Quote from LPNewbie
I am a LPN at a assisted living facility and due to my 4th med error, I've been suspended. I have been trying with every fiber of my being to improve and none of my errors have been repeated.
We are very short staffed and a lot of our more seasoned staff are currently on vacation that it's just me and another new medtech and two new aids. When I'm done my med pass, I go out to help them, etc.
Well yesterday I had a fall and none one responded over the walkie. I put the meds down to get help and completely forgot about the meds. Plus later that evening another resident needed my assistance and the new aids also needed my help for care. Often times I feel like I am pulled in a million directi`ons.
I told my boss about this. I told his boss, and then I told corporate when they came. I need more help but yet I'm by myself. I totally own up to my mistakes and have made changes to do better but I still need help. I find out what happens on Monday as far as my job.
Has anyone else made errors like this? What should I expect of this? Thanks !
I'm so sorry this has happened to you. We all make med errors; every single one of us. However, it is concerning that this is your fourth med error.
While I would caution you against revealing too much information on a public forum such as this one, I'm wondering were the errors the same error over and over? Or did you work hard and figure out why you made the first one and how to do better but then made a DIFFERENT error? Is there anything you can attribute the errors to other than staffing?
I've made a couple of really big errors in my years as a nurse. One time I was changing IV bags and tubings as required by policy every 72 hours. The patient's wife was visiting, and we were chatting as I worked -- they were really nice, NICE people. I spiked heparin and labeled it Lidocaine (OK, this was a long time ago), programmed the pump as if it were lidocaine and hooked it up to the patient's Cordis. Then I spiked lidocaine and labelled it as heparin, programmed the pump, etc. In a couple of hours, the patient started having ventricular ectopy, so an order was given to increase the drip rate on the lidocaine. It didn't help, so we turned up the "lidocaine" again. By the end of my shift, the patient's urine was pink. Fortunately, the night shift nurse caught it right away, and called me. I was devastated. The next morning, I caught the nurse manager before she even got to her office and told her about the error immediately, apologized profusely, explained how serious I know the error could have been, how it happened and what I would do better next time. "Gee, Ruby," she said. "It's hard to beat you up over this one when you're doing such a good job of beating yourself up."
By contrast, a colleague of mine made the exact same error, but without the ventricular ectopy and the pink urine. She blew it off as "no big deal". She was put on a performance plan and because she never seemed to grasp what a big deal it WAS, was eventually fired.
I have no idea what is going to happen to you on Monday, but I suggest being very humble, being fully accountable and being able to explain how this error happened and your plan for ensuring that it never happens again. Good luck.