Fired from first RN job...does it get better?

  1. Hi. I was just fired from my first RN job today. I worked at an urgent care clinic for 3 months. I had 2 days of training with a LPN when I started. When working I am the only nurse on staff. Last week the MD ordered 10mg of morphine IM. I went to draw it up (first time IM and first time outside of nursing school). I added air to the vial before drawing it up. The end blew off across the room and the morphine went with it. I got another vial a drew it up without adding air and had no problem. I documented as giving 10 mg and wasting 10 mg in the narc book. I gave the pt his morphine. I thought all was well. Well apparently I had to show the "exploded" morphine vial to someone, which no one informed me of wasting policies. Plus who do you show your narcs to when you are the only Nurse working? An I too close to the situation and make a Huge mistake that I should be fired for? Does it get better? Any advice? I feel like a failure....
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    About namiller1213, MSN, RN

    Joined: Nov '10; Posts: 7
    from UT , US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience


  3. by   diligent-trooper
    I am sorry this happened to you. I do believe they were quick to terminate. I would have used it as a teachable moment. Narcotic medications, as you know, have a high abuse rate. Due to the concerns of diversion, medical facilities are required to demonstrate through documentation, that all narcotics, as well other "highly" abused medications are accounted for: administered, as well as wasted. Not only do you sign, and describe why the drug was wasted, but another nurse signs as well as a witness. I would not be concerned with finding another job; I believe most hiring managers would have a sympathetic ear to your issue. Believe in yourself!
  4. by   CrazierThanYou
    I also think they were too quick in firing you. You are a new nurse and you say you weren't informed of the narc wasting policies. I, too, am curious: who DO you witness with if you are the only one there?

    I graduate from nursing school in 7.5 weeks. I have to say, I probably would have injected air into the vial myself and I also wouldn't have thought twice about it.

    Keep us updated on this situation and good luck!
  5. by   canchaser
    Well it probably won't happen again, the air thing... When I'm in a hurry I sometimes forget and put air in there. Get in the habit of putting your finger over the end so the meds and cork don't go flying if you should forget again. The cork will pressure against your finger and you can get the air out of there. I feel they should have used it as a teaching idea too.
  6. by   Daisy_08
    that's really too bad, i think you should be able to get a job without this coming back to haunt you.

    when i worked in a retirement home they had awful practices, at the end of the day the oncoming shift would co-sign, without seeing the wastes. then in ltc we would keep them till the next shift came, and they'd sign then. now im in a hospital where we give out narcs like peds gives lollipops, we save our wastes till we have time to find someone to sign them. often i have a cup full of wastes by the end of the day. there have been a number of times i have, and others accidently throw them out, mistakes happen and its not a big deal, at least where i work. i'm just telling you this because the culture of where you work. maybe they have had issues in the past with abuse, fines ect. so it might not really be about you.

    good luck on your job hunt.
  7. by   mama.RN
    I agree with the other posters, they were quick to terminate....I just wanted to add that you should try to look forward and not dwell on this or beat yourself up over it. It is likely a blessing in disguise. Probably not a place you would really want to work. I wish you luck in finding a better situation.
  8. by   Dragonfly777
    I'm sorry to hear that, it seems that they were not conscientious at all with you or the fact that you were a new nurse. Piece of advise stick with the good nurses or even LVN's or CNA, for that fact even housekeeping. They will tell you how to do things when you are in doubt, you will be surprised how much CNAs know because they been there for so long. I consider anyone and everyone. You have to be very cautious with narcotics, blood thinners and antibiotics (they are controlled) before doing anything always have in hand someone you can count on or call. I just started to work a week ago and I already have 2 numbers of nurses that were kind enough to allow me to call if i had qs while on the floor.

    You will find another job, keep your faith and head up, it could have happened to anyone.
  9. by   MattNurse
    Antibiotics and blood thinners are not controlled substances. The drugs you have to worry about are barbituates, benzo's, opioids, hypnotics/sedatives, muscle relaxants, addictive drugs. I don't worry about having another rn watching me waste antibiotics or throwing away half a warfarin.

    If I were your boss I would take a urine sample to make sure you didn't take the morphine, keep an eye on you and let you go back to work. That is so ridiculous that you were fired for making a simple mistake.
  10. by   not.done.yet
    Most of the people I have come to know have done that with a carpuject at one time or another. I find it absurd that you were fired. I am so sorry this happened. It would hit me hard too, but try to pick your chin up and move on. I think most interviewers would not see this as a major error on your part.
  11. by   munch666nath
    its very important to document the use of narcotic drugs .whether it is wasted or used that doesnt matter.The reason is abusive rate of narcotic drug is very high.According to my hospital policies which i am working we have to keep the empty ampuoles of used narcotic drugs as well for eveidence .
  12. by   caliotter3
    They were very quick to terminate you for this one offense, especially since someone had a hand in that they did not properly train you. Suspect they were not well impressed over the three months and used this as an excuse. Just learn what you can from the experience and keep on keeping on.
  13. by   Vespertinas
    Did your manager notify you of any other concerns she had prior to this incident?
  14. by   meatball245
    you could have had the MD waste with you. Never fail to ask for their opinion. They may know policies, they may not. But just remember that all narcotics should be wasted with another licensed person no matter where you work. The blowing out the morphine vial happens to everyone, I think!