A really stupid incident

  1. Hi guys, I just made a really stupid mistake a week ago.
    I was on my way to my break, a nurse stopped me and told my pt wanted to go outside and need her meds
    Because she had three kinds of meds, so that nurse wants me to administer.
    Anyway, I gave the pt meds and left. When I was back from my break, I just realized I had thrown the other half of her Methadone in a regular trash bin!!!
    Upon I was looking for it, housekeeping lady already took those bags away.
    So I had to report this to the charge nurse, and we had an incident report done.
    My patient witnessed for me at the time that I only gave her half methadone (She always knows all her pills)
    I worked for an agency; the unit nurse told me it should be fine as it did not harm anyone, while today I received my company's call and my manager wants to talk to me.

    I know I made a mistake and I don't want any to excuse for the consequence.

    I just want to know will this affect that much? Will I get fired??? Will this affect my license? r
  2. Visit Tina412 profile page

    About Tina412

    Joined: Nov '18; Posts: 4; Likes: 7


  3. by   Orion81RN
    This is reportable to the BON and is actually very very serious. If I were you I would go ASAP and get drug tested on your own.
  4. by   Orion81RN
    If I'm not mistaken, it's reportable to the DEA, but others might be able to verify that. Be prepared to hire an attorney, and no, I'm not overreacting.
  5. by   Tina412
    Thanks for your reply. Can I please know why it will be considered as such big effect. While I talked with supervisor on the floor (not me directly but the CN) said it is serious but it is not cause any harm and Pharmacy will just do a follow up. I graduated last year, new to the feild. I understand that medication error can cause lots of trouble while I didn't expect this. Also, what is drug rest.
    Appreicate your reply.
  6. by   rdsxfnrn
    Methadone is a controlled substance. Not sure what state you are in but in CT controlled substances must be wasted with two registered nurses. So now you have a "missing" dose of a controlled substance. This is very much frowned upon. No, your patient cannot witness you wasting anything.

    Also, she said to go get a drug test that tests for methadone to prove you did not ingest it.

    Good luck!
  7. by   love lilacs
    So sad how an innocent mistake can be taken so seriously. That's why I have insurance because they will represent you if ever brought before the BON. Good luck! Hope nothing becomes of it. Always waste controlled substances when you pull from Pyxis. It's a good habit to do it that way. They really make a big deal out of missing controlled substances.
  8. by   Tina412
    Thanks for your reply. I was mentioning my pt be my witness meant that my pt only took half as ordered. (At least pt not overdose) Yes, I will do a drug test as soon as possible to prove at least I am not a drug user. I understand now they may still wonder the other half goes and they want to ensure that I didn't give to anyone else. I can't prove that part so if they do investigate then I need an attorney.
  9. by   love lilacs
    I was told that a negative drug test doesn't matter as people divert narcotic to give to others or sell.
  10. by   Tina412
    I am working in Canada. I do believe there's something for error/incident. I just didn't think it happens to me. I always thought it would be paid attention if harms pts, and I didn't harm my pt.
    Thanks for the advice. If things happen when they happen.
    I certainly learned my lesson this time, just need to find a way to solve my mistake now.
    Again, thanks for helping.
  11. by   amzyRN
    It was a one-time thing, right? A one-time event probably won't get you fired. Everyone makes mistakes. Most hospitals are very strict with narcotics though, so I'd be prepared for a thorough interrogation. As long as you are honest, I don't think you will have a problem.
  12. by   Davey Do
    I supervised a methadone clinic for about a year. The methadone was kept in a locked safe behind two locked doors. Only myself, the MD, the other nurse, an agent from the DEA ever entered the room in which the methadone was kept.

    When the methadone was delivered by some specialty delivery service, only the MD, me, or the other nurse could sign for it.

    We had to count every single tablet to assure the number of pills was correct in each opened bottle. We had to account for every single milligram of methadone given.

    Pretty stringent rules, eh? Well mistakes do happen and are understood and accepted.

    For example, I once gave the wrong, higher dose to a client. No big deal- a med error. I contacted the MD, monitored the client, and completed the appropriate forms.

    Another time, I was putting away medical and clerical supplies when I opened a box and found several bottles of methadone. The delivery was signed by the front office secretary of the mental health clinic and set in the hallway outside of the methadone clinic. I don't quite remember the details, but the unsecured box of methadone sat out in the hallway for an extended amount of time, perhaps overnight, perhaps over the weekend, before I discovered it. THOUSANDS of street dollars of methadone!

    I merely reported the incident to the proper individuals and authorities and reiterated to others the proper process .

    What I want to repeat is that mistakes do happen and are often accepted as the natural order of things. It's not always the end of the world or the big deal people want to make out of it. You made an honest mistake and reacted appropriately. You've done your job to the best of your ability, so now just ride with the tide and go with the flow.

    Easy said than done, I know. But I've made and/or witnessed many mistakes and errors in my career that just came out in the wash.

    Here's hoping your situation, too, comes out in the wash, Tina412. And please- keep us posted.

    The best to you.
    Last edit by Davey Do on Nov 12 : Reason: mistake
  13. by   TriciaJ
    Why would you throw any medication into a trash can? That right there is a breach of protocol no matter what kind of medication. What makes it look bad in your case is that you did this on your way out to take a break.

    Are you a registered nurse in Canada? This is not a simple med error. This is an educational deficit - not understanding the proper handling of medication. You might want to discuss with your administration or the BON about what kind of remedial education is available.
  14. by   Kooky Korky
    You should have chased down those trash bags and found that pill. Not kidding.