I have been a psych nurse for some time, but was in a paperwork job for 3 years, and out with babies for 5 years before that.
I recently was hired by a psych hospital. Last week was my first week, after orientation. The floor I was put on had 35 patients, two RN's and 3 tech's. We had many very acute, some suicidal, and several elopement risks. On an average evening shift: we got on different days: 3 admissions to 7 admissions. Dr's were rounding past 5pm, and there were new orders on at least 10-12 charts (unflagged).
All that to say: There was a narcotics count error. Two RN's using the cart, but other RN has been at hospital a good while. TWO narcotics missing. Absolutely insane! And there was not accounting for it! I do know, at HS on that floor, we hand out Ativan, Ambien, and Klonipin like it is candy to 90percent of the patients (per orders). I think somehow there was a med error, (wrong drug given to a patient) but we could not find it. We both stayed 2 hours with the shift supervisor, looking for the errors. None could be found.
I wrote up an incident report, we notified all the people who needed to know. In hind site: I should have asked for a urine drug screen, we do them routinely there on patients....but I was too tired (1am) and too scared to think of that.
In giving meds, because they have an old fashioned system of giving and charting meds, and signing them out. (no pixus)....I find myself very nervous, and checking, and double checking and triple checking. So I really do not see how I could make that error, except for true nervousness.
I called the shift supervisor today, and said I wanted to address it straight on, and what was the protocol for what would happen next. She said there is no protocol (yet) new hospital, but that the DON is looking at it. I said I had some suggestions on ways to improve their narcotic holding and signing out (even without a Pixus). She laughed and said that no, they were going for the big guns like a camera in the med room. I said Great!
But I now am sitting at home, worried to death....I don't work until 2 days from now, and have been sick about it now for 2 days. What to do.? Anyone been there? I have NEVER had this happen before, and No, I did not take the two missing narcotics. I did notice that they are very lax about propping the med room door open, and leaving the keys in the top drawer. So what to do? I really do not know!!!!
Please advise! I am paralyzed with fear about what might happen to me. (once they decide). Or put a blemish on my license.
I hope what you are going through is "okay" now.
I am a Traveler/Agency nurse for the past 6 years. I usually don't make clinical mistakes. First time I had a bad orientation with no computer orientation. So I winged it. Complained to my agency about it that due to their lack of computer orientation I could make a clinical error. Now there are 4 narcotics missing that they say I documented as "not given". Huh? Not sure if they are all four, just one, maybe three, who knows? My agency isn't giving me any documentation details as to which narcotics; just that I must of made some documentation error and oh that the BON and DEA will investigate. I called the BON myself to see what will happen to me because, of course I have to leave the housing within 48 hours and I was worried how will the police find me if we are homeless. (I travel with my family) They explained it could take months or years. That was kind of strange to me because, I have heard stories of nurses getting arrested in their home. Correct me if I am wrong here. Honestly, I have no idea what I did and of course it is an awful feeling when you make a mistake, and when you get accused for something you didn't do. Honestly, if I had money after I didn't get the training I would of left right away. It really would of avoided this error. Goodness sometimes I miss paper charting. So of course I am getting an Attorney, taking my drug test for the agency, and I am going to my own physician too for my own record. Man, I don't even feel like being a nurse right now. Some of the stories of jail time scare me. I didn't become a nurse to go to jail.
It also is great timing I didn't renew my insurance because I was in between assignments, broke, and what have you. Get that insurance by any means possible. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
Last edit by dance4life on Oct 2, '13