Feeling incompetent

  1. I am in an accelerated ADN program and am currently taking pharmacology and fundamentals. For pharm class we had med checkoffs last week. We got a list of medications we'd be giving..and of course I looked up what each med was for and adverse effects. In the process of doing check offs..my nursing instructor pointed out (after I did my 2nd check-yes, I unbelievably did not catch this the first check and who knows if I would have caught it by the 3rd one!) that I put metaproterenol into my med cup instead of metoprolol!!! I was so focused on remembering the medications effects and patient teachings for each that I guess I didn't even bother to check spelling. I felt completely ashamed and humiliated!! I got upset and had to excuse myself to take a breather. My instructor was really comforting and told me now is the time to make these mistakes while in sim lab...not on the floor when you're an actual working nurse However, My confidence is completely shaken. I don't feel as if I'd make a good nurse and most importantly would never want to harm a patient due to my dumb and careless mistake. Any tips or advice moving forward??
    Last edit by Nurse2be0942 on Jul 17
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    Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 1; Likes: 1

    5 Comments

  3. by   FutureNurseInfo
    I totally understand how you fell... and I will only start my program this fall, when I will be taking pharm with 3 other courses! I think as students, and human beings, we all tend to self-doubt. Somewhere on here I read that rather than fixating on things/mistakes we do wrong in school, concentrate on things you do right! Like your prof said, it was fine to make a mistake while practicing, since this is how we all learn - by making mistakes. So, take a deep breath, and go for it ;-)
  4. by   Wiggly Litchi
    Your instructor is right - now is the best time to be making mistakes (if ever there was a 'good' time for them).
    It's when we make mistakes, especially ones that could lead to grave consequences, that we learn. Now in the future, you know you'll be sure to check spelling again .

    Don't let it deter you - what will make you a great future nurse is that now you realize the severity of the mistake, and that you will grow from it.
  5. by   CharlieFoxtrot
    I cannot tell you how much it means to have a lab/clinical instructor that cares and can talk you down from the rafters when things go sideways. <3 My clinical instructor was amazing and really helped me gain confidence in my abilities with her pep talks.

    I do agree with both the previous commenters: Now is definitely the time to make mistakes because you have someone to help you catch mistakes, fix them, and learn from them. Mistakes happen, they massively suck, they make you doubt your abilities, and they frighten the crap out of you. But as much as that fright sucks, that moment of "OMGOMGWTF did I do?" makes you a better nurse because it makes you more aware of mistakes that could happen when you are with a client.

    I bet you the Snickers bars that I am currently hiding from my kids that you will most likely never mess up Metropolol with Metaproterenol again.
  6. by   ClaraRedheart
    This is why we have Pyxis! When I was 19, I considered nursing, but ultimately passed it up because I was afraid I would make an error that could potentially cost someone their life. In the REAL world of nursing, we can only select and access medications that are on the patient's profile. When we scan them before giving, if it's too early or late, our Medication Administration Record will only let us give them if they're currently due. There are SO many fail safes in place! Even when giving sliding scale insulin or even set dosages, we must have a second nurse verify that we drew it up correctly. I've gotten that wrong a few times and have caught it in others. You will be ok!
  7. by   waterdrifter
    The one thing that I enjoyed about making mistakes in SIM, is that it gives you an experience to learn from which does not directly impact patient safety. In the future, it won't be very likely you will make the same mistake. You are shook! And that's a good thing. You should never feel too comfortable in what you'e doing as a nurse because over confidence can lead to situations like that. You're going to be extra careful next time you are administering a med pass to Mrs. Finkle in room 214 AND you'll make a great nurse. Keep your head up!

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