Quote from Purple_Scrubs
Keep in mind that although we are expected to be perfect, we are human and therefore imperfect. We all make mistakes.
I find the messages surrounding making mistakes incredibly frustrating at times!!!
When someone says "you should've done X" they often aren't clear if they mean that "you didn't know this but now you do" or "you should've *already* known to do X"... my self-critical mind tends to interpret the latter unless I'm other assured that it was a *reasonable* mistake I made given my own experience to that point and not something I really *should've* known to do differently.
And while it's true that we learn from our mistakes, I can find it disheartening when someone says "Well, you'll never make THAT mistake again!"... actually, I might! Of course, it depends on what it is but the fact that I could make a mistake once that means that I COULD make it again... probably not EXACTLY the same... but it might be similar enough that I feel like a hopeless idiot because now I've failed in two ways... making the mistake to begin with AND having it be similar to a previous mistake that I was supposed to have never done again!
There often IS an expectation of perfection, which is, of course, impossible to meet. The only way to get as close to perfection as possible is to have lots of redundancy and double-checks... and that costs money, lots of money in order to have more manpower to allow for the degree of overlap needed to ensure close-to-perfection processes (like for rocket launches, complex medical operations, etc).
Of course nurses are bound to make mistakes! They can't just check off one task at a time; instead they are bombarded with distractions and are juggling several different demands all the time. And due to tight budgets, the type of redundancy needed to further minimize errors is rarely every implemented. So things regularly get missed, but usually nothing bad comes of it, no one notices, and the assumption is that no mistakes were made. Yes, we'll just assume all is well until a mistake comes to our attention and then we'll assume that all the mistakes we catch with a more thorough review simply indicate a horrible lack on your part instead of reviewing EVERYONE to the same degree and perhaps seeing that there's a more pervasive problem.
Sigh! This is a touchy area for me! I really need to learn some alternative ways of dealing with the reality of the possibility of mistakes without becoming overly paranoid!