I was a brand brand new grad RN, lucky enough to get a job in a nursing home.
That said, for all the other three new grads that were hired at the same time, we all seem to got into some kind of trouble. One girl was asked to either quit or change to part-time. Another got numerous written-ups. Unfortunately I made a relatively big meds error in the first week working on my own. Half residents in the facility did not have ID bands, and I confused two of them that had no ID bands on. The doctor was notified. Fortunately, the residents did not get sent to the hospital, remain healthy, and stay in our facility till today. I was asked to write a lot of stuff about the incidence, signed lots of paper, etc.
Since then I have been extra careful, no big mistakes or any written ups afterwards, and now even start to feel comfortable about working there. I was thinking about next year start looking for a per diem position in another nursing home, or even better, applying for a hospital job. But I worry a lot about possible bad effects the prior meds error on my record, Will it prevent me from getting a hospital job? Maybe a silly question, I don't even know what I got is a written up or discipilinary action. But I know it is there in my files. Can anybody shed a light? Thanks.
Last edit by b_m_prosepct on Sep 20, '10
Sep 20, '10
When someone calls for a job references we are only allowed to tell them the dates of employment and if we would or would not rehire them. If we would not rehire them I can not say why. That being said, I would never be allowed to tell another potential employer that an individual had made a med error.
From a management point of view, we do a lot of 1:1 education (and we document this on an education form). We would do this type of documentation following a medication error. This allows us to "prove" to a surveyor in the future that we were aware of the error & we have taken steps to attempt to prevent this from recurring. If we didn't document this then months later, with a surveyor in front of me, I have nothing to prove that I didn't just ignore the issue. It's not meant necessarily as a punitive measure against the floor nurse. I'm just covering my tail.
Now if that same nurse would continue to make similar recurring medication errors, we would progress towards disciplinary documentation and eventually get to the point of having to terminate employment. We have to. If I would let this person continue to work, despite education on how to perform the job then I would have a liability when they eventually hurt or kill someone.
Go back and simply ask to review the previous documentation. Hopefully they are just trying to educate you as well.
Sep 20, '10
No one will ask about your disciplinary issues if they call for a reference. Don't beat yourself up. Everyone makes med errors. You (and the residents) were lucky no one was hurt and apparently it pointed out a huge flaw in the SYSTEM. We know the residents don't like to wear name bands....get PICTURES of all of them and keep them in the MAR. The surveyors will want to see them and if you are Joint Commission accredited, they will want to know you have 2 forms of id.
Sep 21, '10
Nascar nurse & CapeCodMermaid;
Thank you two for the replies. I feel much relieved now.
Sep 30, '10
I have made med errors- similar to what you went through, patients without ID bands, I asked and the CNA gave me bad info (probably a mistake) then lied and claimed I never asked her. This was a long time ago. I respect nurse who admit their mistakes rather than try to hide them.
Dont let this be the defining moment of your professional career, you are not perfect and dealt with the error in a professional manner. Try to focus on the good you do and enjoy being an LTC nurse!