So I'm new to this site and trying to let go of my first med error that happened about a year ago. Spoiler alert: I was suspended then terminated.
My heart still drops and i've only been able to admit it to two people since it happened (other then my place of work of course).
SOOO... I had been working for almost six months, my first nursing job out of LVN school. I was part time at a care home for the disabled (about an hour and a half away from my home). For around 5 months I cared for the same patients, due to a massive shortage in nurses I was sent to a different location where 2 nurses cared for 4 different houses driving distance away from each other.
At about 3 weeks into my time at the new location I was assigned to the second half of the houses/patients the majority of them G-tubes and severely disabled (no verbal communication skills)... And The first night with the new clients I passed all meds from AM until HS at this house. At the HS pass I had my med error. I some how lost my train of thought, prepared medication for one client then proceeded to administer it via g-tube to the wrong client. I noticed my mistake while flushing the medication. Had a small heart attack tried to withdraw what i could of the medication, then followed protocol(vitals notifying everyone) including accompanying the patient to the ER. Where I had to describe what happened to the EMS that arrived at the home to transport the client, the fire fighters, the ER physicians and nurses all while trying to hold back tears, thinking how terrible this could be for the patient (luckily the patient had no reactions no changes but all i could (and still do) think about are the "what if's"). I was suspended that night and drove the hour and a half back home sobbing. I received my letter of termination about a month later.
I feel/felt so inadequate as a nurse. I haven't really looked for work since the incident. I mean even if I did get an interview how would I explain that I was fired for a med error? I read some posts about first med errors but I didn't see any that resulted in termination. And i feel so bad because i was so confident I felt i was really helping people being a good nurse and patient advocate, until then I had no mistakes, great patient care, complements on my work, and I graduated second in my class. I enjoyed my job so much even when i had to wake up at 4 am to get there. When I was terminated by the company via letter and informed my original location manager, she offered to write me a letter of recommendation, which i haven't used because i'm still question my ability to be a nurse. I know I made a very bad mistake and luckily the patient had no effects from the medication they received in error... but I don't know how to come back from this?
Can completely blanking and in 10 feet, getting mixed up and giving it to the wrong patient happen to anyone? Should I be a nurse? Am I over dramatic? Did I receive really harsh treatment from that company? I blame myself and think of all the things I could have done to prevent it. I think my first mistake was to be better rested. Since I was waking up at 4:30am to drive there then work until 10pm, Drive home(an hour and a half away) then wake up again at 4:30am. But I was so excited to have work and since it was so hard to find work out of nursing school
and though the facility was well i will say less then well managed, the clients were so amazing to be around and have the opportunity to work with. I could have asked the company if clients could temporarily wear ID's while basically everyone was new since they had to suspend/terminate all of the previous nurses and CNA's due to a prior situation at the facility. (Another reason i think was automatically fired the company was dealing with a lot at the time. "we don't need ANY more mistakes" maybe would i have been fired at any facility for this type of mistake?)
Uhg so many thoughts I really loved being a nurse and I have been occupying my self by distracting myself in full time schooling for a Bachelors degree (my excuse so I don't have to tell anyone why I am really not working as and LVN). But I am about 9 classes away from being able to transfer to an RN program and I'm just wondering: should I even try? Should I give up? Will anyone in an interview understand how terrible I feel about my mistake? Will I always be a bad nurse? what should could can i do about this black mark on my record?
Honest feedback appreciated, but it also feels great to let it off my chest.
Ps. Excuse the grammatical errors, which I assume there are many of, but I just wanted to pour my heart not write an essay. =/