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Made my first mistake


Specializes in ER.

Hey y’all. The other day was my first day on my own off orientation, I work at a busy ER. I was disconnecting a patients port tubing from their antibiotics and I accidentally took off the INT cap from the tubing and didn’t clamp the tubing. Placed an antiseptic green cap, but patient’s tubing bleed around the cap and ended up becoming clotted. Needed to be reaccessed which there was no problem with. No complications other than minor bleeding, however I am worried about the fact that the tubing was an “open line” aka contaminated for a few minutes. I am so anxious about the whole thing and I’m starting to feel incompetent. I’ve been reassured by everyone that it is no big deal and I’ve learned from my mistake. Am I overreacting?

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

You made a mistake and it is pretty normal for that to rattle you. So in being rattled, no, you aren't overreacting. But to go down the self-flagellating road of "I must be incompetent" is a bridge too far.

You are new. Mistakes are going to happen, both while you are now and once you are experienced. You are a human being taking care of human beings. We have learned ways to help mitigate our mistakes and you will learn from this. You put the Kuros cap on it, so the likelihood of infection is pretty slim in all. I am betting you will never make this particular mistake again. Take a deep breath, resolve to do better, stop worrying about what other people think and get back to work. Your profession needs you. You made a mistake. In the realm of mistakes, this is minor. You are going to go on to do just fine.

Honestly, in the whole scheme of things, I barely call that a mistake. Just a nanosecond blip on the radar...you are not going to kill anybody. 😘