Jump to content

Biggest mistake you've made in clinical

Posted

What is the biggest mistake you (not a classmate or a rumor) have made in clinical?

I think it was the second or third week of this past clinical rotation (med-surg 1). I had a very confused patient who was extremely concerned with her medications. When they were coming, what they were. Asking repeated questions. I was super glad to know my meds really well! Anyway, I gave her a heparin shot and all her pills, then put on a Nitroglycerin patch, initialing each one as I went along. Then I opened up the Milk of Magnesia concentrate gave it to her and left the room. Didn't initial it, gave the MAR back to the staff RN. When my CI and I were doing our final check, we saw that I hadn't initialed and asked the RN if she gave it-- she did. So we had to fill out an incident report and all. I felt so stupid and horrible. But you can bet your butt I have been an initialing machine since then! Luckily for me it was only MOM and not something that could havce caused significant damage! I pray that will be the biggest mistake I make in NS!!!!

Anyone else care to share?

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

Try searching "med errors" - there have been several threads that I have seen.

TheSquire, DNP, EMT-B, APN, NP

Specializes in Urgent Care NP, Emergency Nursing, Camp Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

This thread is a really bad idea.

haha yeah, maybe its best if those who answered graduated or go to a different school or something!

TheSquire, DNP, EMT-B, APN, NP

Specializes in Urgent Care NP, Emergency Nursing, Camp Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

Or just don't answer at all - this is a malpractice insurer's nightmare.

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

Don't be ridiculous. First of all, there is nothing identifying. Second, not all mistakes result in harm, which is a required element of malpractice. Threads like these, including "close calls" help others to avoid the same mistake or at least think twice about certain things they may not have considered.

Don't be ridiculous. First of all, there is nothing identifying. Second, not all mistakes result in harm, which is a required element of malpractice. Threads like these, including "close calls" help others to avoid the same mistake or at least think twice about certain things they may not have considered.

Thanks! I just thought it would be fun..... no one appears to agree.

~Mi Vida Loca~RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

I think threads like this are good, as long as no one is identifying themselves or giving identifiable information on the Pt. it should be fine and it does help others to learn from the mistakes and also see they are not alone in making them.

There is a Med. Error thread in General Discussions, but I am not sure I have seen one for students in clinicals. I could be wrong though, it happens LOL

NurseLoveJoy88, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC. Has 6 years experience.

I don't think this thread is bad. Anyway...

My biggest mistake I made in clinical was when I accidently took home the progress notes. As soon as I noticed ( 7pm and we left at 3pm) I rushed back to the clinical site and gave it back to the nurses. I apologized a thousand times.

Another mistake I made was when I posted my careplan on the student nurse board so that my peers can proof read it... I made a mistake and put the patients last name on it instead of clinicals. Well never the less I got a critical U for violating hippa. I cried my eyes out over that one.

These both happened in my very first nursing course so I've learned my lesson !

Thanks! I just thought it would be fun..... no one appears to agree.

Actually...I think this is a great thread. I am approaching nursing school and i think reading and learning what others have made mistakes on will help me be more attentive in those areas.

NursingRocks1998

Has 5 years experience.

Very first week of clinical- took an oral temp with a rectal thermometer- they looked EXACTLY the same but one was RED! It was reading really low so I asked a fellow classmate to take it and she took it with the same one, not realizing it either. The room nurse pointed it out to us! Fessed up to my instructor right away- she didn't freak out, but I felt like an idiot. Thank God for probe covers, but still! GROSS!!

Also, I threw away the TOP of an ampule in the regular trash instead of the sharps container- the nurse I was shadowing made me feel like a real dummy! Live and Learn! Thank God those weren't major! Hope this will help any new students....

