what a crappy day....

  1. I probably shouldn't post this, because I am afraid of the bad comments and such, but I had to talk to discuss my situation. First off, I feel terrible about what I did, and I learned another valuable lesson in the world of nursing....

    So here is what happened. I had a patient being discharged with a need for insulin teaching. She was prescribed Lantus and regular insulin sliding scale. Well, guess what I did, guys? I taught her to do sliding scale using Lantus. Here is how this happened. On the discharge orders, the doctor wrote the order for Lantus and then right underneath it, the sliding scale for the regular insulin. I have to admit that all I know about Lantus is that it is a long-lasting insulin and it is newer. I tried to look it up in drug books before teaching, but the hospital had older books without Lantus in it. The nurses were pressuring me to hurry and discharge her, and I didn't exactly have the friendliest charge. My med nurse just wanted nothing to do with me. I figured that was OK, since it couldn't be that hard to read discharge instructions from a piece of paper. Well, I figured the doctor had ordered the sliding scale for some reason for Lantus and left it at that. I didn't question it and as a result, I misinterpreted the order and ultimately misinformed the patient.

    For this act, I was talked to by an instructor and I am in the process of being written up. I feel like crap. I had been feeling so good all quarter since things just really seemed to click for me this year, but that is gone. I have no confidence anymore and am really questoning if I should continue this program. This woman could have been really hurt by my actions. I am only in clinical 2 days a week with only two patients. What in the heck! If I were a real nurse working full time that is even more risk for error.

    So, when I got home this afternoon, I cried because of my stupidity. I tried to explain the situation to my husband and he doesn't understand. He thinks that it must be the doctor's fault, or the charge's fault for not supervising me. But, I was the last person to talk to the patient, and it is my fault.

    Well, this is the end of my tale for now. I learned many invaluable lessons that I regrettably wish I didn't have to learn in this way. Thanks all for reading my post. For all those who are sitting there shaking your head and thinking, "now, that was stupid" no offense taken because I would probably do the same if it didn't happen to me. Well, gotta study for a test and write up my clinical paperwork.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   kittyw
    (((hugs))) Doesn't it suck when you ask questions and they ignore you??

    Some how your error was noticed so I ask was the patient able to be reached? If so ... the patient will know better, probably was told before she ever took the medicine. You feel bad, you WON'T EVER do it again, and you learned a lesson ....

    now here's a wet noodle for you. :kiss
  4. by   CJStudent
    I'm so sorry that this happened to you. Yes, learning lesson to self and to others that hear your story.

    Yes, I question if the patient was able to be reached. I think you are being too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and it sounds like something any one of us could have done.
    Hang in there. Don't give up the program because you made a mistake.
  5. by   TeresaRN2b
    Unfortunately I know way to much about Lantus and insulin, my 10 year old son is diabetic and was diagnosed at 5. I do hope someone has got a hold of him because that is a pretty significant error. I don't mean that to sound harsh because I do feel for you. Me, myself being his mother have found myself accidently drawing up his morning dosage for his evening. Fortunately I caught myself before giving it. Anyhow, I think that this is a very valuable lesson. It is better to learn it now in school and it is so good that you caught the mistake. Hugs to you and I am sure this will make you a better nurse in the long run.

    Teresa
  6. by   CountrifiedRN
    I'm so sorry this happened. Don't let it shake your confidence. You said you have been doing well all semester until this. Mistakes happen, and if we use them to learn from, we will become better as nurses and as a person in general. I'm sure that after having this scary experience, you will never again assume anything, you will be extra careful. The good thing is that the error was caught and no harm came to the patient.
  7. by   Vsummer1
    Hopefully your instructor will understand that you are there to LEARN and in the process, you may make mistakes. First day of med passes, one of the students actually gave a wrong drug -- incident report and everything!! But, the student is not out of the program because the instructor should have been there to figure that out!

    I hope they realize that we are just students and are bound to make mistakes -- it is their job to make sure we don't! Where was your instructor?

