Jump to content

Oh crap...I can't believe I forgot...


Specializes in Neuro. Has 1+ years experience.

to turn on the Heparin drip after I did a blood draw on a jugular access site!! Doh!!

I did the lab draw at 0600 and when I was sitting in my car on the way home at 0730, I suddenly remembered...and it hit like a brick...s#*! I forgot to turn the IV pump back on.

I know, I know heparin is a big deal, I should have remembered to turn it back on. I'm sure someone will reprimand me... I deserve it...and yes, I'm the worst nurse on the planet, please gather your stones and commence the throwing...

The patient was DCing home later in the AM and going to switch to oral Coumadin. I thought about calling the AM nurse and letting her know, but I didn't want to interrupt her day for her to say "Um, yeah, I saw you forgot to restart.. (thanks for making me walk all the way to the phone to hear something I already know)"

I am wondering what you guys have forgotten to do on your shift and then WHAM! it hits you...what did you forget and what did you do about it..

Please send all negative and berating personal comments to my inbox, just looking for commiseration here.

Aww, heck. Easy to do; but what works well for me is to just PAUSE the IV pump instead of turning it off. Yes, it beeps. Yes, it's annoying. But it's much harder to forget about it.

Wave Watcher

Specializes in Community Health/School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

The only thing I would have done was actually call the nurse on shift. She may not have noticed herself yet.

I've had those "doh!" moments more times than I can count! Every nurse has had those days/nights/weeks......I think you'll survive to see tomorrow! Hugs!!

I don't mean to sound rude but......just kidding. Just FYI call work when you forget something like that. Yeah the oncoming nurse may have already known-or not?? I get phone calls from the previous shift and appreciate the heads up.

Now what specifically did I forget? Aw...can't remember (how ironic) but I know it happens. I, unlike you, don't realize I forgot something until the following day or two that I'm off :idea:. And the thing I forgot just appears out of nowhere! I don't know how it happens because when I leave work- I leave it! Good day or bad day- I don't rehash it. But it is crazy because it floats into my head out of nowhere. I could be brushing my teeth getting ready for bed and KABOOM it surfaces in my head (trying to mess with my sleep or make me feel guilty- LOL)

Lynx25, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 1 years experience.

Sh*t happens, no bigge. I just call and let the next nurse know what's going on. (Or text, we text like maniacs here.)


Has 12 years experience.

If the patient was ready for discharge, they should have been therapeutic in the Coumadin or switched to an injectable. It is an error, but certainly not the worst you could make, and I bet you'll never forget again. Don't beat yourself up too bad.


Specializes in ICU.

Yep, definitely should have called, but odd that she's on a heparin gtt on the day of discharge. Anyways...I will always remember things like an hour (or 3) later that my patient had asked for another blanket, or pillow, or ice water. Luckily it doesn't usually happen with meds, or other more important things! *knocks on wood*Oh yeah, and like someone above said, don't turn the pump off when it just needs to be put on hold. :)


Specializes in Telemetry, OB, NICU. Has 4 years experience.

I forget to chart stuff sometimes; especially the blood transfusions! Yea, I go back to work and chart the same day.

evolvingrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice.

our iv yells out us if we turn it off and don't turn it back on unless we put it in to standby.....otherwise i would have done that too. it happens.

Id have called the unit. Once I woke up at 3am in a cold sweat and hubby was like are you ok. I said I forgot to sign the restraint forms. It happens.

BostonTerrierLover, BSN, RN

Specializes in Adult/Ped Emergency and Trauma. Has 16 years experience.

Lol, I can tell I am going to love this thread, It alway's hits me in the shower that I forgot something. It always hits you like a ton of bricks, but the nurses on the opposite shift always appreciate that call, and it shows that you really are thoughful and concientious about your shift.

I have learned a bad habit, but it works. I write on my hands. Still doesn't stop everything, but it helps.

I once had "BCBA" written on my hand, that reminded me not to start their Antibiotics before Blood Cultures were drawn. I always want to get orders rolling at 100mph, and it takes some thought, not easy for an unDx ADD nurse.

Edited by BostonTerrierLoverRN
fomite spotted

Creamsoda, ASN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

Aww, heck. Easy to do; but what works well for me is to just PAUSE the IV pump instead of turning it off. Yes, it beeps. Yes, it's annoying. But it's much harder to forget about it.

I do the same thing. I think many of us have learned that lesson the hard way

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

:hug:....We have ALL done stupid things and it hits us when we are driving home or in a nightmare that wakes us in a cold sweat! The best thing invented was the cell phone for that "Holy Feces!" moment when it hits you in the car. At the end of a long night I was anal about checking my pumps or almost dry bags and that they were all running.

The best, and I mean best, practice is to place the pumps on hold......it makes it harder to forget them. Your remorse is clear and we all learn from our mistakes. I'll bet it will a long time (if ever) before you forget this moment! But always call the unit, it makes the next nurse feel better that you cared enough to let her know you had a brain flatus moment!


Specializes in Tele, Stepdown, Med/Surg, education. Has 10 years experience.

I would have called, but don't be so hard on yourself I've forgotten things it's a part of being human, working understaffed and just moving too fast. Just try to learn from it and move on.

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 10 years experience.

Usually I'll forget to sign off that I gave a med, or I won't hand off a detail about labs that need to be drawn for the next morning. But I always call and check in with the nurse. If it were me, I'd want to know. I understand how busy the beginning of the shift can be, and if the nurse doesn't get to see that patient right away, she might not catch that the drip wasn't back on. Just like a nurse on my unit might wonder if the patient got the medication or not. So don't be afraid of "interrupting the morning." Just call and let her know. I'm sure she will appreciate it.

The only time I've been annoyed by a phone call is when I transferred a patient from ICU to the general floor around 7:30 pm. I sent the MARS, chart, all the necessary transfer sheets.

Sometime around 11pm I got a TEXT MESSAGE from the nurse taking care of the patient on the floor. She said she had an important question about the patient and please call the unit.

When I saw the message and called (luckily I was still awake) the nurse asked me if the patient had gotten her 8pm medications. I responded, "were they signed off in the MAR?" "No." "Then no, she didn't get them."

I really wanted to give her a larger piece of my mind about how unacceptable it was to be asking me this question almost 4 hours after the medications were due, but I let it go. (But did later report it to my NM.)

First of all- if it's an important question, why are you TEXTING me instead of calling me directly?

Second- why have you waited four hours to realize that the kid needs medicine and see if she got them? The nurse was very lucky I wasn't asleep because I would not have seen the text message until the next morning.

So, OP, here's some advice: If you forgot to do something important, call the nurse as soon as you remember. Don't wait, don't worry about interruptions, don't assume she already knew about it. Don't text her and ask her to call you.

bsyrn, ASN, RN

Specializes in Peds, School Nurse, clinical instructor. Has 22 years experience.

no advice just :hug:


Specializes in Hospice, Psychiatry.

I called for admit orders and forgot to enter them into the computer :thankya:

I remembered on day 2 of a 3 day weekend.

We never transfer patients without giving them their meds..the other nurses would raise hell. We have a 3 hr window..if meds are due at 10pm we have between 9pm and 11pm to give them. If they were due at 8pm,Id have given them before transferring.