Going into hour 16 or 17 of my shift tonight, the scrub tech and I were getting the patient cleaned up on the OR table before transferring back to ICU. We turned the patient away from me, I began to clean the pt up, the tech lost grip, the pt fell off the table towards said tech, who, thankfully, broke much of the fall. But the pt did fall. The intubated, sedated, helpless pt. Literally my worst nightmare. Anesthesia was present. Pt remained intubated and as stable as he/she had been throughout the case (it was tenuous), although we lost central access at that time.
I’ve been home for several hours now and cannot sleep, because every time I close my eyes I see what happened. I have to be back to work in a few hours, but cannot fathom trying to take care of patients when I know what I’ve done - the incompetence, the negligence, the physical harm I’ve caused. We literally had this pt’s life in our hands, and I failed him/her. It’s a special kind of incompetence where you literally drop a god damn helpless pt. I feel such shame. I was the nurse, it was my job to keep this pt safe. But I caused harm. For context, I’ve been a nurse for going in 10 years, from Med-surg to ICU, never an event like this.
I’m not looking for sympathy, I received plenty from the physicians involved. Just looking for validation of my feelings - that I no longer deserve to be a nurse.