Fear of Med mistake preventing me from going into Nursing.....should it?

  1. Hi! I have been seriously considering going to nursing school. I have an undergraduate in Psychology and I am a very compassionate person. The only thing is I am more English/verbal than mathematical. I got through trig in college and I wasn't the biggest dummy in the class but I don't think I am very mathematically inclined. The only thing that really scares me about nursing is making a dosage/med error. A new friend of mine who is a nurse said I shouldn't let that stop me. She said there are lots of safeguards in Nursing to make sure that doesn't happen. Thoughts?!!! Also, I have had occasional muscular back problems in the past but this can be controlled if I do regular exercise. Could that be a problem also? Thanks. Toni.
  2. Visit wonderfulmom profile page

    About wonderfulmom

    Joined: Jul '03; Posts: 7


  3. by   canoehead
    Everyone makes med errors and you will too. That is no reason for a caring person not to be a nurse. You will just double check your calculations and question anything that seems wrong.
  4. by   webbiedebbie
    Yes, there are safeguards in place. Some medications have to be double checked with another nurse. If in doubt, you can always look something up or check with the pharmacy. This doesn't mean you are stupid. It is safe to be cautious. The same thing as "there is no stupid question, only the question that is not asked".
  5. by   live4today
    If one is afraid of making a mistake, then that one should choose death over life because living mistake free is not an option in life. Shick happens...med errors happen...so do many other errors in life.

    If you feel truly passionate about becoming a nurse...GO FOR IT!

    As for your back problem? If one doesn't have a back or shoulder problem before coming into nursing, expect one after you become a nurse. It's par for the course in being a nurse because we are not just mentally abused in nursing...we are also physically abused in nursing. :chuckle

    I've had shoulder and back injuries as a nurse, and I'm still a nurse! It's my calling...don't know what else I'd like to do besides become Prez of the U.S.A.
  6. by   Rapheal
    Originally posted by canoehead
    Everyone makes med errors and you will too. That is no reason for a caring person not to be a nurse. You will just double check your calculations and question anything that seems wrong.
    Great advice!
  7. by   L.B. Path
    Because you are CONCERNED that you will make a medication error, you already have one safeguard in place.....You will triple check yourself....I want to add a little humor here.....When I was in L.P.N. school (before becoming a R.N.), I gave my instructors who were very close to God's Level, a gift of potpourri that came in bags that you were suppose to boil......and thus it scented up the room.....I was in class when one of the three instructors came out and said, "Thank you, ****(name), that was VERY GOOD TEA".......My face turned every shade but its normal shade......At which point, the other two checked the label......nothing that would be harmful at least if taken internally......This teacher who had DRANK the potpourri had always been the toughest of all when it came to passing medications.....At the end of the class, an article was written by the Students and we reminded our great and mighty teacher to ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL THREE TIMES!!! About the back pain......find yourself a good massager if you are sincere about the Nursing Career and also remember Calgon is great.....Take care of yourself so that you can have the strength to care for others. May you be blessed on your career path.
  8. by   proud2basn

    I am in my first semester, and I was a little concerned about the drug math too. But now that we have started doing it, I am one of the best ones in the class at it! (not bragging, just stating) One little piece of advice my husband ALWAYS give me.

    Don't go into nursing scared. Always tell yourself that you can do anything, just get yourself psyched up. Because if you are scared about making a mistake, or doing something wrong, it is almost GUARANTEED that you will make a mistake! Just keep telling yourself that you can do it! If you have that attitude, you will do great! Hope this helps!

    Oh, p.s. If you made it through college trig, you are one step up on me. I flunked H.S. algebra II
    Last edit by proud2basn on Oct 2, '03
  9. by   michelle95
    Like someone else said, med errors are going to happen. No one is perfect. You're bound to make a mistake somewhere down the road...thankfully, the ones I've made haven't been serious. If you check yourself like you're supposed to, you should be ok.

    Oh, and med error includes ANTHING to do with meds...not always giving the wrong med to the wrong patient. It could be giving the right med to right patient but at the wrong time. Or, if an order wasn't taken off to decrease a med (or increase it)...that would be a med error.

    But, use common sense. The other day, on one of my resident's MARs...an order read "give 220cc of ferrous sulfate"....that's quite a bit. It should have read 220mg (which would have been 5cc). Thankfully, being a little bit of a 'seasoned' nurse (5 years), I knew that 220cc of Fe was quite a bit and knew to check...but, I worry if a new nurse would have read it, which is where the common sense, hopefully, would kick in.
  10. by   robynrn2b
    Don't let the possiblilty of a med error scare you. I have always said that there are very few nurses around that haven't made a med error--the rest are lying. It happens. You just need to make sure you pay attention to what you are doing. If you are unfamiliar with something, LOOK IT UP. Or call pharmacy. As long as you follow the rules on giving meds, you will be fine. If a doseage or volume dosen't sound right----it probably isnt. I had to give a woman 130 units of Lantus and 100 units of Humulin along with sliding scale insulin one morning. You can bet your booty I checked not only the MAR but the ORIGINAL order as well. It was correct. I also questioned a co-worker and the pharmacist before I gave 24 cc of Lasix, 10mg/ml. IV b.i.d. But don't rely on a co-workers word if you are unsure. Check with the doc. or pharmacy.
  11. by   renerian
    I agree everyone at one time or another will most likely make a med error. Be cautious, carry malpractice insurance but don't let that stop you.

  12. by   Newme
    Errors are the biggest drawback to nursing in my opinion. We're only human and as humans we make mistakes. Unfortunately it can be devastating not only to the patient but to ourselves. The thing is - it's us humans that must do the job, imperfect though we are. I think the best we can do is support and help each other, especially those who are newer to the field and more inexperienced. We should never look down on the new nurse, never impose our judgment that they should be able to do whatever it is without help, etc. If the newer, less experienced nurse needs help, especially in specialty areas and we should give it willingly to help the entire profession, and most importantly the patients. We should boost her/his self esteem and help her/him feel confident by gaining these skills under more experienced mentors. Too often the veteran nurse has an attitude and help is not freely offered or given. Then add to that the new nurse feeling like she/he should know it all but maybe a bit overwhelmed and afraid to ask for the help needed (or maybe not even recognizing when help would be good). If a good mentor is readily available and friendly, everyone will benefit, and especially patients. There's no room in nursing for arrogance, backstabbing or snobbery.
  13. by   1RNLadybug
    If you are a compassionate person, don't let poor math skills prevent you for entering nursing.

    There are many safeguards in place. And there are always other nurses & pharmacy to help you verify dosages.
    It's like woodworking..."measure twice, cut once." In nursing, get 2 other people to verify with you. At one facility, heparin drips are verified with another nurse and with pharmacy.

    Nursing is a wonderful choice. My son just turned 18 and he has chosen to enter nursing. I am so proud of him!

  14. by   Cnowak07
    Does fear of getting into a car accident keep you from driving?
    You can't let fear rule your life. If nursing is something that you want to do than go for it......