How many mistakes can one nurse make? (A vent)

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rosie 407

2 Posts

Specializes in Med surg, Neuro <ER.

I am currently and ER nurse and I came from a med surg background before I went into ER. Yes med surg can be heavy and busy but after being in ER for almost a year, I actually miss med surg. I miss the time to educate and talk to patients and family. In ER there is no time. The motto is get them in and out as fast as you can.....I realized now that I am a bedside nurse. In ER you have to think fast on your feet especially when it comes to critical patients. I did not get that much training with critical pts. Working in ER is they like you or they don't .You have to fit in their world. Yes, it is a different world compared to med surg. Either you swim or you sink. If you have a good back up system in ER then you will succeed, but if not, you are screwed.


784 Posts

You know what cured me of this? Taking over in mid shift from some of these "STELLAR" nurse who either go home sick or go home due to low census. The stuff I have found either unreported on or unaddressed is pretty amazing.

It cured me of the "Oh, I am not worthy syndrome" PDQ!

So, yes Virginia, there is NO perfect RN.

Specializes in Geriatric/Sub Acute, Home Care.

Mistakes happen to all of us. We all have too much to do, to much to think about, losing our licenses, getting fired and keeping track of the ancillary personnel. this what Nursing really is about?....or just caring for a few people at a time properly and compassionately. I think its the latter and we all get kicked in the keesta from time to time. And who needs a condescending nurse at your face? I dont take that. I have had loud yelling matches with other nurses over work related issues. And where was the Nurse Manager at the time....????? We know if we are overtaxed. All in all, I think its 3 times and you are out with med errors. With report not given on one patient? Hmmmmm, I dont think that counts. Unless that patient is really in serious condition and things were done out of the ordinary that day that that nurse should have known. Otherwise, if it was an uneventful day and night, the manager should just remind you to get a small system on how not to forget to give report on, I always wrote everything down on my patients day to day and had a notebook. I would refer to it and review if everything was completed. I had too. Kept me safe.

Specializes in Med/Surg, DSU, Ortho, Onc, Psych.

I know you are a good nurse. I can tell from reading your post.

But there is something I must say to you, and please read this objectively. I learned VERY quickly working in the psych units that you HAVE to tell patients you can only spend so much time with them. It sounds like - though I could be very wrong - that you are spending too much time with people. Good nursing care, unfortunately, is not always about how much time you spend with people, it's about time management and about getting your work done, though it is very hard to balance I agree.

If you warn people in advance re how much time you can spend with them, for example, then they don't have as high expectations. ie: say 'I have 6 other patients tonight so I will be in here about 20 minutes'. I spent about 5 hours roughly of a 12 hour shift trying to make an extremely demanding and very needy lady comfortable after shoulder surgery, which is uncomfortable and painful. She refused strong pain killers, couldn't get comfortable, complained re the anaesthetist - complained about everything under the sun! I did EVERYTHING possible that night to get her comfortable, all to no avail. She was known to every nurse for her whinging. Upon reflection, I realised I was making her needy by running in and out of there. I should have just let her be for a bit , and try to stay away as much as possible.

You have to be a bit more focussed. I'm not saying I have never made a mistake or anything, but maybe you need to look a bit more at your time management perhaps.

It would be great to spend a lot of time with every needy patient, but it's just unrealistic when you have many demands on your time and a lot of patients.

I'm sorry you are going through this as well. It's horrid being the scapegoat, think we have all been there.

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

1 Article; 4,094 Posts

Specializes in Oncology.

I had a shift like this just last week. Happens to the best of us!


86 Posts

I wouldnt worry about it! People can be so rude!!! At my work there is a lady who works 11 to 7, FT and I dont know myself for sure, but its been said NOTHING goes on at night time, shes even admitted that she just watches TV, whatever, BUT AT LEAST DO YOUR WORK. she is one of those kinds of people who FREAK out over any little thing. One time I had two falls (and the 5 lbs of paperwork that goes with them) 2 showers, serving dinner, dinner and bed pills and getting everyone dressed and toileted for bed. I was running all night. She then the next day puts up this sign that says "PLEASE WIPE THE KITCHEN TABLES DOWN"...which i had forgotten to do. UGH. i could just smack her sometimes.

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