medication error

  1. Hi everyone. I'm an RN (graduated May 2011) working PRN in a hospital on the med surg floor. This morning I made a medication error and I am feeling so helpless right now, I don't know what to do. As soon as I realized my mistake, I alerted my charge nurse who in turn notified the nursing supervisor. My patient is being transferred to ICU for observation and right now she is stable. I know mistakes happen, but I am so overwhelmed with worry right now for my patient. I was sent home and told that my director would be in touch. The doctors feel the patient will be fine and my charge RN told me that it will be up to the physician as to whether or not the patient is told about my mistake. I'm not so much worried right now about what is going to happen to me, but I am so worried for my pt and I just don't know what I can do. I've gone over the situation a thousand times. I realize I was frazzled and in a hurry and I should have just stopped, regrouped and paid closer attention to what I was doing. Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.
  2. Visit athnurse profile page

    About athnurse

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 1


  3. by   PinkNBlue
    I can only imagine how you feel right now and hindsight is 20/20. I don't think there is a nurse out there that hasn't made a med error; new or experienced, whether we're aware of it or not, small or large. And I think you'll find any nurse that is aware of a med error he/she made, learned a lot from it and will now stop and regroup before moving on. It is a lot to think about right now, especially since it just happened and making sure the patient is ok but you will learn from it and it will be in the past. (((hugs))) to you.
  4. by   Dizzymoose
    Your concern being for the pt and not yourself is doing all you can do. You could have used feeling frazzled and in a hurry as an excuse, but you simply recognized those things aided in the mistake happening. Ownership without excuses is a great quality to possess. It's an awful feeling, but recognizing how it happened and taking responsibility will hopefully lead to less mistakes in the future.

    We've all made a medical error. It doesn't make what you're going through any easier. I think once you have the news your pt is going to be ok, you'll start to feel a little better. If you weren't sick over it there would be something wrong with your character. Regardless if the pt is made aware, you will have to move forward and not let this shake you.
    Last edit by Dizzymoose on Feb 3, '13 : Reason: spelling
  5. by   nurseprnRN
    Your DON and every other nurse in the building has been in your shoes, or close enough to them that they thanked their lucky stars at the time. I agree with Dizzymoose that if you weren't sick about it I'd be very worried about you, and so would your management.

    Own your mistake, say specifically what you will do to avoid it again, and go forth and sin no more.
  6. by   lovin
    i just wanted to thank everyone who has posted their med errors. I am a student completing my preceptorship and I was just entrusted with care of a patient. I felt that I had a great shift, even though it was busy I double checked every med before administering it and before I left I THOUGHT that I had checked the eMAR by looking over the scheduled meds. I did not look at the PRN medications. In the system at the hospital where I am doing my clinical rotation, the one time orders on the eMAR are in the PRN section at the bottom of the PRN medications. I did not look there.

    Then, I was watching TV and someone said they had an "electrolyte imbalance." Oh, *(+&(! I said to my husband, I forgot the Potassium. I called the hospital and the night nurse had caught the error and spoke with my preceptor. I feel really crappy about this error and at first it made me question if I am really cut out to be a nurse and what other little things I am overlooking.

    I still feel badly, but I have added a "to do" column to my shift paper as well as a "new orders" column so that when I give report I know that I did not forget anything that I said I would do or that I was supposed to do.
  7. by   Tait
    It happens to all of us at some point. Give yourself a break, breathe, and just learn from it (which it sounds like you already are). I know it is a horrible experience.