I'm so devastated...

  1. I almost made my first med error today. I am a level 2 student(out of 5 semesters) and this is my third clincial in med/surg. I wasn't doing anything, so my clinical instructor said one of nurses had something for me to do. And it was to give meds. She hands me two pill packages, another pill in an envelope and tells me to go get the other med from the drawer. She gave me one page of the MAR and told me that the two pills aren't on the MAR yet, they were just sent up.

    So, I'm already starting to have a bad feeling about the whole situation but I continue. So I get all the meds rounded up and I go back to the nurse so she can check them with me. She's like yup, looks good. So I crushed them and put them in applesauce. When I went to give them to the lady she refused to take them, which was probably the best thing that's ever happened to me. Neither the upper level student or I could get her to take them. I talked to the nurse and she said to dump them and chart them as refused.

    So I'm starting to chart the meds and figure out how to say she refused, when my clinical instuctor came up. She's trying to figure out what to do, when she noticed I had two of the same pill, which was the same two the nurse handed me. She asked me if I gave both of them and I said yes, I tried. Then she told me I almost gave a double dose of an antibiotic. I freaked out, instantly tears came to my eyes. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I had done wrong. My instructor later told me I should have checked the doctor's order, if the meds weren't on the MAR yet. I didn't know this and could have slapped myself up side the head for not thinking of it.

    Needless to say, the nurse says that she didn't hand them both to me and that she showed me the doctor's orders. She didn't do that, but I still should have listened to my gut and went and got my clinical instructor. I just keep beating myself up about it. I was sobbing in the charting room the entire time, while my clinical instructor was trying to console me. How do you get over this and move on? I'm so devastated, because everyone likes to think it will never happen to them.

    I know I learned a very very important lesson today, but I just don't know how to pick myself up and show up at clinical again tomorrow. Thanks for reading this, I know it was very long, but I just needed to spill it out.

    jarhea
    •  
  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from jarhea
    I almost made my first med error today.
    However, you didn't make any medication errors today. I feel empathy for you, but this is nothing to become emotional over. I would use this near-miss as a learning opportunity of what not to do the next time you run into this type of situation.
  4. by   jarhea
    I know, even I was surprised by the amount of tears I had and how they just seemed to keep coming. It just scared the h*** out of me enough to make me cry. And I am not a crier!
  5. by   jmgrn65
    Always listen to your gut!
  6. by   EmerNurse
    There's not a nurse in the world that hasn't had a near miss - at least. I promise you, you will NEVER give a med without checking the MD order (which is what a nurse should do). It'll be ingrained in your memory forever and you won't short-cut later because "the last nurse" verified the MAR. Good practice. Heck of a way to learn it, but it'll say with you forever. It was a near-miss, but a valuable one. Don't sweat it, just remember it.

  7. by   fleur-de-lis
    Things happen for a reason. Just the fact that you had a funny gut feeling about it tells me that you will be a conscientious nurse, and that you will never give a med for another nurse without checking the order yourself! Don't beat yourself up, you were not the one in the wrong. The nurse should have known better, and you are a novice trusting her judgment. Now you know to only trust your own eyes!
  8. by   jarhea
    Thanks everyone for the kind words. I really appreciate it. You guys are right, this will be one of the things that I will never forget. I am never ever giving meds without double, triple or quadruple checking...and I will always listen to my gut. Hearing everyone's kind words really cheers me up, thank you!
  9. by   todell80
    Give yourself a break, you are only human, and you didn't actually make a med error. And you sound like it will stick w/ you, and you won't make that mistake ever again. It is a good lesson for me to learn too, and just hearing your experience will help me remember to always check the Dr.'s orders as well. Thank you for sharing it, and try not to beat yourself up too much.
    ~t
  10. by   RN1263
    i'm a senior nursing student and i DID make a med error the other day and it IS totally depressing!!! med passing is complete chaos this semester and i hate it!

    so, from now on i'm slowing down, checking as many times as i need to, and having the pt. state their name, D.O.B., and checking their wristband! I don't want this to EVER happen again!

    so, i know how you feel, but at least you didn't actually give the med.....I did!
  11. by   Tweety
    Quote from jarhea
    I know I learned a very very important lesson today, but I just don't know how to pick myself up and show up at clinical again tomorrow. Thanks for reading this, I know it was very long, but I just needed to spill it out.

    jarhea

    That's the #1 important thing here is that you learned something.

    How do you pick yourself up and show up at clinical tomorrow? You put one foot in front of the other, walking through the pain, disappointment and fear and you get on the other side.

    Good luck!
  12. by   november17
    I'll never forget the clinical instructor. As we were leaving the floor, I realized that I had marked/initialed a med as given in the MAR but not the computer (they did double charting at the hospital we were at). It was some supplement type med I gave right before we were getting ready to leave for the evening (I think it might have been ferrous sulfate or vitamin b or something). I was in a hurry to get my stuff and get out because everyone was standing there waiting for me.
    We got to the elevator door at the floor when I remembered.
    So I told the instructor, "Hey can we run back really quick I forgot to mark that med I gave 5 minutes ago in the computer!"
    Instructor,"Oh don't worry about it. It's alright. No big deal"
    Me,"Well shouldn't I just run back and do it real quick? Or at least tell the nurse? It will just take a second its right down the hall there."
    Instructor,"You can't go back on the floor without me. Don't worry I'll call her."
    At the end of the semester, she wrote me down as having made a med error during my evaluation. Man I was happy I don't have to take that class again.
    Last edit by november17 on Oct 10, '06
  13. by   WDWpixieRN
    I'd like to thank you for posting this....as a 1st semester student, we are now passing meds, and this is a good lesson for all of us new students to be aware of....interestingly enough, my RN and I were looking over our pt's chart today because of some confusion about whether the pt was going home today or tomorrow, and we noticed a new order for some drugs....I had the opportunity to visually see the written order, and then later went to retrieve the meds with my instructor to pass...didn't think twice about it or the way this occurred for the pt....

    I'm so glad that you didn't get past the "attempting" to give the meds and that it turned out all right...

    So also know, that you have helped many others by your experience today!! I know that I, too, would've probably just passed the drugs if the RN had told me to...THANKS!!!
  14. by   Aradien
    Quote from wdwpixie
    I'd like to thank you for posting this....as a 1st semester student, we are now passing meds, and this is a good lesson for all of us new students to be aware of....interestingly enough, my RN and I were looking over our pt's chart today because of some confusion about whether the pt was going home today or tomorrow, and we noticed a new order for some drugs....I had the opportunity to visually see the written order, and then later went to retrieve the meds with my instructor to pass...didn't think twice about it or the way this occurred for the pt....

    I'm so glad that you didn't get past the "attempting" to give the meds and that it turned out all right...

    So also know, that you have helped many others by your experience today!! I know that I, too, would've probably just passed the drugs if the RN had told me to...THANKS!!!
    :yeahthat: I wanted to add my thanks for sharing your experience. I am NOT handing out meds yet but I know that is around the corner (first semester, first year). Your experience will make me stop and think before I just hand meds out on the RN's say so.

    Don't be too hard on yourself! The worst thing did not happen and because THIS did, you will make sure it doesn't happen again.:icon_hug:

close