Problems at work. Need advice!


I have been making some mistakes recently at work and I'm trying to decide what's happening.

I am a Med/Surg nurse with 6 years experience. In the past few months I have had 3 instances of forgetting to call a doctor with important information. This has resulted in 2 written warnings and currently a 2 shift suspension.

I firstly need advice as to not making these mistakes again; secondly, is it possible to keep my position after a suspension or is it just a matter of time before termination?

I really like my position and can't figure out why I'm messing up.


allnurses Guide

JBudd, MSN

1 Article; 3,836 Posts

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 42 years experience.

Sorry to hear it. I make notes for myself throughout the shift, because I have no time sense (I think I'm caught up and realize I did those things several hours ago and it is time to repeat!). I keep a sheet of paper in my pocket, make notes and cross off things I've done or circle heavily something I need to do. My cheat sheet is literally a record of my shift.


17 Posts

Thank you, JBudd. That makes sense! I think that will help me keep better track of things to be done. I hope I can resolve this because I really like my job!

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Is everything okay physically? Any huge upheavals in your home life? I'd want to evaluate that stuff, if you've been functioning fine for 6 yrs and now all of a sudden are making several mistakes.

Have you tried writing your to-do items in a bright color on your brain sheet? That's what I do. Sometimes if I have something to call about or follow up on, and it's not so urgent that it needs to be done immediately I'll just star it in red on my brain sheet. As I finish them I scribble them out w/ black pen so that the stuff that's been taken care of is not so prominent on the sheet.

heron, ASN, RN

3,652 Posts

Specializes in Hospice. Has 51 years experience.

A complete physical seems in order - those short-term memory issues didn't just pop up out of nowhere for no reason. How's your thyroid?

Have you ever had Lyme Disease? You get the idea ...

jadelpn, LPN, EMT-B

51 Articles; 4,800 Posts

Paper brains are wondrous things!! I have to write everything down. I keep a running list of "to-do's" so I don't forget--with lots of patients, it can and does happen.

The only thing you can say is that going forward, you have made changes to your practice to not repeat the errors. Another thought is to always "check in" with your charge every couple hours. Then you have another person who also knows what you need to do, and can follow up with you on it.

Best wishes!


17 Posts

Thanks to everyone who has replied. The running solution I see is writing things down and checking them off as completed. I will definately implement that! I also like the idea of checking in with the charge.

I also do have thyroid issues. A trip to the doctor for a level recheck is happening. Can't take care of others if I don't take care of me!

Specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

Good to see you are checking your own health to make sure that this is not a physical problem, but I would also go to your management and tell them directly that you love your job and would like their advice/assistance to help you become more efficient with keeping track of things on the unit. Seek their guidance and it will demonstrate a willingness to make the necessary changes, along with a strong desire to stay employed with them once you have made the necessary corrections. Having a good attitude with a willingness to work with them will go a very long way towards you keeping your job and getting their engagement in being part of the solution. If there is any additional training/education you feel you may need, this may be a good point in time to ask if you can get that too.

Good luck.

heron, ASN, RN

3,652 Posts

Specializes in Hospice. Has 51 years experience.

I, too, am glad that you're doing some investigating. Sudden or rapid cognitive changes make me very suspicious. I would love to know how it all turns out, if you're willing to share it here. Good luck!


17 Posts

So, I worked my last shift at my job today. I was given the option of resigning or being terminated. When I came back from suspension, I knew that it probably wouldn't be long before I was gone. While I'm sad that I no longer have a job, I think this will be a good opportunity to continue reflecting on what can be done to prevent mistakes in the future.

Thanks to all of you who commented on my post; I will definitely keep your advice in mind going forward in my career.


101 Posts

So sorry to hear that. Hugs.


116 Posts

I tend to forget if things are piled up. My advice is call right away, don't wait.