I am suspended

  1. 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 directions.

    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 !
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    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.
  4. by   LPNewbie
    Thank you for your reply. None of my mistakes were repeats. I appreciate you telling your story and it makes me feel better. I keep wondering if my license is gonna be taken away

    Every mistake I've made, I've worked not repeat and I'm constantly improving. I have become a much better nurse then when I started but obviously I have more to grow...
  5. by   LPNewbie
    Thank you for your reply. None of my mistakes were repeats. I appreciate you telling your story and it makes me feel better. I keep wondering if my license is gonna be taken away

    Every mistake I've made, I've worked not repeat and I'm constantly improving. I have become a much better nurse then when I started but obviously I have more to grow...
  6. by   BSNbeDONE
    Fourth error in what kind of timeframe? What type of errors were these? Were there significant impacts on residents as a result of these errors? Did these errors result in additional costs to the resident and/or facility?

    I don't expect you to answer these questions here, of course. But I sure as heck would have a well-rehearsed speech incorporating a sincere understanding of the impact, (potential or actual), to the answers to each one of those. As Ruby Vee stated, be prepared to explain how this happened, without inferring that the employer is a money-grubbing cheapskate who hires limited, inexperienced employees in efforts to fatten their bottom line by pocketing the majority of the funds received by the residents.

    Sorry, as a nurse surveyor, I've seen this minimum, skeleton-crew, barely-functional operation quite a few times. So, I digress. The system failed at your facility. You must find a way to humbly convey that point without pointing all 10 fingers at management. With four errors though, I'd be surprised if you kept your job...not because you're a terrible nurse (I'm not implying that at all). But if anything has happened that mandated that the facility report any one or all of those errors to your state agency, for some reason, self-reports and terminations go hand-in-hand as a way of 'fixing' the problem, which it rarely does.

    If you've ever had the gift of gab, Monday would be an excellent opportunity to use it./Also, try to devise and present to management a plan that would correct this and prevent future occurrences. Show them a proactive approach to addressing the incidents that have occurred. You will definitely capture their attention. Good luck to you and I wish you the very best of listening ears in your meeting!
  7. by   Nurselily101
    I would apologize to the manager and have a plan of action to never do it again.

    How long are you suspended for?
  8. by   KIMMIEKAY11868
    I like the idea of coming up and presenting a solution. You do need to question is are you really paying attention or getting to stressed to think. You have to be vigilant to help these people. A friend of mind's. Mother was just given coumarin for several days in error and is now in the hospital fighting for her life. Please think about if you do this when overly tired, high stress times, overly busy? Is your mind on other things or just frazzled? If you think back to the times and can see what is going on with you at that time it may help prevent it again. Double and triple check the right med, dose, route, and patient and get into this every single time as if your life depended on it. Hope you improve and this does nothing but make you a better nurse.

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