I have been a nurse for almost a year now. I have two different jobs and my most recent job is in a palliative care facility. Since, I still work in the hospital where my first nursing job (medical unit) was I sometimes float there when they are short staff or for some extra hours.
In the last three week I have started making mistakes at work, nothing big, but onces that I still have to report. For example, the other night I dropped a narcotic on the floor and forgot to waste it. This wasen't a mistake that reached the patient, but it is a mistake that makes me look bad and careless.There was a process that lead to this mistake and I have analyzed it over and over again and thought of ways to prevent it. I forgot to waste the narcotic, because I had a psych patient yelling at the nursing desk, so I got busy trying to calm him down and after I just completely forgot about wasting the pill. The day nurse called me in and asked me about it and then I remembered, so on my next shift I did report the incident.
I know mistakes can happen, but I feel so careless making this kind of mistake that I know how to prevent.
Sep 21, '12
Narcotic wastes always make me feel iffy. Wait until you've had a vial of Demerol literally fall out of the box and smash. Luckily my co-worker was right next to me when it happened, we both couldn't believe what had happened. She then had a gravol slip through her fingers. Some nights are like that.
Patients will yell at the desk. Where were the other staff members. Narcotic wastes have to be witnessed. Unless that patient is a danger to himself or others on the unit, log off the narcotics or leave yourself a note on your worksheet.
Sep 21, '12
Yes with narcotics I try to be especially careful, because the last thing I want is someone wondering if I've helped myself to it, or overdosed a patient. Unless there is an emergency, you should at least write a note or waste the narcotic right then. We work alone, so I usually draw up my wastage into a syringe and lock it away until day shift arrives to sign off.