Am i fully to blame for this or did my mentor act complacement.

  1. 0
    I would be so grateful for anyone who answers this, because making me very stressed.

    On my last placement in a childrens hospital, i made a medication error.

    The child takes two meds both of which are the same colour. However one of them is actually for oral thrush and is to be given into the mouth on a foam stick. The other is by NG tube.

    Now my mentor never bothered to tell me which one is which. In fact i didnt even know until i made the error, which i think is quite bad. Ive onyl ever seen the child have the ng tube medication, i didnt even know she had one which went in her mouth.


    Anyway, i was pushin the oral thursh medication down the ng tube and her mom looked up at me and said "hang on a minute, that doesnt go down her tube, its for her mouth"

    I stood there and said "oh no!, your got to be kidding me, im sorry i didnt even know what this stuff is, however its only for mouth thrush, it wont hurt her and it will just pass out of her, and she is due more later. I didnt tell my emtnor, i was frightened to death.

    My mentor found out and was questioning me, i said im sorry i should have told you, but i was frightened, i dont want to be chucked off the course.

    I now realise i must get over my fears and tell my mentor no matter what. I have learnt from what happened, and next time im only giving meds in the presence of another nurse.

    But do you think my mentor is to blame in some respect???????
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  3. 93 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I did pass my placement, but at the time i felt confident enough to give those medications. Because my mentor never ever bothered to explain i didnt realise i was making an error.

    But i suppose i should have told my mentor, instead i was very frightened and scared. I was put on an action plan in my first year for something else and that scared me, so i didnt want to go through that again.

    What if my mentor tells uni what happened, would they have something to say to my mentor and tell him that it was half his fault too. I feel that he let me down in a way.
  5. 16
    Anytime you administer a medication you alone are responsible for knowing the med, understanding what it is and how it is to be given, and checking the 5 rights. No, the mentor is not to blame.

    That said, humans make mistakes and none of us is perfect. Learn from it and be thankful that no harm came to the patient (because a med error with a wrong route can have disasterous consequences).
    symphie, brillohead, caliotter3, and 13 others like this.
  6. 12
    I don't understand why you would give a med without knowing what it was for. If you are allowed to pass meds alone, then it is entirely your fault that this occured. Even if your instructor was present it does not excuse the fact that you did not know what the med was.

    Also, how did you know this med wasn't harmful when given the wrong way, especially if you did not tell your instructor? Imagine how the mother felt when you admitted you didn't know what you were giving to her child. It's a hard lesson, I'm sorry this happened.
    Btdthat08, brillohead, fiveofpeep, and 9 others like this.
  7. 0
    The medicine was yellow, now i know the child has a yellow medication that is given via ng tube so i assumed it was that medicine, so that why i pushed it through the ng tube.

    Now if it wasnt the same colour, i would have queried it.

    As i have seen my mentor pushing a yellow medcine into the tube, i assumed it was the same yellow medication that is used to treat constipation but it was something else. The second yellow medicine was for oral thursh and i didnt realise.
  8. 28
    I seriously question your judgment if you identified a medication by color alone. Did you not even look at the label? Correct med administration is first semester stuff. If you were in the program I graduated from, you'd be out.
    brillohead, caliotter3, fiveofpeep, and 25 others like this.
  9. 0
    I know the medicine isnt harmful, the child has a very teeny tiny amount in a syringe, so i knew it would not harm her, if anything it would contain a mild antiseptic, as she has it in her mouth, she is going to swallow it so it will be absorbed in her mouth when she digests it, and it will pass into her system.

    As i say it was a small amount which is put on a foam stick and brushed round her mouth. To e honest i should have noticed by the quantity but didnt.
  10. 0
    I knew what the medicine was but i thought it was administered by ng tube.
  11. 0
    Like i said, i had a discussion about it with my mentor, he asked why i didnt say anything and i explained the i was worried about what happened. He said that he wouldnt have shouted at me. He said that in future, i should really wait for the mentor to be present when administering the medications.
  12. 16
    I agree that anyone can make a med error, it happens to the best of us. However, the process for handling a med error is to assume full responsibility for it, figure out how it happened, what the thinking was that caused it to happen and then use that as a learning tool not to make a med error again.

    It is your responsibility to know your meds. To know what med you are giving, what it is for, and how it needs to be administered. You will find that there are many meds that look alike, or sound alike, or the same med that comes in different doses, or the same med given by different routes.

    Before you give that med you have to be very, very clear about what you are giving.

    So. In answer to your question. Yes. You are fully responsible for this.

    Also, a med for oral thrush is given by mouth so that it is absorbed into the membranes of mouth. It does not act by being given into the stomach.


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