Reconsidering nursing


I have been an anxious wreck for the last few days. The pressures of nursing are really getting to me.

I made a mistake the other day which contributed to the patient being transferred to the ICU. I feel horrible, like it's all my fault.

Now this patient was already pretty unstable, one of those "train wreck" patients that seem to have one problem after another. Obviously I can't share details about what happened, but my colleagues have been trying to make me feel better by saying that what happened might have happened anyway, even if I hadn't made the mistake, and I will go crazy if I think too much about the "what ifs."

I had this patient multiple shifts in a row and got to know them and hear about what a great person they are. Never complained, always appreciative, stayed positive even through the pain and emotional distress. I cried on my way home after each shift because every day they got worse and worse and received terrible news each day.

Maybe I just am not cut out to be a nurse... I can't handle the fact that if I make a mistake, someone's whole life can be changed or even over. I get too emotional. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with as a nurse and I don't think I'll ever forget it.

Thanks for reading me vent about this ... Any advice is appreciated!

CBlover, BSN, RN

Specializes in ORTHO, PCU, ED. Has 8 years experience. 419 Posts

I wouldn't let one mishap ruin my career. I know that must be unbelievably hard to deal with. I have made mistakes, never did it harm anyone thankfully, and I agree it makes you feel AWFUL, just AWFUL. My advice, is to learn from it, take it one day at a time, keep trucking. This too shall pass. Forgive yourself. Okay? ((HUGS))