Have you ever talked with a client while thinking that they are another client? For example, have you ever greeted someone with a different name or the like?
(WARNING: Some rants included)
It happened to me one day (Good thing, I didn't talk enough to violate privacy...). I wasn't going to give any medication or going to touch the patient and so I didn't have my "right patient" check-x-three-practice "on".
Along the conversation, I realized that I got the wrong patient. I decided to go with "act like nothing unusual happen" and asked other generic questions. I thought that saying "Oops and sorry" wouldn't really change anything. It would just be a clarification that I messed up. =P
Anyway the patient didn't bother to tell me off and the next day, "s**t" happened. Let's just say, it's probably the most embarrassing moment in my nursing life. I got my whole race banned for certain tasks with this patient...at least that what was circulating around. (Great, as if we aren't discriminated enough).
I managed to do some damage control. (No thanks to my nurse-in-charge... I just know that she knew on the very day but she didn't even reprimand me.) I'm not going to play innocent but the "it's ALL my fault" part is just wrong especially when my race taken into a bigger context.
Still, in the end, I still don't know what to do if this ever happens to me again. Should I have said "sorry for the mistake", right there and then, on the first day? Would that have prevented the spiral? I now think that I should have.
How come they don't teach these at nursing school