Dropped pills

  1. 1 So last night when I was giving my patient her meds in the med cup of course, she dropped them on the floor. It was her synthroid and oxycodone. I told her I would get new pills for her but she insisted on taking them and even got down on her hands and knees to find the two pills. She ended up taking the dropped ones even after I said a few times il throw these ones away and get new ones. Now I'm just beating myself up over it for the fact that I don't know if I should have filled out an incident report or not. I asked another nurse I worked with and she told me not to worry about it, it's okay. Technically, it was all the patient but why am I beating myself up over a dropped and taken pill? Any suggestions on when this happens to you?! (If ever) :/
  2. Visit  mandaaRN profile page

    About mandaaRN

    From 'New Jersey'; Joined Nov '11; Posts: 27; Likes: 4.

    47 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  MJB2010 profile page
    3
    I would probably have documented exactly what happened just to cya, but I am sure you will probably not hear about it again. Gross! Hospital floors are icky!
    Crux1024, KbmRN, and mandaaRN like this.
  4. Visit  Asystole RN profile page
    1
    I would not have filled out an incident report but I would have definitely documented it somewhere.
    tewdles likes this.
  5. Visit  Anna Flaxis profile page
    9
    I wouldn't worry too much about it! The patient took it upon herself to pick up the pills off the floor and ingest them. There is no appropriate place in the medical record to document this. I wouldn't fill out an incident report, either.
    cienurse, NyteshiftLVN, Miss Lizzie, and 6 others like this.
  6. Visit  mandaaRN profile page
    0
    Or document it? Although I didn't. But for future reference, god for bid it happened again
  7. Visit  Anna Flaxis profile page
    15
    Why would you document it? How is it pertinent to the patient's nursing diagnosis, plan of care, or response to treatment?

    I suppose if the patient was admitted for a spinal cord injury and was suddenly able to get out of bed and retrieve dropped pills off the floor, it would be significant. If the patient had been obtunded all day and was suddenly alert enough to climb out of bed and pick some pills up off the floor, then it would be significant.

    If there was no significant change in the patient's status, why would this be pertinent information to document in the medical record?
    cienurse, PixieButtercup, mystory, and 12 others like this.
  8. Visit  kiszi profile page
    12
    Random comment: I recall a Microbiology class where we took swabs of various surfaces, and the floor actually had a low rate of microbe growth in comparison to, say, faucet handles... or people's hands.

    When I worked LTC years ago I had an occasional pt insist on taking pills that were dropped. If it didn't bother them, didn't bother me.
    sckimrn, NyteshiftLVN, Devochka, and 9 others like this.
  9. Visit  hiddencatRN profile page
    3
    Quote from ~*Stargazer*~
    Why would you document it? How is it pertinent to the patient's nursing diagnosis, plan of care, or response to treatment?

    I suppose if the patient was admitted for a spinal cord injury and was suddenly able to get out of bed and retrieve dropped pills off the floor, it would be significant. If the patient had been obtunded all day and was suddenly alert enough to climb out of bed and pick some pills up off the floor, then it would be significant.

    If there was no significant change in the patient's status, why would this be pertinent information to document in the medical record?
    If the patient later complains that the nurse made her take pills off the floor or develops mouth MRSA or starts doing other bat poo crazy things, I'd sure be glad to have documented something.
  10. Visit  Anna Flaxis profile page
    16
    The patient can complain that the nurse made her lick the doorknob or some equally silly thing. Should the nurse document in order to prevent every potential complaint? The answer is no. That is not the purpose of the patient care record.

    The mouth is not a common site for MRSA infection, due to the mouth's own defenses. Sure, it's possible but not highly likely. If the person did develop a MRSA infection in her mouth at some later date, there is no way to know whether it was caused by taking those pills or drinking from a contaminated faucet, or touching her friend's oozing pustule and then sticking her finger in her mouth, or any other cause. The cause would not change the course of treatment anyway.

    If the patient starts behaving erratically, then it would be worth documenting. But an alert and oriented person choosing to take pills that have been dropped on the floor is not really "crazy". People drop pills on the floor all the time at home and still take them. That doesn't make them mentally ill.

    You're free to document whatever you like, but I don't think it was necessary in this case.
    sckimrn, NyteshiftLVN, Miss Lizzie, and 13 others like this.
  11. Visit  1pinknurse profile page
    0
    I wouldn't have documented it & as Stargazer has said, where would you document such an event? It has happened several times at my psych facility & it has never been a big deal. I usually pick up the dropped meds or the patient does then I wipe them off before he/she takes them. I think once did a patient demand a new pill and I gave them a new pill. I really don't see a need to document this.
  12. Visit  Susie2310 profile page
    2
    Quote from ~*Stargazer*~
    The patient can complain that the nurse made her lick the doorknob or some equally silly thing. Should the nurse document in order to prevent every potential complaint? The answer is no. That is not the purpose of the patient care record.

    The mouth is not a common site for MRSA infection, due to the mouth's own defenses. Sure, it's possible but not highly likely. If the person did develop a MRSA infection in her mouth at some later date, there is no way to know whether it was caused by taking those pills or drinking from a contaminated faucet, or touching her friend's oozing pustule and then sticking her finger in her mouth, or any other cause. The cause would not change the course of treatment anyway.

    If the patient starts behaving erratically, then it would be worth documenting. But an alert and oriented person choosing to take pills that have been dropped on the floor is not really "crazy". People drop pills on the floor all the time at home and still take them. That doesn't make them mentally ill.

    You're free to document whatever you like, but I don't think it was necessary in this case.
    You have a good sense of humor Stargazer - I am still laughing after reading this post and your previous one.
    joanna73 and wooh like this.
  13. Visit  hiddencatRN profile page
    4
    Quote from 1pinknurse
    I wouldn't have documented it & as Stargazer has said, where would you document such an event?
    We have a place to chart narratives everywhere I've worked. "Patient updated on plan of care, given meal tray, ate pills off floor at own insistence. Family at bedside."
    Sparrowhawk, tewdles, NutmeggeRN, and 1 other like this.
  14. Visit  redhead_NURSE98! profile page
    8
    I have a nurse who documents whether the television was on or off and for how many hours of the day, and what channel the television was on....so I suppose if you want to write a note that your patient ate pills off the floor, have at it! lol
    Sparrowhawk, Miss Lizzie, nursel56, and 5 others like this.

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