janetrette. . .Your emotional state over this incident is normal. To feel like your manager is constantly watching you is also a normal reaction. You obviously feel very badly about what happened. I assume the paper they want you to sign is the write up. Yes, you should sign it. Think of it like getting a speeding ticket from a cop. Signing the traffic ticket is merely confirming that you recieved it. The consequences of not signing a traffic ticket are much worse than if you sign it (like, you're going to get arrested and go to jail). It's the same with the write up. If you are disagreeing with the write up, there should be a place on the form for you to write your response. If not, you can always write in your own hand "see my attached response" and then sign the paper. Not signing makes you look like you are belligerant, uncooperative and difficult to get along with. It goes into your personnel file. It will come back to bite you if somewhere down the road you want to transfer to another unit or are looking for some kind of promotion within the hospital. Any manager within the hospital who has good reason can look at what is in your personnel file. What do you think they will conclude if they see you refused to sign a disciplinary action against you?
May I just say that I understand you are angry, but it does no good to start pointing the finger at everyone else you know of who has made errors, particularly the one who reported your mistake. It really is a bit childish to my way of thinking and points the finger back to you again as to the kind of character you have. I suggest that you sit down and do some productive thinking on how to avoid this error from happening again. Can you think of one thing you should do in the future to keep this from happening? I can. Whenever you have someone going for any procedure you need to sit down with the chart and go back through all the doctors orders for any special preparation instructions. I've had several patients that went to OR for the procedure you talk about. A trip to the OR is always a reason to check the chart for pre-op orders. OR aside, it is never wise to just follow what someone has told you when you have a chart, an original source, that you can review. If you follow doctors written orders you are not going to be wrong. It only takes a few minutes to go backward through the physician's order sheets in the chart. I've had liver biopsies where the doctors wrote orders wanting a specific kind of needle, and in one case, a "liver biopsy cart" (which we had never heard of, but found really did exist!) ready and waiting for him on the unit.
So, I'm suggesting that you spend your time figuring out strategies to make you a better nurse so you don't make this kind of mistake again and forget about what other people are doing. Worrying about and taking care of yourself is quite enough.
Then, I would also suggest you go to your manager, sign the write up, and tell her you have been doing a lot of thinking about what happened and what you should have done and what you have learned from this incident. This is one way to redeem yourself in her eyes and help you feel better about the whole thing. (Psst...and forget about being a tattletale. It serves no useful purpose for you other than to give you a reputation for pointing out other people's mistakes. Is that really how you want to be known?)