Here's some background: I am about to enter my 4th semester as a nursing student. I am starting my first clinical rotation next month. I work as a nursing assistant at a psychiatric hospital, on a voluntary unit.
The nurses are only there during week days, so the nursing assistants give medications when the nurses arent there. The daily meds are pre poured into cassettes. I have been giving meds for about 6 months now and have not made any errors because the process is not confusing. However, the other night was a crazy night with a lot going on. As I was giving a patient their med, they were asking for a PRN and a variety other things so I asked them to wait a second so I could get their daily meds first. Without thinking, I poured the AM meds into the cup and gave it to them. SO, I gave them their AM meds when they were supposed to receive their PM meds. The AM med was an antidepressant. I noticed as soon as she swallowed the pill. I called the nurse and essentially freaked out. She explained that she, too has made med errors and that it happens. The patient was completely fine, thankfully. I was instructed to give her PM med as well. Her AM med was very low dose so they said there would be no side effects. She was fine. But, I cannot stop beating myself up about this. The nurse said that the protocol for med errors is I have to sit down and talk to them about it and if they decide it's necessary, I may not be able to give meds for a little bit. I barely slept last night and I feel sick to my stomach. Another coworker has given the wrong meds to the wrong patient and they had a negative rx to it, so in comparison thankfully mine was not the wrong patient but it's the principle that I made the error.
I'm one of the few workers who is in nursing school and I am so embarrassed that I was one to make a med error. I typically always go over the 5 Rights in my head but I failed to do so that night. One things for sure, I do not think I will ever make that error again as now I am going to be over cautious. I'm also worried about the other nurses' opinions of me may change, as I was respected prior to this for always being on my A game at work. I'm so embarrassed.
Have any nurses on here made a similar med error, or one at all? I'm now questioning myself and my abilities. Any advice for how to handle this embarrassment?