I can't believe that I made such a stupid mistake and am kicking myself!!!

  1. 4
    I had to give a new IV to my patient, but I couldn't get it, so I left.
    However I forgot to get the touniquet out from patient's arm, and I found it out 1 hour and 30 minutes later...

    He was a confused patient, so he couldn't communicate with me. Besides the tourinquet was white, so I probably forgot, because it was underneath the white bed linen and patient's gown.

    Anyways I got rid of the tourniquet as soon as I found it. His arm was natural normal color, positive capillary refill less than 3 seconds, able to move his arm and squeeze my hand, strong wrist pulse (THANK GOD!!!!!). Intern checked the patient with me, and he told me that the pt would be fine. I filed a incident report and made a nursing note about it.

    He was complaining of sore arm, and I felt extremly sorry and stupid and almost near to cry. I kinda still wanna cry but too tired and too angry with my self to cry. At least I found it during my shift and didn't leave him on tourniquet longer, and it seems like the patient is fine, but I just feel like I will injure my patients one day seriously and want to quit clinical nursing...
    Last edit by Joe V on Sep 17, '12
    Orca, blondy2061h, Joe V, and 1 other like this.

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  2. 49 Comments...

  3. 19
    We all make mistakes and you will make more! I bet you'll never make that particular mistake again!! Your patient is fine so try not to beat yourself up. You're a good concientious nurse or you wouldn't be so upset. Time and experience will help you catch things but you will never be perfect so be glad when your mistakes don't cause permanent harm!
    TeflonNurse, MissM.RN, KatrinaMabry, and 16 others like this.
  4. 4
    We have all done something stupid... believe me! Good for you that you care and are not just blowing it off ("well, nothing bad came of it so, so what?"). Learn from it, get mad at yourself, forgive yourself, and move on. Yeah, its easy to say, takes longer to do. But you don't throw away all your education and desire to be a nurse over one thing like this (or there would be NO nurses).

    Deep breath, work on thinking about something else while you fall asleep, then go back and be the best nurse you can be.
    Gator Girl 2000, CCL RN, opossum, and 1 other like this.
  5. 3
    RN ABC: Thank you so much for your kind words, it really made me feel so much better. As soon as I got up from my little nap, I called my colleague and she told me that his arm didn't drop off and everything is fine, which is a huge relief. However I was so disappointed with myself and felt quite depressed for a while. I forced myself to go to a gym and worked out and feel bit better now. I will do my best not to make the same mistak ever again in the future. Plus no more WHITE tourinquet!!!!


    JBudd: Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! Your warm words and advice helped me to get over it somewhat. I'm still quite mad at myself and will take some time to get over it totally and laugh at it. At least the patient is fine, I called my colleague, and she told me that he is okay. Anyways, I learnt something at least, and I do know that it won't be my last mistake as long as I work as a nurse under acute setting. As your wise word, I will go back and do my best to be the best nurse I can be. Once again, thank you so much.
    Last edit by RN Chaos on Sep 17, '12 : Reason: wrong spelling
    JBudd, ElSea, and Esme12 like this.
  6. 6
    I recognized very early in my career this happens more than it should. I decided that I would NEVER EVER put a tourniquet underneath the sleeve of the gown or whatever garment they have on. I unsnap the gown so the entire upper arm is exposed making sure the patient has privacy. This has never failed me and I have never left a tourniquet on a patient after I have started an IV.

    The next thing I do before I finish is always ask myself...Do I have the tourniquet/ Do I have any and all sharps I have used discarded properly? I do this without fail and this too has never let me down and I have never left any sharps in beds or on bedside tables.

    So the best thing to do is to learn from your mistake and figure out strategies so it does not happen again and odds are it will if you do not take remedial steps to prevent it.
  7. 0
    I hate making mistakes. i feel so bad about myself. made two last night and feel like an idiot. the patients should not be harmed but i wonder why i can't be more careful. EPIC charting system is not all that great in my mind. Too many places to look for the same thing. One of then I did not even see the doctors order that he wrote at 9pm. maybe i need to re-check all my orders in the middle of my shift?
  8. 8
    Quote from RN Chaos
    I had to give a new IV to my patient, but I couldn't get it, so I left.
    However I forgot to get the touniquet out from patient's arm, and I found it out 1 hour and 30 minutes later...


    He was a confused patient, so he couldn't communicate with me. Besides the tourinquet was white, so I probably forgot, because it was underneath the white bed linen and patient's gown.


    Anyways I got rid of the tourniquet as soon as I found it. His arm was natural normal color, positive capillary refill less than 3 seconds, able to move his arm and squeeze my hand, strong wrist pulse (THANK GOD!!!!!). Intern checked the patient with me, and he told me that the pt would be fine. I filed a incident report and made a nursing note about it.


    He was complaining of sore arm, and I felt extremly sorry and stupid and almost near to cry. I kinda still wanna cry but too tired and too angry with my self to cry. At least I found it during my shift and didn't leave him on tourniquet longer, and it seems like the patient is fine, but I just feel like I will injure my patients one day seriously and want to quit clinical nursing...
    You sound like an honest, compassionate, conscientious nurse. Everybody makes mistakes.
    Godivaa, MissM.RN, Orca, and 5 others like this.
  9. 11
    You poor dear.......Everyone makes mistakes. You have taken this information to heart. It is what you do with this information is what counts. I'll bet you'll never do it again........remember this moment to keep you from making this mistake again!

    When I am finished with the IV, sucessful or not, after I clean up all my trash and the last thing I do is run my hand on their arm just to be sure. As you gain expereince and you get your "routine" down pat....these kinds of "mistakes" will get less and less likely to happen. Nurses crave routine....... for in routine becomes habit...habits we use to keep us from making silly mistakes. That's why we hate change...it messes up with our routine and makes us vulnerable to mistakes.

    Allow your self to be forgiven.

    I wish you the best.
    TeflonNurse, KatrinaMabry, Orca, and 8 others like this.
  10. 2
    I guarantee you won't make this same mistake again. If you're anything like me, you will check, check, and re-check for that tourniquet.
    TJ'sMOM and redshott like this.
  11. 0
    Quote from proud nurse
    I guarantee you won't make this same mistake again. If you're anything like me, you will check, check, and re-check for that tourniquet.

    Let's hope not.


    OP, yes we all make mistakes, but, well, > an hour it was left on arm? It must have not been very tight--have to say you pretty much lucked out on that one.

    What helped me earlier on in my career is to rehearse in my head the process of what I will be doing from getting all that's needed and from start to finish. In nursing and healthcare, there's a lot of task oriented stuff that goes along with everything else--and then you get busy or slammed. I mean I get it. Just try to rehearse in your head a head of time.

    Nah. You probably will never do that again. Give thanks that the patient was alright and that you learned a lesson w/o having him have to have serious damage.


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