    I hope you feel better soon, and I am so sorry you have to go through this.
  8. by   EMTPTORN
    thank you for making me feel better after my sh.tty day. Your post shows that you care a great deal about school and learning and doing the right thing, so you will be a good nurse andlearn from your mistakes.

    ..it happens!!!!! and if anyone tells you different then they are a liar.
  9. by   canoehead
    I'm sorry that happened to you, you are certainly not alone in making a significant error, everyone has done it. All the good nurses out there have disaster stories, and the only sin is not learning from your mistakes.
  10. by   Kayzee
    Whats with these nurses rushing you? That's when mistakes happen. You are a student and learning as you go along. Where was your instructor? Don't be so hard on yourself, mistakes do happen ( especially when your not given the direction you need as a student). I recently did orientation at a hospital on med-surg, and felt so pressured to run around getting things done. Heck, I couldn't even take a break after 7 hours. Well I decided that I didn't need that kind of stress, and have now chosen a different area of nursing. The money was great...but it wasn't worth my sanity. Good luck to you, and don't let them get away with not answering your concerns or questions.
  11. by   kimmicoobug
    Ok, maybe I should tell you guys why I feel so crappy. No, the error was not caught until the patient went to her follow-up the following week. I know of what could have happened to the woman. The thing is, I know how to do the insulin administration and to teach how to give it, I just didn't read the order correctly. When she was my patient, I could tell that she had developed a trust for me even though I was only a student. Anyways, back to story. She felt crappy all week, injected herself 4 times a day with the Lantus. I am so grateful that now she is OK. As far as my instructor, we are pretty much let loose on discharges. We are told to work with our nurses. That is great except when the nurses don't make you feel welcome or that you are an annoying fly on the wall. There are other nurses on that unit who I work great with, and if I had these nurses, I really wonder if I had made the mistake I did. I am not trying to shift blame, but I am trying to look at it by all the angles as to how it happened. It really isn't that hard to do these discharges and I looked up all of her other meds before I went in, I just couldn't find that one. My charge told me to just go over the list with the patient and have her sign. Actually, I have never been supervised while discharging. I've watched the nurses do it many times. For the most part, I never have a problem with it, but I did go into that room with a sense of unease about teaching this stuff to a patient who had never used insulin.

    This may seem shallow, but I asked my instructor if this would hurt my grade. She said no, because it was a mistake, but if it became a trend I could drop a whole letter grade.

    And to the mom with the diabetic ten year old, you did not come on harsh at all. Even if you had, I would have been harsher on myself ten times over.

    I am glad the quarter is almost over because when I lose confidence it tends to show for awhile. My last clinical is next week until winter break. I have a feeling that I will need that time to pep talk myself and to work out a plan to prevent this from happening again. Thanks all for the support. I sort of needed it from people who could understand. Poor hubby isn't helping in that department.
  12. by   tattooednursie
    One thing I know for sure. . . that nurse shouldnt have pressured you to hurry. It is not YOU, it was that NURSE. I think the lesson here is to stand up for yourself, Kimmicoobug.

    You are a great nurse . . . I know you are. We all have to have lessons in the world of nursing.
  13. by   TeresaRN2b
    Hugs again, I don't think you should be so hard on yourself. Even experienced nursing make mistakes.

    Teresa
    Last edit by TeresaRN2b on Nov 15, '02
  14. by   Tiiki
    I feel for you. It's so stressful being a student, and having staff nurses looking over your shoulders doesn't help. Where was yoru instructor while you were in the process of discharging your patient? Secondly, the floor nurse is still responsible for her patients, even if one is assigned to you, so it is her responsibility to check your work, as well as your instructor.

    We have students on the floor all the time, but ultimately, if it is our assignment, we are constantly in contact with them, making sure all is well.

    You found your error, hopefully the pt was contacted. Put this down as a learning experience. Next time, don't allow yourself to be rushed, and should you have any doubts or questions, ASK!!

    you can do it!!

    Cheers!
    JO

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