4 med errors in one shift... Feeling terrible

  1. 0 today the nursing supervisor wrote me up for 4 med errors i made in one shift. i feel incompetent, stupid, and sad at the same time. i don't believe the errors were life threatening but still nervous that it may cost me my job and possibly my lic. i'm distraught.

    here were my errors:
    1. i transcribed an order incorrectly
    2. i gave a prn med too early.
    3. i was accused of giving a pain med too early ( not sure this is founded as i remember having to explain to my patient that i could not give the med until the exact time it is due).
    4. same patient as # 3. the patient had a new order to decrease pain med dosage. i noted the order but then gave her the dose that was previously ordered.

    all four mistakes could have been avoided if i just would have taken my time and paid closer attention. now i'm faced with a write up and possibly loosing my job and even worse consequences. sometimes i feel like a great nurse who is competent and compassionate. then there are days like today where i question my ability to be a nurse. i pray that nothing went wrong with the patients and secondly that i still have my career.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Feb 22, '12
  2. Visit  NurseLoveJoy88 profile page

    About NurseLoveJoy88

    NurseLoveJoy88 has '6' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'ltc'. From 'nowhere'; Joined Jul '08; Posts: 4,125; Likes: 3,962.

    26 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  sophie<3 profile page
    2
    I am sorry to hear that you had a bad day...everyone has off days! try to remember to always be tedious with medication. I know people get rushed but always take the time to do the 5 rights and double check everything to save your own butt and to keep your patients safe. and remember, you are not the first person to ever make a med error!
    Gold_SJ and NurseLoveJoy88 like this.
  4. Visit  Meriwhen profile page
    20
    This isn't the first time you've written about your struggles at working various jobs. So I say this with all kindness: the pattern I'm seeing with you is that you have something going that needs to get straightened out--or at least start addressing it--before you should continue your career.

    I don't know what it could be--only you may know. Perhaps nursing isn't really the career you want. Perhaps you're still in quite the reality shock after graduation. Perhaps you have anxiety/ADHD/other psych issues that need attention. Perhaps you're unhappy/stressed about something and it's carrying over into your work. Whatever it is, something is up with you that is causing you to struggle so much.

    As I've told you before, I think you need to have an honest talk with yourself about you and your career. I would also suggest you talk to a professional (therapist, career counselor, etc.) about how you are feeling and how it's affecting your work. And if you unearth a physical/psych issue behind this, please seek treatment...because until you do, it's going to keep plaguing you and your performance at work, setting you up for future heartbreak.

    Best of luck whatever you decide.
    Gold_SJ, Seas, mrr5745, and 17 others like this.
  5. Visit  NurseLoveJoy88 profile page
    1
    Quote from Meriwhen
    This isn't the first time you've written about your struggles at working various jobs. So I say this with all kindness: the pattern I'm seeing with you is that you have something going that needs to get straightened out before you should continue nursing.

    I don't know what it could be--only you may know. Perhaps this isn't really the career you want. Perhaps you're still in quite the reality shock. Perhaps you have anxiety/ADHD/other psych issues that need attention. Perhaps you're unhappy/stressed about something and it's carrying over into your work. Something is up that is causing you to struggle so much.

    As I've told you before, I think you need to have an honest talk with yourself about you and your career. I would also suggest you talk to a professional (therapist, career counselor, etc.) about how you are feeling. And if you unearth a physical/psych issue behind this, please seek treatment...as until you do, it's going to keep plaguing you and your performance at work.

    Best of luck whatever you decide.
    Maybe it is just me. Its not that nursing is a "dream". At one point I was okay at it. I do suffer from anxiety and have been very unstable at work the past year or so. Perhaps I will see a career counselor. Nursing is definitely the career I want. I'm not sure where to go from here.
    katherine100 likes this.
  6. Visit  Meriwhen profile page
    3
    As far as the med errors...they happen even to the best nurses. Learn from them, but don't beat yourself up over them. It's important to remember to slow down when giving meds, no matter who (patient, family, doctor) is on your case. Of course, the rules are different in a code, but for the other 97% of the time, don't let yourself be rushed by anyone...not even yourself.

