My first med error was not giving an eyedrop
2. Not seeing that what we got from the pharmacy was Norco, not percocet
3. Leaving med in room during emergency
4. In the MAR, I gave, but med still in cart
5. I don't recall what this error was for
I own up to my mistakes. Each mistake, I modify my behaviors to make sure it doesn't happen again, but I've been a nurse for a year and have endured so many med errors. My anxiety and depression get so bad that sometimes I can even concentrate. I work and pick up so many hours that I don't have time for treatment. We're so understaffed and the aids need me to help so I do.
I am so ashamed of myself and disappointed. My nursing instructor in college told me with my mental health issues, that nursing would never work and I now see that she's right. I love my job and all my coworkers and residents praise me but I hate how I can't seem to stop with these errors. At this point my job is up for review and most likely I will be terminated. Has any of you guys made mistakes like this?
Aug 30, '17
First of all you indicated that you work so much that you do not have time to seek treatment for your anxiety and depression. You never ever have a day off? If not then you must make the time with no excuses because now you see it may cost you your job because you have procrastinated. So make the appointment today. You need to evaluate each medication error which all seem to be minor and can easily be corrected with some modifications in your routine. I don't know what medications system you use but I used to make a list of all the medications I was responsible for giving with the time to be given. The medication was then crossed off when given. In terms of the pharmacy delivering the wrong narcotic you should be checking each medication against your list or whatever system you use. You must be hypervigilant when administering any medication and never let your guard down. If you left a medication in a patients room they were supposed to to take and then got distracted because of an emergency I don't consider this that agregious unless it was a narcotic. These are all careless mistakes and you can improve. I hope you do not lose your job for these minor mistakes but you must make improvements so they do not become more serious ones Forget what your instructor said but do seek physchiatric help for your depression and anxiety pronto
Aug 30, '17
I agree with iluvivt and want to add that as nurses we often tend to give give give until we have nothing left. In order to take of our patients, we HAVE to take care of ourselves first. Stop taking extra shifts and get the help you need! If you need to, figure out a way to take a short leave of absence and regain some balance in your life. Too much of ANYTHING is unhealthy.
It isn't nursing...it is a personal thing (people with this tendency just seem to be drawn to Nursing as a career). You would likely have the same problem in ANY career that you cared about.
Aug 31, '17
Were you taught or have you researched the common causes of med errors? Fatigue, distraction, poor staffing and being rushed. The conditions you describe in your post are just errors waiting to happen. You are new. You have a health condition that probably makes it very hard to concentrate at times. You work in a facility that is chronically short-staffed. You work extra shifts.
I don't know what kind of medication delivery system your facility has but many long term care facilities still use rather old-fashioned systems that make errors more likely. As the previous posters have stated, you need to take care of yourself before you can properly take care of others. Please make an appointment to take care of your own health issues. Please scrape off some of the extra shifts. Plan your home life so that you are getting adequate sleep and take time to eat a proper meal before going to work. At work, don't let yourself be pulled off course by everything going on around you. It takes time and attention to administer medication safely and corner cutting is tempting but always a bad idea.
Do not beat yourself up over past errors. The upside of your facility being so short-staffed is that they'll probably tolerate a few errors before they fire you. That buys you time to shore up your practice, before they decide the liability of having you outweighs their need for a warm body.
You sound like a conscientious and caring nurse. Your instructor isn't necessarily right; you did graduate from your program and have maintained employment for a year in what sounds like a minimally supportive environment. Lose the need to alleviate their staffing crisis for them at your personal and professional expense. Take care of you and see what changes. Good luck.
Sep 5, '17
It s seems this is happening more and more. The hours, the stress, the non-existant support systems, the mandatory overtime. Many seasoned nurses have retired leaving inexperienced nurses trying to take over emergency situations, be charge, handle too many patients, and they, themselves, are circling the drain.