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Coworker and medication errors

Nurses   (6,697 Views 16 Comments)
by Jules A Jules A (Member)

2 Followers; 46,347 Visitors; 8,863 Posts

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A nurse I work with constantly makes med errors. Fortunately they have been minor although imo that does not make it ok. Since I relieve her 3 days a week I keep finding them. I just correct what I can and when I tell her she is receptive but the same things keep happening over like missed medication administrations. At one point I reluctantly told my NM that there are quite a few issues being missed but nothing has changed and I don't feel it is my duty to be the nursing police and report her every misstep. She is very nice just not the brightest bulb in the box and it is really starting to wear on me. Any suggestions?

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53,652 Visitors; 5,978 Posts

If you see a med error you need to follow your unit's/facility's policy for reporting med errors. It doesn't matter how major/minor it is. Let your manager decide from there how things should be handled. It shouldn't be your job to talk to your co-worker about her med errors.

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2,047 Visitors; 69 Posts

I agree with PP. You need to write them up, especially if this is something that is happening repeatedly. I know it feel like "tattling", but this is a patient safety issue, and there could be factors influencing this pattern other than the nurse herself that need to be addressed, and there's no way that's going to happen unless you go through the proper channels to report the issues. I know it's hard, but try to remember, you're reporting the incident, not the person.

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nursinger has 40 years experience and works as a staff nurse.

2,931 Visitors; 129 Posts

Don't let her wear on you. You have your own license to protect. What she does with hers his her business. You told your NM and that's all you had to do, so let her take it from there. Your coworker will get hers, don't worry.

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Adele_Michal7 has 5 years experience and works as a Pediatric RN.

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Stay out of it.

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14,083 Visitors; 2,212 Posts

Don't stay out of it. She could be a danger to others. Ring and report her to your BON if you NM or facility won't do anything about it. She needs to be followed up.

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ChristineN works as a RN.

28,273 Visitors; 3,464 Posts

Stay out of it.

Right just stay out of it. And then when something major happens/patient safety is compromised you'll be the one that could have warned the nurse, manager, and who knows who else before it happened. But yeah, just stay out of it, I'm sure that will end well.

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3 Followers; 33,783 Visitors; 4,149 Posts

Right just stay out of it. And then when something major happens/patient safety is compromised you'll be the one that could have warned the nurse, manager, and who knows who else before it happened. But yeah, just stay out of it, I'm sure that will end well.

She already has warned/informed the nurse making the errors and the boss. Hopefully, she will do one more "warning", actually an informing, a notification, IN WRITING, KEEPING A COPY FOR HERSELF, and that should go to the nurse, the manager, and the manager's manager. Then she can be done with it - I think.

I hate that nurses rat on each other. But I guess if she sees the problems, she's got to address them. Don't know - kind of a tough call. Why, OP, are you finding all these errors? And aren't some of them maybe just the nurse forgot to sign them off?

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NurseLoveJoy88 has 6 years experience and works as a RN.

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The OP needs to report and document. I have worked with many nurses that made a ton of med errors. If something goes wrong with a patient on my shift they are not going to look at the last nurse they will be after me. I saw the med error so I am just as responsible for the person that made it. It is not about us nurses its about the safety of patients.

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Director of OB Services.

3 Followers; 113,023 Visitors; 13,087 Posts

Is she missing colace, or blood pressure medicine? IMO, the specifics of the errors DO matter.

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2 Followers; 46,347 Visitors; 8,863 Posts

She already has warned/informed the nurse making the errors and the boss. Hopefully, she will do one more "warning", actually an informing, a notification, IN WRITING, KEEPING A COPY FOR HERSELF, and that should go to the nurse, the manager, and the manager's manager. Then she can be done with it - I think.

I hate that nurses rat on each other. But I guess if she sees the problems, she's got to address them. Don't know - kind of a tough call. Why, OP, are you finding all these errors? And aren't some of them maybe just the nurse forgot to sign them off?

I wish it was a matter of just forgetting to sign things off that were given although that happens every shift also. Most often it is missing new orders that never get signed off on or started. Again it hasn't been anything especially dangerous but if the order is for Cogentin IM either read it and give it correctly or get them to change the order before you give it PO and c'mon if the physician wants an antibiotic started this morning, start it this morning. If it doesn't get signed off the pharmacy doesn't send it to the unit and am orders shouldn't still be in limbo land at 7pm when I come in.

Thank you to everyone for writing with your insight and advice.

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