Have you ever made a med error?

  1. 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 going to be totally paranoid from now on giving meds, since i know if i mess up again i'm OUT!....ugh!
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  2. 101 Comments

  3. by   Melina
    Paranoia is irrational fear; you have a reason to be scared. Just be REALLY careful, remember the five 'Right's, etc. Go slowly. Don't freak yourself out, and best of luck.

    ~Mel'
  4. by   RN1263
    Quote from Melina
    Paranoia is irrational fear; you have a reason to be scared. Just be REALLY careful, remember the five 'Right's, etc. Go slowly. Don't freak yourself out, and best of luck.

    ~Mel'
    true, true!!!....the floor i'm on is VERY busy & med pass is chaos for the most part, but i'm the one taking the fall if i make a mistake. soooo, YES i will have to go slow!
  5. by   Lisa CCU RN
    As they say, you will never make that particular error again, so learn from it.

    What was the error so, we too, can learn from it?
  6. by   luvmy2angels
    I never made a med error as a student, but there were students in my class that did. One student gave all her meds to the WRONG resident. She wasn't kicked out of the program, but an incident report and med error sheet were written up. We were told if we made a made error and continued to make errrors through out the rotation that we would fail clinical. Makes sense to me.
    Now, since I have been out of school I have made a med error. I think every nurse has made at least one med error. Like the others said, we can learn from our mistakes and hopefully become better nurses.
  7. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from dijmart
    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 going to be totally paranoid from now on giving meds, since i know if i mess up again i'm OUT!....ugh!
    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
  8. by   RN1263
    Quote from luvmy2angels
    One student gave all her meds to the WRONG resident.




    YEP, that's what happened!!!! ....seems impossible that someone could do that doesn't it?????
    i never thought it would happen to me, but when you're being rushed, there's chaos, & interruptions going on around you & you THINK you know who's who........that's when you/I are dangerous. I had to learn the hard way.....and yes, i have learned "painfully" from it! thank god the pt. is fine, no harm done to him, but it's a feeling i don't ever want to feel again in my life!!!!!
    Last edit by RN1263 on Oct 12, '06
  9. by   puggymae
    In 22 years I have never made a medication error - I always take the MAR with me when I pass meds so I can check the name band to the MAR (now I take the computer with the MAR on it with me). I always check the medicines 3 times - ALWAYS. If you pass meds the way you are taught then you will be okay. As an instructor I have caught medication errors that students would have made had I not been there. Those "near misses" are treated like an actual error because they would have been if I hadn't picked up on it. I had one student who failed clinical for giving the wrong patient the medication after she left the medicine cart with the meds & MAR - she didn't check the name band to the MAR - it was after midterm so that made her fail.
  10. by   RN1263
    Quote from puggymae
    I had one student who failed clinical for giving the wrong patient the medication after she left the medicine cart with the meds & MAR - she didn't check the name band to the MAR - it was after midterm so that made her fail.
    hhmmm, what does "being after midterm" have to do w/ her failing or not?....i would think there would be either a policy that you fail clinical for a med error or you don't and get another chance?...
  11. by   firstyearstudent
    I made a med error once. Along with the tablets/pills in blister packs was a little labeled packet sent up from pharmacy with 6 pills in it. The label gave the dosage and the patient's name. When I went to give it to the patient he said, "This looks like a lot of of these pills. More than I usually take." I said, "It's fine, my instructor and I double checked it." But we both just checked what was written on the label. We did not count the pills. So he just took the pills. (My instructor went into the room with me, but left to take a call giving me the go ahead to actually give the pills.) Later I thought about what he said and realized that pharmacy had sent up the whole day's dosage in that packet. He should have taken three pills BID. I thought about whether I should say anything or not and then figured I should 'fess up. I told my instructor and she did not fill out an incident report or mention it again (my suspicion is not only because it was only a fairly harmless supplement, but because she had double checked it and then left me in the room by myself). She also told me not to tell anyone. So, anyway, what I learned is that if a patient questions their meds -- TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY AND DOUBLE CHECK!!! I also learned that if your patient is taking more than 1 or 2 tabs of something RECHECK the dosage carefully and figure out why that is. There should be a good reason since most tablets are formulated for the typical dosage. (This happened to me today when my patient had 7 tablets of the same drug -- however, it checked out. Too may pills is a waving red flag for wrong dosing.)

    I also learned that instructors are quick to make students take responsibilty, but not so quick to take it themselves...
    Last edit by firstyearstudent on Oct 12, '06
  12. by   luv2shopp85
    I have not med an error as a student nurse yet ** knock on wood** . I've came close to it a few times and either realized right after giving the meds that I had to give one more or I didn't think I needed to give insulin because the patient was only getting coverage and not checking hte routine insulin. Then the instructor asked if i was giving any insulin and of course I checked and caught my error.

    I've talked to many nurses who says its not if you'll make a med error its WHEN you'll make a med error because every nurse had made at least one. Noone is perfect.
  13. by   puggymae
    That student was in her senior level and in that level any unsatisfactories after midterm causes a clinical failure. That was an isolated incident - hasn't happened again for several years on my rotation.
  14. by   SNKerri
    In my school, you get kicked out after your first med error.

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