My First Medication Error

  1. 0
    Hey everyone, I'm new to this site and I just wanted to share with you my first medication error that I made tonight.
    Tonight, I had seven patients and had begun working on the 2000 medications. I became distracted with patient number 1 and once I got out of that patients room, I began working on the medications for patient number 2. For some reason I mixed the two patients up and I gave patient number 1's heparin to patient number 2. 5000units subcut. I feel absolutely horrible!!! The patient was informed, as was the doctor and charge nurse. I was told that its going to be okay, and all that will have to be done is some PTT bloodwork. I'm feeling so incompetent and useless. I cried for a whole hour at work tonight before I could face my co-workers. Some comforting words would be appreciated...

    Thank you for letting me vent.
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  3. 21 Comments so far...

  4. 4
    It will be ok-it happens. Happened to me too. This is probably a good time to examine your med-pass and figure out a system to prevent it from happening. Dont blame only yourself. Perhaps your facility needs to put computer med scanning in place. There are many players in med errors.
    ARTPOPIST, martinalpn, tsalagicara, and 1 other like this.
  5. 1
    I agree, it's amazing how quickly an error happens and your heart just sinks. I hope that everything is okay with my patient right now...I hope I can get some sleep before tonight...
    martinalpn likes this.
  6. 3
    You had best try to relax and get that needed sleep because you will be vulnerable to more errors if you are not at your reasonable best. Mistakes happen. At least you weren't immediately fired like happens to some, but it is in your record, so now you have to be very, very aware. Try relaxation exercises while you pass meds and gather yourself when distracted. It may take more time, but better to do things slowly than to rush into another mistake. Best wishes.
    martinalpn, AlynnSN, and marina2010 like this.
  7. 2
    No one is perfect & it happens to everybody. The important thing is that you learn from it and do not repeat it. Look at what contributed to it & make sure you modify whatever you need to in the future.

    And give yourself a break. Everyone screws up and most will be understanding and supportive cause they have been there, done that. Nobody understands like a fellow nurse the pressures & distractions that you labor under.

    Hugs,
    Kim
    momof2guys and martinalpn like this.
  8. 1
    [color=pink]dear sabrina,
    [color=pink]
    [color=pink]i can understand how heartbreaking it is to make such a mistake but we,nurses, know how hard it is to work under pressure and to have loads of ptes to med-pass...
    [color=pink]first and foremost, forgive urself to have done so....only by forgiving urself , uŽll have peace of mind...and as said b4...now uŽll be, definitely, more careful and alert when passing meds...
    [color=pink]
    [color=pink]god blees ya
    martinalpn likes this.
  9. 17
    Consider yourself among the Elite. REAL Nurses like yourself put the patients safety at a top priority. Instead of trying to cover up your mistake or ignore it you actually cared about someone's health above your job. Every nurse makes mistakes, but the BEST Nurses will learn from them, and share them to help other nurses. I give you an A+ . You have PASSED the True Nurse Test!
    Now, Let it go and GO Forward. LindaPH2010
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Aug 7, '10 : Reason: TOS, pm to member
    jreynrn, martinalpn, Hygiene Queen, and 14 others like this.
  10. 6
    Quote from nursenathalie
    [color=pink]dear sabrina,

    [color=pink]i can understand how heartbreaking it is to make such a mistake but we,nurses, know how hard it is to work under pressure and to have loads of ptes to med-pass...
    [color=pink]first and foremost, forgive urself to have done so....only by forgiving urself , uŽll have peace of mind...and as said b4...now uŽll be, definitely, more careful and alert when passing meds...

    [color=pink]god blees ya

    utilizing the color pink when typing a comment is difficult to read, imo. what you typed may be very valuable to someone on this site, but for me, if i have difficulty reading it from the get go, then i will skip to the next comment.
    tokmom, Sparrowhawk, Cilantrophobe, and 3 others like this.
  11. 4
    Oh my goodness, sweetheart, I know how crestfallen you must be. Medication errors happen. The fact that you are torn up about it means that you care about your patient, you care about your accountability, and you want to reach out to get more info on how to derail this problem. First of all, I think that I speak for most of the nurses on this forum when I say that you are not alone. Second, I feel confident when I say that you will be more aware the next time you do meds. You alone are your own worst critic, and you have obviously felt the weight of this error and will no doubt learn from it, and be able to use this experience to teach others the importance of medication administration. Now you must go about your duties aware and vigilant of medications and hold your head high, honey. You won't repeat this mistake. You are a good nurse for feeling such devastation for this error, and that alone tells me that you are ready and willing to be spot-on the next time you are on shift. You have done everything that you should have done in light of this mistake. Kudos to you for acknowledging the mistake and taking the steps to rectify the mistake. The most important thing you can do now is to forgive YOURSELF.
    Last edit by canesdukegirl on Jul 28, '10 : Reason: misspell
    martinalpn, tokmom, jxRN, and 1 other like this.
  12. 1
    we are humans, and we make mistakes. don't tear yourself up over it. i've known couple nurses who make mistakes, and some does not even want to owe up to it-- even after being confronted. By the end of the day, no one is really hurt, and it tested your morale. it'll make you become more vigilant.
    martinalpn likes this.


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