Medication Error

  1. Feeling extremely anxious and incompetent about myself right now. I am a new Registered Nurse and just started practicing about three months ago. Last week I had to give my patient Albumin IV. I followed my facilities policy and started the infusion. I stayed with the patient for the first 15 minutes and ensured that my drip was running, and it seemed like it was running fine. The pump beeped to signal it was done so I put the pump on standby mode. This was at 2300. At 0600 I went in to administer a IV med and realized that only half of the infusion went in. I realize now that I forgot to open the vent which prevented full administration. I feel like such an idiot and this has been consuming my mind all week.
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    About jeane1090

    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 5; Likes: 6

    15 Comments

  3. by   angeloublue22
    First, give yourself a break. I know it's hard, but the fact that you are worrying about it means you learned something. Mistakes are learning opportunities. That's it. This took me years to finally accept and I think nurses in general are too hard on ourselves and the emotional abuse we put on ourselves can actually hinder our learning and leads to burn out or quitting jobs. Find out what part of the way you do things led to the mistake and make a change. Find ways to prevent yourself from making them. Writing notes to yourself helps for reminders (I'm a sticky note gal) and double checking even if it's 10 times is a good idea. I've been giving meds for years and I'm still psycho about checking and rechecking. I've made my mistakes and I know I will continue to make mistakes but that doesn't mean I a bad nurse, it means I'm human and you sure bet I never make the same mistake twice. You can do this.
  4. by   jeane1090
    Thanks for the encouraging words. I have been in a mental slump and nursing seems to bring out the worst of my already severe anxiety. All I can think about is eventually getting fired one day for my stupid mistakes. Might sound a bit extreme but unfortunately that's how my mind works
  5. by   Kallie3006
    Those glass bottles can be a real witch sometimes. I have come into a patient's room and found partially infused or full vials numerous times. It doesn't mean that the infusion is going to flow properly either even if the vent is open. There has to be enough air pushed into the vial to create a pressure for the medication to be pulled from the vial, and flow down the tubing. I have found that making a small hole in the top of the air vent has reduce the chances of the infusion not completing. You are not the only one this has happened to and will not be the last, and now you will be more deligent in checking the infusion to make sure that it is going in or completed as it is supposed to. Don't stress over it
  6. by   cleback
    I really dislike albumin. I think we've all had trouble getting it to go in.

    Take it as a lesson learned, OP. It will be ok.
  7. by   Davey Do
    Quote from jeane1090
    Thanks for the encouraging words. I have been in a mental slump and nursing seems to bring out the worst of my already severe anxiety. All I can think about is eventually getting fired one day for my stupid mistakes. Might sound a bit extreme but unfortunately that's how my mind works
    You've gotten some really good responses, understanding, and support here, jeane.

    Now it's my turn and I'm going to blast you out of the water.

    Just kidding.

    But I wanted to approach this situation from a different angle and that's one reason why I copied your perfectly worded post. It's all good, but this part stood out to me: "...nursing brings out the worst of my already severe anxiety. All I can think about is eventually getting fired one day for my stupid mistakes".

    I've recently stumbled on a concept new to me that makes a lot of sense, and it basically goes "Depression is the result of feelings toward past events and anxiety stems from the fear of future events".

    In your case, one of your biggest fears is losing your job and you seem to stress over that, jeane. A lot of us do that- project and stress. Just being aware- having insight to your foibles- is the beginning of dealing with them.

    What helped me the most, and I'm not necessarily recommending it for you, jeane, was getting fired from a couple of jobs. Getting fired really wasn't that big of a deal. Oh, it was inconvenient and I didn't like it, and they were blows to my ego, but hey- I survived. In fact, I benefitted a lot from those experiences.

    It's sort of like when I taught my niece how to ride a bicycle after my brother, her father, just couldn't do it. I noticed my niece had a fear of falling off the bicycle, so we went out to a nice soft grassy field and practiced falling off of our bicycles multiple times. We went back on the blacktop and she could suddenly and magically ride a bicycle!

    Her anxiety stemming from the projected future event of falling was diminished and she was able to ride her bicycle and perform to the best of her ability.

    Just a little food for thought.

