Will I Be a Bad Nurse?

  1. I really need your input on this as I have been having anxiety over it since Thursday.

    Currently I am a senior nursing student graduating in May. I also work as a per diem CNA at a hospital I am interested in working as an RN in the future. I worked from 0700-1700 on Thursday and I was a 1 on 1 sitter with this patient. The patient needed a sitter because she has Alzheimer's and likes to wander about. She was admitted due to a syncopal episode the day before. In terms of mobility, she is able to get up and walk without assistance. Before my shift ended, the patient was sitting in the chair. The nurse came in to give her some meds. The nurse told me to turn on the chair alarm before I left and so I turned it on. This is where it all goes downhill. Right before I left I asked the patient if she wanted to go back into bed. I wanted to put her back into bed because she was done eating and I thought I would help the CNA who was coming onto night shift by putting the patient into bed already. So I helped the patient into bed and made sure the two side rails were up and that the bed was at the lowest level. I left the hospital and when I was at home I realized I forgot to TURN ON THE BED ALARM. Now I'm freaking out because I'm afraid of the possibility that the patient could have gotten up and fell. I've been stressing out over this since Thursday night and I don't know what to do. I feel so guilty because I forgot to do the most important thing. I've never forgotten to turn on bed alarms before but for some reason I forgot this one time. I'm like constantly beating myself up over it because I should've known better. I feel discouraged and that maybe I should just quit being a nurse. ): Has this happened to anyone else and do you have any advice?

    Also a side note: Before my shift ended the charge nurse told me that they were discontinuing having a 1 on 1 sitter for the patient which confused me. Does this mean that they don't think she's a huge fall risk anymore? I feel like they should've kept having a sitter for her.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Ambersmom
    Dont beat yoursel up, we all forget things. In the future if you remembered when you got home it would have fine to call the unit and say I'm sorry, I forgot to turn the bed alarm on, that way someone could have made sure it was done, because you dont want to come in on your nextshift and discover she had a fall. As far as the 1-1 being dc'd, no she is still a fall risk but it was probably felt that her cognitive status had improved enough that they felt her wandering risk was decreased.
  4. by   C0SM0
    Just so I understand this correctly, you think you should drop out of your final year of nursing school because you forgot to turn on a bed alarm? Something tells me you're looking for us to tell you everything will be okay, that it happens to everyone, and if everyone dropped their career every time a mistake was made, no one would have a job. So, here it goes...Everything will be just fine, people make mistakes on a daily basis, some of which are much greater than forgetting to turn on a bed alarm, and if everyone dropped out of nursing school every time they made a mistake, there would be no nurses. Now, don't you feel better?
  5. by   Mavrick
    Call the unit when you get home and tell them you forgot to turn the bed alarm on.

    It's far more useful to have a plan for dealing with those forgetful moments than expect to never forget anything. If you can't adjust your expectations of perfection you should just quit being a person!!

    Granted, some things are more important than others and hopefully you will be conscientious enough to focus on creating a system where you won't forget the really important stuff. We develop habits and routines to keep us organized and on point. I made myself a nursing "Brain", a paper worksheet to check off stuff before I gave report and went home. Stuff like raising siderails, putting the brakes on stretchers etc. is now such a rigid habit I pretty much NEVER forget that.

    Analyze where you made your mistake, devise a plan for next time and move on. Don't cause more psychic trauma by beating yourself up needlessly.

    Even male RNs forget stuff.

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