I would appreciate some advice here, as I am a new nurse, and I am ruffling feathers at my first job.
At our facility, we are supposed to fill out "medication incident reports" when we discover a med error has been made. We are encouraged to report our own errors, as well as those of our coworkers. When you find a coworker's error, you initiate the paperwork, sign it as the nurse discovering the error, then hand it to a supervisor for processing. The paper you filled out is then forwarded to the responsible nurse to write an action plan to not repeat the error. Your name stays visible on the paper.
I have been written up by others a few times - for using undated glucose test solution, for an honest to goodness med error. Each time it bothered me. Although I felt one of the issues was picayune and insignificant never did I become upset with the person who wrote me up.
Not too long ago, while running the worst med pass in the building, I discovered that there were three separate bottles of expired eye drop solution which had been used for 3-5 days past their clearly marked expiration dates. I asked my supervisor (who was standing right next to me when I discovered the expired drops, swore, and spent 20 minutes hunting down new ones) what to do, and she indicated that I should fill out medication incident reports for each day the drops were administered past the "do not use after" day. This involved 3 nurses total, one of whom was the nurse who wrote up my previous med error.
The next time I saw her, she was very cold to me. We had previously been friendly and joking. I felt terrible. I said to her, "sorry about that incident report, the supervisor saw the whole thing and told me I should fill those out." She was curt and cold, and we've not been friendly again since.
Tonight, I found an envelope in my mailbox addressed to me and marked confidential. Another nurse (who was not even one of the ones who had made the error) had hand written a note, pointing out an error I had made. She wrote, "Now I could write this up as you don't hesitate - but I decided to talk to you instead, and perhaps you'll give a second thought sometime to someone else. Please destroy this." Oddly, the letter was a photocopy.
I don't know what to do. I really feel stabbed in the gut. I don't mean to be a tattle tale. I feel like if she had chosen to fill out an incident report about the issue, I would have actually taken it as a learning experience, and made damn sure to not repeat the error in the future. I almost wish she had. But instead I got this strange, photocopied, passive aggressive message...
Should I speak with this nurse, to explain the situation? Does it even warrant an explanation? Should I have just kept the whole thing to myself? Is it part of my job description to rat out my coworkers? Is it an ethical issue? An error was made - even if it was insignificant seeming. Had state survey been in, it would have been a problem.
What am I even asking for here? I guess I just wonder what you all would do... Maybe what I should do moving forward. I suppose there is no mending fences here. I don't like not getting along with my co-workers. Help!