S. O. S. - page 5
For the first time since I started nursing (I graduated last June) I feel really discouraged with myself. It all started last week. I made a med error. I was waiting and waiting for a now order to... Read More
Mar 7, '02My first med error was (thankfully) insignificant ...
I gave the wrong med to the wrong patient at the wrong time:
Digoxin 0.125 mg at 0800 to a patient that was supposed to get 0.25mg at 1200.
I worked in a SNF and paniced...did the med error report and everything. Thought I would be fired and my days as a nurse were over, they would take my brand new license.
Notified the Doc, his response..."and your point is?"
Mar 8, '02Isn't it funny how we tear ourselves up over mistakes but when we have those great shifts, you know, catch that slight change in a patient's condition that saves the patient's life; manage to settle the elderly, confused patient that no-one else has been able to; even get a smile out of patient who has been having a hard time, we neglect to give ourselves that well deserved pat on the back. Everyone makes mistakes but we also do alot of great things so pats on the back for all of you.
Mar 8, '02Heather,
Well said-- I agree totally!
I forgot to mention in my previous post about my own error that our hospital has recently institued a non-punitive med error reporting policy.
A while back, a coworker made a med error and wrote up an incident report, dreading the consequences. However, a week or so later, she found a note in her mailbox THANKING her for reporting her med error, and there was a card for a free beverage of her choice in the cafeteria I remember reading that more hospitals are instituting this policy to encourage people to report errors and to better track problems in the system.
Mar 12, '02Congratulations! You have just officially joined the human race and the nursing Profession. You have not been tried in this profession until you have been tried by fire. The trick is to only get crispy around the edges.
We have all been in your shoes. And I have more news for you, this was most likely not the last med error you will make. You won't make the same one, but you will have a new opportunity to beat yourself up again. BEAT GENTLY. You will need that energy to expended to help another patient.
I suggest you use your computer and a forms program (there are some very good, and cheap ones out there) to devise a personal worksheet for yourself. If you have the potential to have a lot of deaths in your unit one side or the other make some "Cheat Sheet" tables with check-offs to help you finish all documentation needed. But never delete that page, just save it, you may be able to help another nurse by giving her the tool to keep from making that mistake. I am of course referring to the missed step in documentation with your death.
With you med error, I suggest that you get just a little/slightly aggressive with the people who have your charts and MAR's when you need them to do your job. Sometimes I feel like I have to look at an order 3-4 times to insure in my own mind that I do see it, as well as all the other R's involved in the med chain. I have called Dr's for clarifications of orders, one that sticks out started printing because I told him "honestly, DR, I can't read your writing". As for the other nurse noting the order, ask for help, but never assume he/she will do it. Also, all of us must remember that sometimes you have to pass something on to the next shift, because most facilities FROWN on OT.
CHIN UP, YOU WILL SURVIVE THIS AND ALL TRIALS BY FIRE.