failing to report a med error has been a common response due to fear of losing your job. isn't that a form of cover up?
the Institute for Safe Medication Practice (ISMP) (www.ismp.org
), along with many government agencies and private groups recognize this as a problem b/c of the punitive culture that pervades the healthcare setting.
a "Culture of Safety" is being promoted to help identify SYSTEM problems that cause or contribute to med errors. this culture does not call for punitive action -- but rather an honest disclosure of the facts that lead up to the error -- in order to determine the root cause.
not ALL of us work in a "Culture of Safety" environment. i don't conddone coverup -- and this nurse went several steps in that direction -- but who knows what kind of culture she practiced in? and, in the end, maybe she was trying to save her job, perhaps her family, and her reputation.
it was also noted that she was particularly concerned re: the patient's pain. could she have been a well-seasoned conscientious nurse who knew that the PCP would back her on giving that analgesic? were there any SAFETY CHECKS in the SYSTEM that would have prevented the nurse from giving a second dose? i really would like to know her side of it.
many of us work in an adversarial, punitive, toxic, and short-handed setting. there but for the grace of God go we -- it is particularly difficult now with over zealous district attorneys looking for a high profile case that will further their political ambitions. look what happened at Duke University, and to nurses around the USA. i hope that i would never cover it up -- but i also hope to God that a med error would never bring harm to a patient.