Covered Up a Narcotic Med Error - page 3

Dear Nurse Beth, The other night, during my med pass, I made an error. I had accidentally given my pt the narcotic her neighbor was to receive. They were in separate rooms and I obviously... Read More

  1. by   0.5GPA
    I agree I don't think the husband is out of line. Mistakes happen we all do dumb things I'm easy going but if it was me the cover up from more than one person wouldn't go over real well. I'd be very angry. If it is true what the husband says and his wife is really doing worse (really worse not hyperbole or exaggeration) after the fact that particular person would not want to run into me. That's not cool
  2. by   HHQualityRN
    It is unfortunate that in your facility as well as in so many others there is such a culture of foreboding when there are quality issues. We all can learn from them and hopefully not repeat them. One thing to remember is that there will be an "investigation", your QI department will be involved. They will be looking at trends and in your specific case, they will look for the root causes for the medication error. You may not be the only one who recently has had a medication error at your facility. There may be problems within the system that they are currently investigating. It is always best to report errors. The cover up is going to be another issue but I imagine the facility will not want to press the issue with the MD who was part of the cover up. Fortunately there was no harm to the patient. I can only hope anyone reading about your situation will learn from it and will not be so fearful to report errors in the future.
  3. by   nursegj
    We've all made errors. What is unforgivable is covering it up. Trust and nursing ethics have been compromised. I am surprised that Nurse Beth says "It seems the husband who made the complaint is reacting out of proportion". His wife was given the wrong medication and it was covered up. He should be furious. This could have had serious, even deadly consequences, so I don't think he was over reacting. This is obviously part of the culture on this unit if the senior nurse is telling her colleague who made a narcotic error, not to report it.

    As a nurse educator, this makes me wonder how nurses are being trained. One of the things we try to instill in students is the "nursing conscience". Ethics and critical thinking should be so ingrained that nurses have the guts to admit and face up to mistakes. We are nurses for one reason - that is the patient. I understand panicking, but even in panic we cannot betray the trust our patients have placed in us.

    If this nurse was afraid of a law suit, there is more likely to be one now than there would have been if the mistake was reported in the first place. I have seen nurses make errors and the patient or family did not sue because the nurse was honest about it.
  4. by   Insperation
    How was she worse because she received a 10 mg roxi? I don't think they have any grounds to sue you but I'm not a lawyer. What damages would they claim? Ohh my wife was knocked out and a little loopy for 4 hours? I wouldn't worry about getting sued.
  5. by   riggy3
    "However, my senior nurse friend advised me to not tell the DON and I listened. I didn't fill out a report. And I charted that pt requested this med."

    This statement is what concerns me. You should face the consequences of covering up the error. At the same time there needs to be a root cause analysis since the "senior nurse" advised not to complete the occurrence report.
    The findings when looking at all nurses in your unit may indicate training of not only you is needed. The Occurrence report should not be looked at as a negative finding pointing directly at the nurse involved to punish an unintended error.
    You did not go to work that day with the intent to give the wrong medication. The error needs to be used as a learning opportunity to see what steps of medication administration methods need review or revision to prevent the same occurrence again.


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