Feeling incompetent

  1. Hi,
    I'm pretty new to home health. It's been about six months. I worked on Surgical floor for three years prior. It has been a rough week. I had to draw blood from a central line and it took a few syringes. My needle box was a bit full and guess what happened? I was pushing the syringes in sort of hard and one came thru the box and stuck my leg. I know what I should do. This was Friday and today is Sunday. With the week I have had and feeling incompetent at present, I have done nothing. Of course it was late Friday. Office was closed. My superviser wasn't in office. She is a stickler and is a OSHA nut. I just need a bit of support. I feel like an idiot. It's just one more thing in my week and my new boss will say Why did you wait? I'm not sure about the syringe even. Which needle or patient did it come from? I'll be at fault for this in the eyes of the boss.
    Please give some needed support
    Thanks in advance
    Last edit by Nance on Mar 21, '04
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    About Nance

    Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 5


  3. by   nursedawn67
    Take the butt chewing, and get it took care of...You don't know what was on that needle! I would rather get it took care of and get that butt chewing then let it go and get something I cannot get rid of.
  4. by   rollingstone
    Agree with last poster. Just take care of the situation and get checked out. Sooner or later when you work with sharps you'll get poked. It's happened to me.
  5. by   Nance
    Done. Yes I sounded whimpy. Needle box was too full and safety guard was not locked. Needle box was too small and will be changed now. It should have only been used for butterflies and CBG stuff. Other nurses like them. We are getting larger sharps containers, which I had requested anyway. Syringes were too large to lie down in box and upright were too long. Ha. MD told his stick stories and boss was great helping me an MD wade thru paperwork.
  6. by   renerian
    Heavens I do QM and I have about 6 needlestick follow ups going on. Just go and be safe. Heavens most of us get stuck one time or another. Don't feel bad it happens to the best of us.

  7. by   ladydi94956
    Well, I am new to this forum and to home health nursing.
    I am currently working in an ICU. I have had enough!!
    I left work this morning practically in tears .
    I cannot believe the way they have been treating me.
    Last week, I made my first boo boo. I have been in nursing for two years and 1 year in the ICU. Anyways, I get a fresh post-op who had a very long back surgery. Her dressing went from about T3-lumbar region, therefore covering her whole back. As soon as she came to me, on a PCA pump, she was complaining of pain so I encouraged her to use the PCA and also gave her a bolus. When I turned her to look at the dressing, she screamed out in pain but I was able to take a good look at the dressing noting that it was dry and intact. I never rolled her to the other side since I was able to look at that one side and see the whole dressing.
    Anyways, I never got in report or did I ever see a hemovac. I did what I was suppose to do but somehow missed it. Apparantly what happened is that the dressing was so long that the tube for the drain went up the dressing towards her nape and sat behind her shoulder area, she had long hair, where I could not see it. BOy, did the day nurse find it, though.
    This is my first error and the charge nurses are treating me like I am incompetent not beleiving me when I tell them that I turned the pt to inspect the dressing. Last night when I worked, she was on my back like a wolf pack. Not even believing me when I told her that I zeroed the bed for the new pt coming in. Questioning me because she didnt see a pillow on the bed. UNREAL!! She even went up to a co worker (thank god a friend) to question my work ethic and told her to keep an eye on me. They are making me feel incompetent which I know I am not. I have always been very careful but this was an unfortunate thing that was overlooked which they are blowing way out of proportion.
    I have always liked Home Health and I think that this situation has helped me make my mind up that ICU nursing is not for me.
    I have an interview tommorrow with an agency.
    I just hope the hospital I work for wont bad mouth me!:angryfire
    Last edit by ladydi94956 on Mar 25, '04
  8. by   Nance
    The way that I look at it is we all make mistakes. Did the patient do o.k.? In the field of nursing, it seems we are at fault for many things. We can't beat ourselves up. We do the best of our ability with the knowledge we possess, search for info when we don't have the knowledge. One strength of many nurses is being almost compulsive and it sounds as if your charge probabally has that quality. Patient not compromised is top priority. I've known MDs to try to take gallbladders out even when patient says it has been removed already. We are human. I love home health and will try to give you more infor later. Got to go. Keep smiling and DO NOT KEEP beating yourself up. Learn and move on-that makes us all better nurses.
  9. by   ladydi94956
    Patient did absolutely fine.

