Well somthing I thought would never happen happened. I made my first med error. I thought that I was having a fantastic day today. I was staying on top of orders, calling doctors, taking and giving reports. Then about 3:30 went to check when my last pain med and nausea med was given to my pt, and realized that I gave my IM nausea med IV push. As soon as I realized this I reported it to my preceptor and promptly broke down crying.
The thing is I told my preceptor about my error and she told me that we were going to have to tell my Nurse Educator. Well she had already left for the day so she told me just to bring it up with her tomorrow. That things like this happen and I shouldn't make myself sick over it. I was upset and wanted to take care of it now, file a med error report, anything, but she wanted me to wait until tomorrow. Saying that it wasn't that big of deal and all nurses make errors sooner or later and it just shows I'm human.
I monitored my pt and nothing happened until about 7:30 when I was going home and she developed a rash. I asked her if she ever has any trouble with rashes and she says that she sometimes gets them from being in the hospital or tape. So, I called and had some cortisol cream ordered. I asked my preceptor if I had caused the rash but she said that it was hard to say and unlikely. It had been 6 hours since the error.
I took some quiet time to myself to reflect on what caused me to make the order. First I was rushing and wasn't as careful as I should have been. Then I had written down from report that my pts meds had been switched from IM to IV, but that was only the pain med. So, this was a major learning curve for me. I can say I've rarely been as scared as I was when I realized what I had done. I just need something to be settled so I can put it behind me and never make the mistake again. I didn't feel comfortable not reporting it right then and there, but my instructor told me that we were going to wait.
Thanks for listening. I just feel so horrible. ~B
Sep 7, '06
No problem Brooke. Your preceptor is right - mistakes can and do happen. I doubt the rash was caused by the administration route. Don't be too hard on yourself. You will remember your errors and learn from them. In the meantime, be kind to yourself.
Sep 7, '06
Its been awhile since I was in nursing school. It can be a very scary experience at times. I'm glad the pt. is ok! Just think in your nursing career you will probably never do that again. What a hard way to learn through error but we're not perfect. Keep up the hard work & good luck.
Sep 7, '06
I'll never forget when I made my first med mistake in nursing school. I was terrified. It wasn't deathly, but still, it was a mistake and shouldn't have happened. Commend yourself for fessing up and telling your preceptor immediately. I'm sure a lot of med mistakes go unheard and unreported from new nurses who are probably too scared to tell their preceptor. I'm sure that your preceptor and the nurse educator will be glad that you did admit to it and took responsibility. Thankfully your patient didn't develop anything serious. As I'm sure you've heard before, take it as a lesson and don't stress about it. Tomorrow, you'll be able to work it out with the Nurse Educator, take it as a lesson, and move on. Good luck!
Sep 7, '06
Thanks for the responses. I am very thankful that it wasn't anything life threatening. I know that this is not a mistake that I'm not going to make again. I need to just slow down. So, hopefully I got this type of mistake out of my way, and can start my career on a better foot.
Sep 10, '06
My 1st med error was made in school as a mistake on both myself as well as my instructor and long string of events which all boiled down to lack of communication between me, my instructor and the primary nurse.
Long story short - I've been to 2 orientations at this hospital since my med error and my story is being told at each one....:smackingf
Anyway, I was sick and I cried for what seemed like days over my mistake. It wasn't a horrible mistake and the patient suffered no ill effects of my mistake (actually - she said she felt great, never better) but nonetheless, I felt like such a failure for this mistake, even though it wasn't entirely my fault, I took it to heart and blamed no one but myself.
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