Med Error Suspention Anyone?

  1. I work at a LTC facility. Yesterday I did not give a pt a pain med and therefor was suspended without pay for 3 days. Is this the industry standard? No wonder so many med errors go unreported. Advice anyone. Thanks:uhoh21:
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Fiona59
    Was this your first error?

    I've never heard of anyone being suspended for that. If you are unionized, get your steward in there NOW.
  4. by   Dolce
    My goodness, I have made med errors before (haven't we all?) and have never been suspended. Often it is a system error that causes medication errors and that is why they must be reported. I made a medication error one time because the Pyxis at the facility listed two drugs under the same name but didn't flag the dosage strengths. I gave the wrong strength. There were many things that could have prevented that error (besides me being more cautious)--pharmacy could have flagged the different dosage strengths, bar code administration would have prevented this error, better staffing would have prevented me from being so busy that I overlooked the mistake. The point is that there are so many outside factors that cause medication errors. They MUST be reported in order to trend and track mistakes. But the nurse should not be punished unless it is clear that they have a pattern of unsafe practice. A 3 day suspension will not prevent more medication errors at your facility but it will prevent nurses from reporting their own errors. This is a shame.
  5. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from 50&fabulous
    I work at a LTC facility. Yesterday I did not give a pt a pain med and therefor was suspended without pay for 3 days. Is this the industry standard? No wonder so many med errors go unreported. Advice anyone. Thanks:uhoh21:

    Was it a PRN med? Was the pt in pain? Did they complain?
  6. by   TheCommuter
    I've made med errors. I've admittedly not given meds, and my nurse manager is always made aware when the meds are not given.

    However, I've never been suspended or disciplined for med errors. I also work at an LTCF; however, my workplace is hurting for nurses too badly to suspend them for 3 days for an issue such as a med error. If I were to be suspended for 3 days without pay, then the on-call nurse manager would have to work the shift (and they certainly don't want to work the floor).
  7. by   ktwlpn
    This seems to be the trend in LTC-every significant incident is reported to the state department of health.They want to know what is being done to prevent these problems.LTC's in this area are hardcore-everyone has a progressive disciplinary policy.At my LTC the first incident results in counseling,2nd is staff developemnt for re-education (it's a 30min computer program) 3rd is suspension (1 to 3 days depending on severity of error) or possible termination.Initially we are put on a probation period and have to remain incident free throughout that time.When the probation is up you start over with a clean slate. Also-if it's a real whopper the nurse may go straight to suspension or termination. But-this all depends on nursing being honest-and supervisors not being lazy because they have to do alot of paperwork and I've seen 2 of ours blow off things that really should have been dealt with-"too busy" Everyone should be treated equally.It's very stressful now to go in everyday knowing that one moment can cost you your career
  8. by   50&fabulous
    Hi Everyone,
    Thanks for your input. To answer some questions, yes this was my first med error at this job. The pt was in pain but had been spitting out his meds at us for days. We needed to do a treatment on him which did cause him much pain. however he was non compliant with his medications and like I said had been spitting them out for days. So stupid me held his pain med but attempted to give his other meds which he spit out at me. The day this all happened my DON's nurse manager was in house preparing for a state inspection. Not being very happy with this patients care (Pt aquired decubs on both heels while in another unit of our facility) I beleive they were just looking to make an example of me. (I have a big mouth and am always trying to get improvements for the pts). I do and did admit that I made an error I honestly did not think to call the dr and get my pt something else for pain and for this i am truly sorry. He is always fighting us no matter what care we try to offer and on occations I have been able to calm him down by speaking to him in his native language. Last week I came in to work and this pt was sitting in the hallway with towels under his feet that were ozing blood and the RN on duty simply stated that he was not going to get punched trying to reapply the dressings on the pt's feet. I proceeded to speak to the pt and after some time he allowed me to redress his wounds. This was overlooked by management. All weekend his pain was overlooked. I didn't have this patient for 3 days prior. Several other med erros have been overlooked on many occations. I do not condone any cover ups I expect to pay for my mistakes. However i know that this facility was wrong in suspending me and not the other nurses who have made mistakes. i do not expect to return to this facility. I even feel I need a break from nursing. however I'm not in a financial position to retire, so tommorrow comes the drugery of looking for a new job. Any tips.:uhoh21:
  9. by   Alois Wolf
    Yeah... I work at a long term care place as well (I'm not up on the abbreviations :P) and it's like they are in total witch hunt mode 24/7. I really don't understand it.
  10. by   scarlet
    Also in LTC (administration), We would never suspend a Nurse for this type of med error, espically if it was a first. I would take my suspension, look for another job, return after my suspension and give my notice. This will help you to be eligible for re-hire, you never know the administration my have a turn-over at some point & you may want to return, or need a reference. Allways best to try not to "burn you bridges". Just my thoughts though. Good luck.

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