med error?

  1. I'm a new nurse working at a LTC facility. I'm already frantic about making an error and today a med aide came on shift and was counting narcs while I was sitting next to the nurse I was training with at the nurse station. The MA asked the nurse training me if she wanted her to pop out her resident's pill "Lortab" that was due. The nurse said 'Yes', and I saw the MA pop out the pill and put in a cup. The MA brought the pill over in a cup handed it to the nurse training me and we continued our business for a few min. Then the nurse training me had to get up and check on another res and handed the cup to me to go give via g-tube to the res. I checked for placement, checked for residual then gave 30cc, the med in 30cc and followed with 30cc flush before putting back on cont tube feed. The procedure went fine but I realized I didn't actually look at the med labed the MA was popping out and gave it. It's a regularly scheduled med but I can't confirm the right dose...how HORRIBLE IS THAT??? I feel awful. They drilled us in school about never giving a med we didn't setup/get.....and then I did it.
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    About cinder2004

    Joined: Nov '08; Posts: 7; Likes: 1

    12 Comments

  3. by   life-time-learner
    we all make mistakes as a general rule never give what you dont pop. I would guess that the nurse with you looked and knew it was the right pill but don't do it again, if you don't take it out yourself don't give it, hand it back to the nurse training you and tell them you are not comfortable with that or throw it in the trash and get your own remember to check three times
  4. by   mesa1979
    When you know it's wrong, you just have to speak up.....
  5. by   LPNdelgado
    both responses are correct. it is YOUR license on the line since you GAVE the med. There are 3 rules I follow being a new student that i have learned are most important to avoid med errors, DO NOT GIVE OUT MEDS YOU DONT TAKE OUT, Do not document for anyone and check 3 times and check your 5 rights ALWAYS! She cannot and will not cover for you when asked WHY you gave that medication. Always remember, the things you do have to stand up in a court of law and a lawyer will eat you to pieces saying, SHE TOLD ME TO GIVE IT! Do not feel bad, use it as a learning curve and never do it again. It may be a standard order, but you have no clue what she gave! Good job for recognizing it was wrong though, some just dont care! You have EVERY right to say i am not comfortable doing that, you give the med, and she can not be upset with you! They are teaching you BAD habits! Good luck and congrats on the new career!
    LPN Delgado
  6. by   uscstu4lfe
    not a big deal. life goes on. i'd be more concerned about what kind of turkey to buy for thanksgiving.
  7. by   racing-mom4
    Quote from cinder2004
    ...how HORRIBLE IS THAT??? I feel awful. They drilled us in school about never giving a med we didn't setup/get.....and then I did it.
    Not horrible at all, a mistake and a minor one in my own humble opinion.
  8. by   LPNdelgado
    lol turkey LOL.. that one was funny.... it is true. Not a major deal, but avoid them! could have been worse
  9. by   cinder2004
    Thanks to all for the advice, a true lesson learned and I have to slow down and not get caught up in their rush or their rules. Thanks for affirming me!
  10. by   cinder2004
    Thanks so much Delgado - you're absolutely right and your advice is a mantra I can't forget. Just the other day I refused to do something a nurse told me to do because I didn't believe it was safe for the res and she then had to do it. Sometimes I get caught up and need to remind myself to ALWAYS think before I act. I have a brain and can use it!
  11. by   GrumpyRN63
    I don't think it was so horrible in the fact that you were present when the med was taken out, it was given directly to the nurse, and then to you ,it wasn't like you didn't see it. The med never left your sight. So my question is would you have felt different if the nurse popped it out herself and handed it to you to have you administer it? Would you still feel it would have been wrong?
  12. by   rn/writer
    If the med was indeed the correct med, then there was no med error.

    There was, however, a procedural error on your part that could have stung you badly. You know this by your own admission, so you've already learned a valuable lesson.

    Sometimes a good scare is a highly effective teaching tool.

    BTW, don't let yourself be pushed around by more experienced nurses or other staff who take shortcuts. Develop a reputation as someone who does it by the book, and eventually they'll get the idea that they shouldn't even ask.

    Be especially careful with wasting meds. if you don't get a look at the med and actually see it being wasted, don't co-sign. Again, make that part of your standard operating procedure, and you might become known as an old stick in the mud, but you'll be a stick in the mud who still has her license.
  13. by   cinder2004
    Grumpy - I think you're right in that as I'm training it may have been different if the nurse popped the pill then gave it to me to give to the pt. However, I still know that I did not look to confirm the med before adm and that would grate on me and keep me up at night. Before, in clinicals, when a nurse would draw up insulin or give me a med to admin, if they preferred to do it for me, I would take the time to check it with the MAR and 5 rights before I gave it and not because I didn't trust them, but I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't know for myself. I guess it just amazes me no matter at times how diligent I can be, in a second I can make the stupidest mistake. Thanks for your thoughts!
  14. by   cinder2004
    You're absolutely right and thank you! I will continue to refuse to care what the other nurses I work with think of me. I'm not there to make friends, I'm there to take care of patients safely! It's so easy to get caught up in the moment instead of taking a moment to think!

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