i was circulating today.
i honestly forgot to do a final count in a vaginal hysterectomy case.
the scrub nurse, who did not call my attention to do a last count, i assume forgotten it or just did not care at all.
i am stressed at home right now and there is nothing i can do.
although the 1st count with full instrument count was done, i still feel uneasy and i feel so irresponsible today.
im only 6 months in the OR and i am scared of law suits! the scrub nurse was a senior nurse, she should know better. it is a team work though... sigh*
Dec 29, '12
nar-es, everyone makes mistakes. Your character and professionalism is not measured on the mistakes you make, but how you handle your mistakes. If you have not done so already you need to report this immediately to your supervisor or charge nurse on duty. Go in to work if necessary and complete the incident report as fully as you are able to. Disclose everything without attributing blame (although you are correct in saying that counts are team-work, ultimately it is your responsibility to make sure it is done). Presumably this lady is still in the hospital on a post-surgical unit and the facility will likely want to x-ray her before she is discharged to make sure that there are no retained objects.
Although it is possible that you may face some kind of disciplinary action over this, along with the other team members, you know this is the only correct thing to do. BTW, there is less chance of a law suit if you do the right thing with this matter than will be the case if you just pretend it didn't happen and pray that she doesn't have anything left inside of her that will cause problems later.
I hope things turn out well for you but you really do have to step up at this time and do the right thing for the patient regardless of the consequences you might face.
Jan 4, '13
I second everything TakeTwoAspirin said. Everybody makes mistakes, it really is how you handle it. Write an incident report, tell your manager, and see if there's a way that she can get an xray before she leaves. It would be frowned upon to keep this to yourself and not try to fix it, but if you step up and take responsibility, I don't think anybody will be too incredibly upset.
Jan 5, '13
I agree with the previous post. It is early in your career in the OR and it is human to make mistakes. Consider this a lesson learned and pray for a safe patient outcome. The way you handle this situation will shape your surgical conscious. We have all made mistakes before and your surgical conscious is what makes you a good operating room nurse. You will have piece in your mind that you did the right thing and others will respect you.
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