    She actually thanked me the next time I saw her for taking such "great care of her." The next day when I was helping a fellow nurse in the bed next to hers, I overheard her giving me praise. She felt that I was at her bedside all night and attended to her needs very quickly including being prompt with the call light. Little things matter so much in our patient's eyes. She works at the local comedy club and insists that when she gets out, she is bringing me tickets. How sweet .
    At this point, I am not so sure I should accept them though.
    This is really what is making me lean towards home health, the patient contact and the relationship that you develop with them.
    I am looking at what happened as a learning experience which has made me realize that the ICU is not for me and never take anything for granted. If you have a gut feeling about something, you should go for it. At the time, I wondered to myself why wasnt there a drain but I didnt act on it. Boy, did I learn.

    This morning, I had a phone interview with the local home health agency. It is not affiliated with my hospital but it is a very large agency that covers most of northern California.

    It sounds pretty good. I will be a case manager that also takes 5-6 patients a day with a straight hourly salary and not per visit. They will be going online to computers soon (tablet PC's), but for now I will have to learn the paperwork. I am looking at it as a valuable learning experience being able to do both.

    Thank you so much for your input.
  10. by   tiroka03
    Being new in a position it is natural to feel this way. But, sooner or later you will realize your decisions and actions are good and correct.

    It's easy to internalize every mistake as completely your fault. As if there were no other contributing factors. Maybe the Supervisor will be upset, is she afraid because you didn't get a good orientation, or that she let you out in the field with inferior products. Maybe she will want to quiet your voice.

    But, maybe not. Maybe she needs documentation that the company isn't supplying proper equipment. Maybe they are expecting too much from a new home health professionals.

    What ever the reasons you feel afraid, your health is more important. When I feel in doubt of a decision, I run this phrase through my brain. If I were one of my kids and they came to me with this problem, what would I say? Because I love them, I would strongly encourage them to be tested. Then the next logical question: Do you love yourself the same as you love your kids or family? Do you love them enough to be healthy and live a productive life, to be their example.

    For every decision you make, you will set a precident and an example for those who follow. strong words.

    Most of the things in my life I feel badly about are the result of not carrying through and doing things the proper way . Like not speaking up - when I should, or visa vera.

    I understand your fears, think it over before you make a final decision.
  11. by   Louisepug
    Quote from rollingstone
    Agree with last poster. Just take care of the situation and get checked out. Sooner or later when you work with sharps you'll get poked. It's happened to me.

    :uhoh21: How often does this happen?! Aren't you terrified of contracting a virus? From what I understood thru class this doesn't happen too often. Louisepug
  12. by   renerian
    Yes it does happen more frequently than you think.

  13. by   ladydi94956
    Dont forget we all make mistakes, including myself. If your supervisor bullies you, this is just wrong!! From what I have seen working in nursing for two years now, this happens a lot. Just take care of yourself and screw what other people think.
    I think this is a huge problem in nursing. The bulleing that goes on makes nurses scared to come to their supervisors with problems, which is so dangerous in the field of nursing. I think if we had a friendlier work environment, this would help with our shortage.

    God bless and good luck
  14. by   Sharlyn
    One can never be too careful. Here's a different angle that we just dealt with: We recently admitted a client with a SPMI diagnosis and are seeing him for medication delivery and administration. He also has diagnosis of Hepatitis C. He does not receive any injections or had any sharps issues. The nurse went for her visit. We usually sit and discuss their symptoms and medication side effects etc. Well, the nurse sat on a chair that had a chair tack sticking out of it and punctured her buttock. When she jumped up he commented that he had sat on that same chair earlier and bled.

    It isn't just needles. Be careful of where you sit!