I am getting written up on Xmas eve.


I arrived home tonight at 2230 to a frantic call from my unit. I had apparently given wrong information in report and it caused major problems. The physicians are rightfully calling "off with my head" and now I really am just not sure that I am cut out for this job. There is so much responsibility and every day I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water just trying to get the simple things done. I am so upset with myself and I just don't want to go back. The only saving grace is that it was not something that had an immediate adverse reaction to a patient. She may need a new picc line and I am really upset that she will have to go through that because I can't seem to keep the correct information in my head and I find that I get the information for all of my patients mixed up together. Sorry, I just feel so awful. I am a failure as a nurse.


69 Posts

Maybe you need a new system for keeping track of pt info. I use a very detailed "brain" sheet. It has boxes for the following: info I receive in report, kardex info (name, age, code, dr, dx, allergies, IV, diet, ACT), assessment findings, labs/tests, & meds (I put times + any PRNs I give). It's the only way I can keep track of things -- especially when it's busy.

Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes; how you handle it is what makes the difference. Figure out what you can do to rectify the problem & you'll grow as a nurse. Don't beat yourself up -- that rarely works.



6 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

first of all...:icon_hug:!!!! that is exactly what i needed a few days ago r/t a write up. so i know how you feel.

not to mention, it takes guts to admit you've gotten written up. this was my second in less than two months, the first one was so stupid(a written verbal) and this one was on my charting. :banghead: i felt like a failure, being a nurse for only 6 months. the feeling of quitting, changing careers, going down to part time, anything to get out of being so overwhelmed and embarassed. then my mom comes to pick up the kids and says its my fault, nobody likes me there because i am unfriendly. what!? i have always been praised for my bedside manner, the employees, well i keep it professional, friendly, but professional. so anyhow, in my time of need, the advice given to me was to be (and i quote) "be fake like them". i will not tell you the same, i have tried to stay with my morals and ethics and will continue to do so. maybe what we are feeling is completely normal and understandable. whether you should stay at your job or not , that is something that you may have to think about for atleast a few days or weeks. do you need to support a family, can you cut down, go to a different department, a different facility? just don't make an irrational decision, i personally chose to take a personal day and did not go in that same night , i just couldn't. whether i will stay at my job, well let's just say i am very actively looking to get out, its a ltc facility and there is a lot of nepotism going on there... both the unit managers, the mds nurse, a floor nurse on first (how did she get that job!?) all finished school together, not to mention the other friends they have (yes, even the don)or dare i say the puppets' strings they pull there. so much butt kissing, it makes me sick :barf01:its just not in me to do the same. geez, i need to shut up. i'm probably not even making sense or helping you at all. guess i just needed to vent too and there is so much i want to say. ok, sorry i am through...for now! keep your head up you are not a bad person or nurse, not if you genuinely care, which you must since it bothers you. alright, seriously, i'm finished.:w00t:

now have a great christmas!!!!:tree:*wine


6 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

Sorry, new to posting!

allnurses Guide

ghillbert, MSN, NP

3,796 Posts

Specializes in CTICU. Has 27 years experience.

You're not a failure for being written up. How successful you are as a nurse depends on how you respond to the event. Learn from it. Figure out where you are deficient and do something about it. I've been an RN for 12 years, but I found it very hard on a floor with a ton of patients to keep everything straight between patients. No way I could do it without my piece of paper or "brain sheet" as people here call it.

Is there anyone you work with who seems very organized? Can you ask them for some tips?


45 Posts

Thanks ladies. I think I just had a slight emotional break. I am under a lot of stress and am not really being rational. I do love my job I just look at these experienced nurses and they are so good at keeping everything together and it really is a struggle for me to keep track of who had what going on when. Plus when I listened to the two frantic messages left I think I freaked thinking I killed someone. I do feel overwhelmed and I won't lie about that. I just fear that they are going to fire me.

Oh and I do keep the brain sheets but for some reason I felt an SBAR was good enough report without writing the incidentals down. I guess I thought at the time that I had everything under control. I even felt like I did when I left tonight.

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele. Has 15 years experience.

I have a separate sheet for each patient, then I staple them together and keep them in my pocket for easy reference. I don't like clipboards. My unit issues these sheets, they have space for all the important info, then we add to it and pass it on to the next shift. I'm not a naturally organized person, so I need a simple method and this works for me. One whole sheet for each person with their sticker. I always staple the sheets in order of the rooms, that helps keep me straight.


3,362 Posts

Specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

Just learn from this experience. When I get patient info in report I write it down on separate sheets of paper and keep them in my pocket. It's easier than trying to remember things from memory and usually after 8-12 hours your brain is fried.


1,304 Posts

Specializes in psych. rehab nursing, float pool. Has 30 years experience.

You are not a failure, you simply have learned a valuable lesson. Do not beat yourself.

We have all made mistakes. When tired it is so easy to mixed information up. I have done that, and then had to back track on report " I usually say, ooops I lied. "Then I give the correct information to the person I am reporting to.

Writing on our brains helps immensely. I am sure you will not lose your job over this.

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

ok, i have been a rn since 1972....... i still use "a brain list"

it will get better............. come up with a system for taking report, then verrify as much as you can of what you are given, what you need to do, your assessments etc....... all this data on some type of "data sheet" reconcile as you chart, and give report....to next shift......... it has saved my bacon many times, and it still does :coollook:

I use a sheet per patient, as well. I can't track everything on a post-it note.

Relax. You screwed up. You're human.

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