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How much trouble am I in?

Nurse Beth   (564 Views | 2 Replies)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Writer Innovator Expert Nurse

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

18 Followers; 104 Articles; 235,892 Profile Views; 2,090 Posts

Dear Nurse Beth,

I work on a PC unit and I pulled medication for a resident to go to their apartment to administer. As I was in one residents apt I heard the lady across the hall yelling out so I placed pulled meds in kitchen drawer of the residents room I was in to check on the lady in the apt across the hall. I forgot to go back and remove the meds from kitchen drawer. Several days later the niece finds the meds in the drawer. How much trouble could I be in ???

Dear Trouble,

Interruptions during med pass can cause errors, as you know. In your case, meds were left in an unsecured location, and the resident did not receive their medication.

Were the meds documented as given? If so, that adds a layer of fraudulent documentation to the situation.

How much trouble you are in depends on your past work history and the evaluation of your supervisor. Having a visitor discover medications in the kitchen drawer is understandably embarrassing to the facility and affects their reputation. The facility needs to be seen as keeping clients safe and following the regulations.

When your supervisor talks to you, explain your decision to leave the meds in the kitchen drawer (you were concerned about another resident's safety). But don't leave it at that- acknowledge that you now understand that it was not a good decision, that you understand the policy (read it), and what you would do differently next time (keep the meds with you so they are secure).

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, Your-Last-Nursing-Class-ultimate-ebook/dp/B071Your Last Nursing Class- how to land your first nursing job...and your next! 

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13 Followers; 4,056 Posts; 31,251 Profile Views

This is too bad all around.

As a family member I would not be pleased, mostly because my LO did not receive their medication. My displeasure would be with the facility, much less likely the staff member.

As a nurse, this scenario is too bad. There's no perfect, easy answer. If you pocket the medications and then forget to return to the task, you can easily be accused of medication diversion.

I sit here and think, "you just have to make sure you return to your previous task when you are done handling the interruption." But that's very easy to say and life just doesn't work that way. Additional pending tasks will have been accumulating during the interruption such that now you're late for something completely different. Plus new interruptions will continue.

But... that's the only real thing I can think to recommend (unless you somehow have the luxury of summoning immediate assistance, which I doubt): Try your very best to make it your practice to recall and review what it was you were doing right before the interruption and then make sure you have finished that task before moving on.

Think it over so that you have something reasonable to say if you get the chance to discuss it with your supervisor. The answer will involve securing the medication one way or another and then remembering to go back and finish the task.

Good luck ~

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Saiderap has 25 years experience and specializes in retired from healthcare.

526 Posts; 15,392 Profile Views

I would have locked the meds. in the med cart and kept my med administration record book completely up to date right down to the last second as I was taught.    I would have been mortified if I found out I had done this. 

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