monkeybug 11,724 Views
Joined: Feb 26, '10;
Posts: 726 (61% Liked)
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My worst error was actually averted at the last minute (thank you, God). Back when I was a new nurse, we had multidose vials of Potassium on the unit. Our drug cart had a little indentation meant to hold a multidose vial of Normal Saline for flushes. Both medications had a navy blue label. I had a very busy night with moms and babies, and I had 3 saline locks to flush before my shift was over. I pulled up 3 syringes of 3cc of what I thought was normal saline, and headed down the hall. I heard an audible voice say, "Stop, go back, and look at what you did." I did as commanded, and found that I had drawn up 3 syringes of KCl. I threw the syringes in the sharps container, threw the KCl in the garbage, and went in the breakroom for about 15 minutes of absolute hysteria. I then called my nurse manager who handled it very well, she patted me down and convinced me that I didn't need to immdediately resign.
I learned some valuable lessons. Always, always double check medicines. And people can do really stupid things--who puts a multidose vial of potassium in a slot intended for normal saline?! I was thrilled when we no longer mixed our own potassium, as I had lived out how easy it would be to make a mistake.
You're a new nurse and have never done an IV stick? That scares me a little bit... I'm in my RN program now and would be terrified if I found out we wont get some exposure to that! Then again, maybe I won't? Has this happened to many others?
In that case, your OP is even worse than I imagined. No new grads? Sounds like a terrible, anti-education, anti-teaching facility to me. Is this in the boonies of Wyoming or something?
At any rate, it sounds like your facility is going for the next best thing to new grads: young people with little experience and very open minds. Congratulations to them on doing something right.
The only complaint I know of was from a family member. I was in the middle of a long treatment on another patient. This lady wanted me to come listen to her husband's cough, despite the fact that I hadn't heard a cough for the first 7 hours of my shift. It took me probably 20 to 30 minutes to finish the treatment that I'd been doing, then I came to listen. No cough. I stood in his room for fifteen minutes (that I didn't have) just to hear his 'cough'. His lungs were clear on auscultation.
The next day she complained to the administrator that she had to wait for 2 hours for the nurse to come listen to her husband and then the nurse 'didn't even do anything.'
I think she wanted me to get an order for cough syrup or an antibiotic that he didn't need. Or maybe she just wanted me to act all excited. I don't know. Needless to say, I didn't get in trouble. But it's annoying when you're doing everything you can to help people & families have these unrealistic expectations of you.
Oh yes, I've had patients complain about me and ask to have another nurse. Not often, but it's happened. I just counted myself lucky that I no longer had to deal with them. One complained because I got her IV in one stick, but her veins rolled and so I had to dig a bit. Her complaint literally said, "Nurse should have stopped my veins from rolling." My response to my manager was, "Tell me how to do it, and I will." Stupid manager admitted that I couldn't but said I should have smiled more.
I have to confess that complaints bothered me more when we got a manager who insisted on entertaining all complaints, no matter how wild, unsubstantiated, or ridiculous. I didn't mind when old manager would call me in, roll her eyes, and say, "Consider yourself talked to, go and sin no more, yada yada." (literally her spiel for stupid complaints). New stupid manager would want to have a long discussion on why you didn't use Jedi mind tricks to control rolling veins, how you could be nicer to idiots, how we should value each and every customer (the very term is gag-worthy).
Did you act appropriately as a nurse? Did you treat your patient with respect? Can you sleep at night with clear conscience after caring for this patient? If you answered yes to these questions, then I really wouldn't sweat it.
We aren't mind readers, though. If you want to shut your eyes to help that's fine, but there's a call button there for a reason, and if you need pain meds, ask for them. You should know it's easier to control the pain before it gets bad, so ask. Don't blame the nurses if you didn't tell them you had that much pain.
As a side point I kind of want to get one of those strap on bellies. I swear it made patients nicer to me. Especially the little grumpy old people.
I worked L&D when I was pregnant, and it was a badge of honor among the L&D nurses to work up until the absolute last possible moment. In fact, several of the nurses I worked with came to work, finished a shift, clocked out and took a shower, and then got in a bed and were admitted in spontaneous labor. I was tired, I was miserable, and I was advanced maternal age. I finished my pattern on a Tuesday and then my water broke on Thursday. I was 38 0/7 when my water broke. The heavy lifting was tough. I dreaded the days I was assigned to do c-sections. So many of our patients were obese, and most of our patients had epidurals, so we had to move dead weight a lot.
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