    From what you wrote, I doubt errors 2-4 resulted in patient harm. I don't know what the med in error 1 was.
    Gold_SJ, Temeika, and fiveofpeep like this.
  7. Visit  NurseLoveJoy88 profile page
    0
    Quote from sophie<3
    I am sorry to hear that you had a bad day...everyone has off days! try to remember to always be tedious with medication. I know people get rushed but always take the time to do the 5 rights and double check everything to save your own butt and to keep your patients safe. and remember, you are not the first person to ever make a med error!
    Thanks. I know I'm not the first to make a med error, but four in one shift is too much! I feel stuck.
  8. Visit  Meriwhen profile page
    0
    Quote from NurseLoveJoy88
    Maybe it is just me. Its not that nursing is a "dream". At one point I was okay at it. I do suffer from anxiety and have been very unstable at work the past year or so. Perhaps I will see a career counselor. Nursing is definitely the career I want. I'm not sure where to go from here.
    If you do suffer from anxiety, call your psych doctor and/or therapist (if you do not have one, get one) ASAP and schedule an appointment to address it. And the career counselor couldn't hurt. I just think you need to take some time to really focus--with help, of course--on what's going on with you.

    ETA: You don't have to necessarily stop working while you explore and treat what's going on...but definitely get started on treatment/counseling.
  9. Visit  NurseLoveJoy88 profile page
    0
    I feel really bad. The supervisor said the DON may speak to me about it. Will keep you all posted. Lord knows I really need my job. Everyone needs a job.
  10. Visit  rn/writer profile page
    5
    Might want to check into the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) where you work. If/when you talk to the DON, you can show that you're taking this seriously and are being proactive about finding solutions and getting help. And the EAP counseling might actually help you figure this out and come up with a strategy.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Feb 22, '12
    Gold_SJ, Lovely_RN, GrnTea, and 2 others like this.
  11. Visit  NurseLoveJoy88 profile page
    0
    Quote from rn/writer
    Might want to check into the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) where you work. If/when you talk to the DON, you can show that you're taking this seriously and are being proactive about finding solutions and getting help. And the EAP counseling might actually help you figure this out and come up with a strategy.
    Thank you, all of you. I will definitely look into the EAP to seek career counseling. I know why the errors were made. I was behind in my work and I was rushing. I also loose focus when I have docs, patients, aides, and other people asking interrupting me while I'm pulling meds and transcribing. I pray it gets better.
  12. Visit  twinjeep97 profile page
    2
    Not sure what type of area you work in or your client load but I believe that this is bound to happen to anyone/everyone. Facilities expect no errors even with a client load of 10+. This just doesn't make sense. As a current nursing student I just feel that staffing levels are just unsafe. This is with the 10 hospitals I have been to. While hospitals are making cuts to save money they do not take in consideration hours worked, rest periods, stress, or outside issues. If staffing issues were competent then I guarantee errors would not occur. Magnet status or not, there must be over-sufficient staff. This is life and death, you would think state's would take this more seriously. Seriously being staff numbers, not by JCAHO coming in and pointing out minute errors. Hospitals like any other business pushes employees to the breaking point thus creating inevitable opportunity for errors. What do they expect? Wouldn't it be nice if employers/managers/supervisors/officials would actually take the time to explore the floor and ask staff about their mental/cognitive stress level? There needs to be a better system, period.
    Gold_SJ and Psychtrish39 like this.
  13. Visit  pinkfluffybunny profile page
    2
    Possibly try home health its a 1:1 situation.
    Psychtrish39 and fiveofpeep like this.
  14. Visit  nursemarion profile page
    1
    I know I used to dream about this sort of thing. I was always terrified of med errors. I will say that in LTC it is impossible to be on time when you have so many patients on so many meds. When I worked in the hospital it was usually a matter of things being late because of interruptions/emergencies. They gave us 1/2hr before or after the due time to help, but PRNs have to be in the correct time span.

    I feel for you and I can see how this could happen on a bad shift. Many times nurses cover up their mistakes unless they endanger the patient. Research has shown this. When you are so overloaded all the time it is hard not to. If everyone reported every little technical med error it would be a nightmare.

    These sound like errors from rushing, carelessness. For whatever reason. I hope the DON is understanding with you. Hopefully they will put you on some sort of remediation program. Maybe you do need to reconsider your area though. Some people are better at certain things like juggling med schedules.

    Best of luck.
    Psychtrish39 likes this.


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