Med errors

  1. I really need some advice right now. I have been a nurse for 10 months now. I have been moved to a different cart recently and for the 5 days I was on there I made a med error all 5 days with a BP med. I confused the less/ more sign. It was if the systolic was under 120 to hold med. I thought the symbol meant more than 120 to hold BP med.....idk why I would think that but I did.......so I gave the BP med all 4 days and it was under 120 systolic. And I held it when it was 122 systolic. It is documented in the MAR so it was cought. I had made a previous med error before this. So my DON called me and told me about the error. I got suspended and they are going to make a decision to let me go or not. I feel horrible and like I'm a terrible nurse. Idk how I got the more/less symbols mixed up. I feel so stupid. I have been crying all day. Idk what to do or think.
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    About Mleilani

    Joined: Jan '18; Posts: 1
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    6 Comments

  3. by   ThatGuyNurse
    Focus on this. You made a mistake, you realize what it was, and because of the experience you will never make that mistake again. Jobs will come and go but your education as a nurse only began after you graduated. Some facilities do not have parameters on their BP meds but only ask you to record what the PT's BP was at the time you gave it. If it is a med you are not familiar with do not be afraid to look it up or ask someone.

    Let me tell you a story. I went on vacation once and when I came back I saw that for multiple days a PT's BP med was being held because of low blood pressure. The order on the MAR simply had the med's name and a place to indicate what the PT's BP was. Multiple nurses who have been on the job for a long time held it because they have gotten so in the habit of giving BP meds to keep blood pressure down. This particular med was Midodrine which was prescribed by the patient's outpatient doctor for hypotension. So the nurses were holding a med to keep the PT's BP up because his BP was too low. It was not a med they were familiar with and the assumed what it was for.

    Trust me, after you see enough Doctors hit google on their phone there is no shame for you to hit it yourself

    Wish you the best,
    Nurse K
  4. by   Iheartnursing
    Also, using the less than or greater than symbol in the MAR is not acceptable. The facility should not be using acronyms in MARS... it's no longer acceptable practice.
  5. by   inthecosmos
    Quote from Iheartnursing
    Also, using the less than or greater than symbol in the MAR is not acceptable. The facility should not be using acronyms in MARS... it's no longer acceptable practice.
    I agree. For safety reasons it should be written out clearly so errors can be prevented. Medication errors are multi-step processes and aren't just the nurse's fault (usually.)
  6. by   Crystal-Wings
    Quote from Iheartnursing
    Also, using the less than or greater than symbol in the MAR is not acceptable. The facility should not be using acronyms in MARS... it's no longer acceptable practice.
    Exactly! I don't know why some places continue to write the less or greater than symbols in the MAR. It's so easy to get confused.
  7. by   beekee
    Yes, using less than or greater than symbols can be confusing: however, if you knew what the medication was for, you would have hopefully thought twice about whether to hold it. In other words, why would you hold a med that is suppose to bring down a blood pressure when the patient's blood pressure is high or give it when the blood pressure is low?

    Nevertheless, give yourself some forgiveness. Being a new nurse with a crazy number of patients on a new cart trying to get everyone's meds out in time is hard, if not impossible. It's hard to think when you are so stressed out. I'll confess I once grabbed a med for diarrhea instead of the one for constipation (and gave it). No one is perfect.
  8. by   fibroblast
    It wasn't this med error necessarily, but it is the previous one also. When you make the first one, you want to ensure the second one doesn't happen. Med errors happen, but how often and what circumstances.
    Last edit by fibroblast on Feb 5

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