In my very first clinical rotation (fundamentals), I was soooo stoked about having a good day without having to be reminded of anything and being totally prepared, I brought my instructor the MAR so that she could sign it before we left off of the unit (she forgot), after she signed it, one of my classmates came out of the lounge where we keep our things with all my stuff. SO I went to help her out and take my things and we started talking and walking off the unit... needless to say I took the MAR with me! I didn't even know until the next day when the RN I worked with the previous day asked me if I'd seen it and I confidently replied NOPE! But just to make sure I kinda looked through my clipboard and saw the dreaded MAR! I could've fainted... but it all worked out! Bet I won't do that again!

In my very first clinical rotation (fundamentals), I was soooo stoked about having a good day without having to be reminded of anything and being totally prepared, I brought my instructor the MAR so that she could sign it before we left off of the unit (she forgot), after she signed it, one of my classmates came out of the lounge where we keep our things with all my stuff. SO I went to help her out and take my things and we started talking and walking off the unit... needless to say I took the MAR with me! I didn't even know until the next day when the RN I worked with the previous day asked me if I'd seen it and I confidently replied NOPE! But just to make sure I kinda looked through my clipboard and saw the dreaded MAR! I could've fainted... but it all worked out! Bet I won't do that again!

ahhh I took the MAR home one time in my first semester as well.. Oh my gosh, I was so panicked when I realized!!

NurseLoveJoy88, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC. Has 6 years experience.

ahhh I took the MAR home one time in my first semester as well.. Oh my gosh, I was so panicked when I realized!!

Thank goodness for C.O.W.s ( computers on wheels where we do MAR charting in the computer)... Can't take those homes accidently !

ok2bme

Specializes in Psych, EMS.

this is the worst mistake so far on the thread but i'll share in hopes that those reading will be careful not to make the same error.

i was in med/surg i..probably about halfway through and i had hung 5 or 6 iv bags. all of the ones i had previously hung had no patient name on the bag.

so i had an ivpb to hang. i checked the bag against the mar, and entered the patient's room.

my clinical instructor watched me hang the bag and quickly took me out of the room before i started the infusion. there was a little sticker on the back of the bag that said another patient's name. it was the exact same medication and dosage and everything though, and it was the first bag i had hung that had a patient name on it, so i just thought there were no patient names on their iv bags.

well she made me file an incident report, talk to the charge nurse, and she gave me a clinical failure for the day. worst of all she was a witch towards me for the rest of the clinical, but that's another story...

so good luck everyone! be careful but not a nervous wreck..i graduate in 2 weeks and am just starting to find the balance between being cautious and confident..

shescoolie

Specializes in Telemetry, Med-Surg.

Wow! These comments are really helpful. I'm glad people are willing to share and enlighten newcomers like myself. I'll be starting NS in August!

When I found out I got into nursing school I bought the book "How to Survive Clinical". It's a really good book and there is a chapter on common mistakes that students make. There is everything from students forgetting to close the valve on a foley cath to students sticking themselves with needles. It's my favorite chapter in the book and I think it has opened my eyes to what I can expect once I start school...it also makes me very nervous!!!!

Mommy_of_3_in_AL..RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CRRT,.

We all make mistakes, and hopefully they do not cause the patient any harm. Anywhere from little mistakes to big ones, from students all the way up to upper management. They are all teachable mistakes and most can be corrected right away, hopefully removing any possible harm. I have made several, From taking the wrong mar to the wrond patents bedside ( i cout it before ever handing out meds), As a new grad nurse i was entrsted with keeping the running total of I/Os on the CRRT machine as well as trouble shooting the alarm. It was going ok until i realized that my numbers didnt add up at the end of the day, and i had to go back and put each number in again to make them add up...not really detrimental to patients safety, but i had to stay and go back on the machilne to make suer that each hour correlated, and when i finally saw where my mistake happened i fixed it..noone was harmed..it was a teaching/learning experience. Mistakes arent always avoidable, and the best way to deal with them is to admit your mistake, then try to fix it, even if you have to as another coworker to walk you though how to fix it right.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.