin, cath insertion, radiography, you name it, it's been done...including med error, never administration, but caught myself with calculations (thankfully). i had my first med check off today, and through my own stupidity, made an error with my injection of reglan. talk about nerve racking....but rest assured i will, from this day forward, strive to remember this day! we are not perfect, mistakes will be made, and the ground has been broken for us previous to this. its about not being distracted and making sure you follow all the "rights". however, sometimes we see what we want to see also! dont beat yourself up, just use it as one of the best learning tools you can add to your "toolbox".
    great attitude!!!! you are so right.

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