No room for errors?

  1. I am a soon to be new grad (May) and I am starting on a tele/stepdown unit at a large hospital. I got to thinking that it would be nice to know from some seasoned nurses where exactly there is NO ROOM for error in everyday life as a nurse. I know that accuracy is important at all times, especially with meds, but after many years of nursing what are the times when you know you just can't make mistake?? I am thinking with BP meds and insulin, also when administering blood products. In other words, what procedures/meds still scare you somewhat after many years?? Thanks this will help me so much!!
  2. Visit heartlover07 profile page

    About heartlover07

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 66; Likes: 11
    Registered Nurse, Case Manager; from US
    Specialty: Telemetry/CCU/Home Health

    30 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Sorry, but you can always make a mistake. The trick is to learn from them and try to find ways to make sure they either don't happen again, or the chances of them happening again are slim. Mistakes are okay, but the same mistake over and over is not good.
    Last edit by TazziRN on Apr 1, '07 : Reason: Clarity
  4. by   cardiac.cure03
    ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS double check any drips you might be infusing! Heck, even triple checking them wouldn't hurt!

    I've heard of some dangerous mistakes being made w/ drips running at the wrong rates. Wouldn't it just suck if you entered the "volume to be infused" number as the "rate- mL/hr" number? Oooops

    But... Mistakes DO happen. Just check yourself and know your limits!
    And congratulations to nearing the end of your nursing school experience!

    Good luck to ya
  5. by   acetabulum
    [FONT=Impact]pray always and ask God's guidance to give you clear mind everytime you reports for work.errors will always be there but they are right,you should make it a point to double check everything you are doing, esp.when it comes to MEDICATIONs. and if you feel doubtful ask your seniors or better yet check for hospital mannuals in your unit.above all things,update your self for any new trends in the nursing practice.
  6. by   burn out
    1. When assisting a pulmonologist with a thoracentesis when he punctures the left ventricle of the heart and screams "Consult cardiology" and goes running out of the unit as the patient slumps over in cardiac arrest.

    2.When your newly placed "IJ" central line keeps beeping back pressure and you connect it to a pressure bag and get a beautiful arterial waveform.

    3.When your newly placed subclavian quad lumen cath can not be visualized on chest xray but shows up on an xray of the head.

    4.When your newly admitted 48 year old patient is whisked off for emergency exp. lap for unknown cause of abd bleeding looking you square in the eye saying "I want everything done, I don't want to die". You kept the first part of the bargain but lost on the second part.

    Sometimes nursing walks a thin line.
  7. by   nurse4theplanet
    You have to perform your job each day like there is absolutely NO room for error, realize you WILL make mistakes, have the courage to be accountable for those mistakes, and pray to God you don't make a mistake that will cause the pt any harm! Wow, what a job? It's amazing most nurses stay sane!
  8. by   Gromit
    Like it or not, you are human (I'm part Borg -grin) and errors happen. Pray that they do not turn into problems or that their effect is minimal to none. If you are new, you should have a pretty decent preceptorship, so that will help as someone will (if they are doing their job) be keeping an eye on you and everything you do until you get comfortable.
    At times, it may seem like an impossible task. Its not.
    Many years ago, a paramedics instructor once told me that in a crisis (either self-made or one that is thrust upon you due to circumstances) remember to take a breath. He meant to 'step back' when you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and go to work.
    That advice served me well in my years on an ambulance, and has served me well as a nurse.
    Remember your rules and doublecheck everything, and you should do fine.
  9. by   clemmm78
    One thing that I've learned is that the time I make the errors, is when it is very quiet and there's lots of time to get things done. It's as if I need the rush and the stress to be sure things go right. In one way, it does make sense. If there's a lot going on, you know there is a potential for error and you are extra careful. If it's really quiet, it's like you have all day and that's when my errors occurred.
  10. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from burn out
    1. When assisting a pulmonologist with a thoracentesis when he punctures the left ventricle of the heart and screams "Consult cardiology" and goes running out of the unit as the patient slumps over in cardiac arrest.

    That doctor was so messed up. He should have screamed for a heart surgeon, not a cardiologist.

    How'd the patient do?

    Better yet, I'm confused as to how this is the nurse's fault. :uhoh21: :uhoh21:

    Anyway, for the OP, it sounds like meds are a major issue. Safety, too - lock the wheels on beds and chairs, make sure emergency supplies, like suction, crash cart stuff, and O2 are available at all times. Keep your aides in line. Pray for good luck and avoidance of landmines.
  11. by   TrudyRN
    Quote from TazziRN
    Sorry, but you can always make a mistake. The trick is to learn from them and try to find ways to make sure they either don't happen again, or the chances of them happening again are slim. Mistakes are okay, but the same mistake over and over is not good.
    Mistakes are ok? What planet do you nurse on, Tazz? :spin:
  12. by   ladytraviler
    I, too, had a paramedic instructor that said nothing good ever came from panic - step back take a deep breath and go back to work. It has saved me more than once. I work L&D and use this a lot with problems that develop. Mistakes happen. Hopefully you catch them. If you don't, hopefully you claim them if yours and learn from them.
  13. by   cuddlebug
    Quote from burn out
    1. When assisting a pulmonologist with a thoracentesis when he punctures the left ventricle of the heart and screams "Consult cardiology" and goes running out of the unit as the patient slumps over in cardiac arrest.

    2.When your newly placed "IJ" central line keeps beeping back pressure and you connect it to a pressure bag and get a beautiful arterial waveform.

    3.When your newly placed subclavian quad lumen cath can not be visualized on chest xray but shows up on an xray of the head.

    4.When your newly admitted 48 year old patient is whisked off for emergency exp. lap for unknown cause of abd bleeding looking you square in the eye saying "I want everything done, I don't want to die". You kept the first part of the bargain but lost on the second part.

    Sometimes nursing walks a thin line.
    I am curious to know what happened with #1 & #3
  14. by   PANurseRN1
    #3 is just really messed up.

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