    Now, go out there and make some more mistakes! After all: "Practice provides opportunity for possible improvement"! I myself regularly make mistakes and have gotten really good at it!

    Good luck to you, jeane!
  8. by   Hoosier_RN
    Quote from Davey Do
    You've gotten some really good responses, understanding, and support here, jeane.

    Now it's my turn and I'm going to blast you out of the water.

    Just kidding.

    But I wanted to approach this situation from a different angle and that's one reason why I copied your perfectly worded post. It's all good, but this part stood out to me: "...nursing brings out the worst of my already severe anxiety. All I can think about is eventually getting fired one day for my stupid mistakes".

    I've recently stumbled on a concept new to me that makes a lot of sense, and it basically goes "Depression is the result of feelings toward past events and anxiety stems from the fear of future events".

    In your case, one of your biggest fears is losing your job and you seem to stress over that, jeane. A lot of us do that- project and stress. Just being aware- having insight to your foibles- is the beginning of dealing with them.

    What helped me the most, and I'm not necessarily recommending it for you, jeane, was getting fired from a couple of jobs. Getting fired really wasn't that big of a deal. Oh, it was inconvenient and I didn't like it, and they were blows to my ego, but hey- I survived. In fact, I benefitted a lot from those experiences.

    It's sort of like when I taught my niece how to ride a bicycle after my brother, her father, just couldn't do it. I noticed my niece had a fear of falling off the bicycle, so we went out to a nice soft grassy field and practiced falling off of our bicycles multiple times. We went back on the blacktop and she could suddenly and magically ride a bicycle!

    Her anxiety stemming from the projected future event of falling was diminished and she was able to ride her bicycle and perform to the best of her ability.

    Just a little food for thought.

    Now, go out there and make some more mistakes! After all: "Practice provides opportunity for possible improvement"! I myself regularly make mistakes and have gotten really good at it!

    Good luck to you, jeane!
    100% If you learn from it, you're golden. And it's ok if you make the same mistake again, just don't make it a lifelong repeat. Believe me, there will come a day when you give the same advice to someone new, and you'll look back on this experience and laugh a little
  9. by   Daisy4RN
    Everyone makes mistakes so take it as a lesson learned and move on (don't worry about the past mistake). Albumin is notorious for causing issues. I have watched it going well and come back later, when it should be done, and still full. You really need to keep an eye on this (pain in the butt) infusion. We used to let it go by gravity but probably against policy now (the way I learned to hang was by gravity, then we went to pump and back to gravity). You are still new and learning, give yourself some time to feel comfortable (usually about 1 year). Even seasoned nurses make mistakes because we are all human. Find a system that works for you, on paper/computer, that will remind you of the important things you need to do, recheck etc. I used to write them in red on my (paper) brain sheet with little check boxes, old school but how I learned and always worked for me. Just find what works for you. This might also help control your anxiety knowing you have "reminders" so you wont forget. Also, when giving report to oncoming shift is also a good reminder (if using a brain sheet) because you will be looking at it before you leave, same if you have something on the computer, just review prior to leaving so at least you would catch something then. You will be fine, don't beat yourself up about this or future mistakes!
  10. by   Davey Do
    This thread contains many reasons I keep coming back to this website and why it holds my interest: Problems, problem-solving, information, support, 'reassurance and general fellowship!

    It is a pleasure to be in your company, jeane, angeloublue, Kallie, cleback, Hoosier and Daisy!

    (The preceding has not been a commercial message paid for by the Coalition to make Davey Do the President of the World.)
  11. by   zoidberg
    oh albumin. I have BATTLED with those bottles. My facility recently switched to bags!! Do a patient safety report and say bags would improve care delivery.
  12. by   Daisy4RN
    Quote from Davey Do

    I

    (The preceding has not been a commercial message paid for by the Coalition to make Davey Do the President of the World.)
    Wow, bypassing president of the country and going straight for President of the World.
    Go DaveyDo!
    See DaveyDo run. Run DaveyDo run!
  13. by   jeane1090
    Thanks guys means a lot. I hope someday I can do my job without it compromising my mental health!
  14. by   Davey Do
    Quote from Daisy4RN
    See DaveyDo run. Run DaveyDo run!
    run-dd-run-

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