Fired for med error

  1. 1
    I was fired for my second med error in a 7 month time frame. I reported myself both times to my supervisor. I have been nursing for 12 years and these 2 times have been my only med errors in my career. I am devastated for making these 2 errors and now for having been fired. (I actually was given the option of being terminated or resigning, I resigned). My question is now that I will be looking for new employment what or how do I address why I left my last job, do I tell them about my med error. I think that would scare off any chances of being hired. I have never had any other disciplinary action brought against me, have never been fired from any job and am punctual, I don't call out and consider myself a team player. Any suggestions for how I should deal with applications and interviews is greatly appreciated.
    In case anyone is wondering. Both med errors did not result in any harm to patient, I know this does not excuse anything.
    Davey Do likes this.
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  3. 34 Comments so far...

  4. 7
    Yikes... This is a really crappy situation. I think that firing you was maybe a little extreme because you self-reported the medication errors. Errors happen, we are human. Since you have never had this problem before I would really be evaluating what is going on in your life that you are suddenly making medication errors...

    As far as future jobs... I would just be honest. state that you self reported the errors, give them the details if they ask. Personal accountability is EXTREMELY important. I have seen a lot of nurses who made minor med errors (wrong PO med to wrong patient in SNF, no adverse events) and never reported them... which is a HUGE no no. Hopefully future employers will see this as responsible. If not you can just leave this place off of your resume... that might be a little shady I think but its an option...
    pmabraham, phaniea69, LTCNS, and 4 others like this.
  5. 13
    Just be honest. When I got my job, one of the interview questions was to describe an error and how you reacted to it, what you did to fix it, and what did you learn. Everyone makes mistakes, learn from them and show future employers what you learned and focus on your excellent track record.

    Me think that they just needed to get rid of some staff....
    Last edit by cjdmomma on Jan 14 : Reason: Typo
    pmabraham, phaniea69, hikernurse, and 10 others like this.
  6. 13
    I think it all depends on the culture of any future places of employment. Where I work, med errors are always, always, always seen as opportunities for education and do not result in punitive actions. All your former facility has done is encourage future med errors to be covered up and/or lied about for fear of disciplinary actions, which will most certainly result in a patient being harmed at some point. All you can do in interviews is be honest about what happened. The rest is up to the interviewer.
    phaniea69, LTCNS, LithEruiel, and 10 others like this.
  7. 14
    Yeah. Wow. A little extreme to the very least, KJAKE.

    I've been terminated from Nursing jobs three times in my career, although the reasons didn't involve med errors.

    It was the old "one door doesn't close without another opening" scenerio for me. All three times, I found bettter jobs with higher pay.

    With the first job after being terminated, I said that I was "open for more work" at a Home Health Agency where I had been doing some part time work. Within 30 days, I became the Nursing Supervisor.

    The second time, I gave the reason for leaving as a "consensual agreement". I got the job as a Nursing Supervisor over Medical Services and the Methadone Clinic at a Community Mental Health facility.

    The third time after being terminated, I was tired of playing games and gave the reason as "I got fired". The Director, where I am presently employed, asked me at a Nursing Job Fair, "When can you come and work with us?"

    I've been working at the same job for 11 years and counting.

    Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of Warhols before you find your Rembrandt.

    So, you never know.

    Good luck to you, KJAKE.
    toomuchbaloney, ZPZGI, chelli73, and 11 others like this.
  8. 14
    Med errors, especially ones you reported, should be resolved in a non-punitive way. Otherwise, it stops nurses from reporting. I'm sorry, your facility is in the wrong. Find an employer that values integrity, I wish you luck!
    asianwicked, ZPZGI, phaniea69, and 11 others like this.
  9. 11
    As you were given the choice to resign, your reference from that position will just reflect date of hire/end of employment.

    Your reason for leaving is seeking new challenges.

    I've made med errors....each and every time it was because I was OVERWORKED. Self reporting is crazy stupid.. unless you anticipate harm to the patient. In which case of course , you must.

    Fellow readers of this thread:

    Please don't bother commenting on my opinion of self reporting. I won't change, and neither will the facilities that stretch me so thin, a mistake is GOING to happen.
    chelli73, Nola009, LithEruiel, and 8 others like this.
  10. 4
    When applying for a new job most applications will ask you for your reason for leaving your precious job or jobs and you should be honest about it. If you get called in for an interview and your asked why u left your last job just be honest about it and explain your situation to them. If you lie about it and are hired and your employer discovers,through the grapevine that you lied they can terminate you for lying on your application and interview, and that will just look terrible on your next application and Jon interview.......and,many places may view,you as an untrustworthy nurse........I had the same situation happen to me as well where I was terminated front job for a med error I had made..... When applying for jobs on the application I put I was terminated and wrote that I would explain in person why I was fired..many places wouldn't hire me but I finally found a place that did.....I feel good knowing I was honest.....just be honest about it...
    Davey Do, Janey496, KJAKE, and 1 other like this.
  11. 8
    Quote from Been there,done that
    As you were given the choice to resign, your reference from that position will just reflect date of hire/end of employment.

    Your reason for leaving is seeking new challenges.

    I've made med errors....each and every time it was because I was OVERWORKED. Self reporting is crazy stupid.. unless you anticipate harm to the patient. In which case of course , you must.

    Fellow readers of this thread:

    Please don't bother commenting on my opinion of self reporting. I won't change, and neither will the facilities that stretch me so thin, a mistake is GOING to happen.
    I self report for myself. Not for the pt. Not for the facility. I'd find it hard to live with anything less.
    My sister tells me I'm crazy stupid. If my facility fired for med errors, I might have to rethink my position. I'd find it REAL hard to live without a job.
    I admire your honesty.

    As to the OP, as someone else posted, I suspect there were other reasons for the termination. If every nurse who made a med error were fired, none of us would be working.
    Last edit by imintrouble on Jan 15
    Do-over, sallyrnrrt, Davey Do, and 5 others like this.
  12. 5
    Some facilities will fire you for less. I have never understood why an employer would want you to self report, and then would fire you. I understand if serious harm is done, or if it is a chronic issue, but this is just insane. I NEVER self report as our facility has the same policy. They even want you to report co-workers. It has become a watch your back environment. Facilities should want you to self report so that if there is a problem a solution can be found. I don't get the actions of some employers.
    canoehead, sallyrnrrt, Janey496, and 2 others like this.


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