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Reporting med errors...

Medications   (28,731 Views 34 Comments)
by Time4dilaudidyet Time4dilaudidyet (New Member) New Member

Time4dilaudidyet has 6 years experience and works as a RN.

1,020 Visitors; 10 Posts

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So I commited my first med error, I feel horrible and own up to it. I pushed glucagon via IV instead of IM into a hypoglycemic patient. This error did not result in any adverse reactions to the patient. I reported this incident to my charge nurse and filed an incident report with risk management. As a result of this incident, I've been informed by my nurse mgr that I may be terminated and should know something by this Monday. So, Im curious, how many of you nurses out there would fess up and report a med error if it meant possibly losing your job?

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Sensoria17 works as a LPN/LVN.

6,738 Visitors; 363 Posts

I don't understand why you would be terminated if this is your first incident. I've heard of far more serious errors where the nurse was not terminated. My own sister had a major med error and was not terminated. A clinical instructor I had worked with a nurse that hung undiluted K+ and was not terminated. I'm not saying there shouldn't be repercussions but these things are going to happen.

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Old.Timer has 25ish years experience.

5,381 Visitors; 338 Posts

I would not accept termination without a major fight. That's total BS! I would google non-punitive culture for patient safety and become well versed in the benefits and advantages. I would find out who the Patient Safety Officer is at your facility and involve them. If you do not have a patient safety committee, then volunteer to serve on a task force to create one.

Oh and P.S. I love your user name :)

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4,898 Visitors; 139 Posts

I had my first med error two weeks ago. I gave 2 narc to pts instead of one without MD's order but I told my supervisor about it. I got a written warning. I am new and I didn't get proper guidance. That is what spares me from getting fire. Are you new?

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Time4dilaudidyet has 6 years experience and works as a RN.

1,020 Visitors; 10 Posts

Nope, not new. I've been an RN going on 5 yrs. I appreciate the responses, but still haven't received an answer to my question?

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53,667 Visitors; 5,978 Posts

This is why nurses fear reporting med errors...severely punitive policies. It's ridiculous to think a nurse (or anyone, for that matter) should never make a med error. I've made them, and as long as I work, I will have to guard against making more. I'm not perfect.

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Old.Timer has 25ish years experience.

5,381 Visitors; 338 Posts

Forgot to answer the question.

Without hesitation and for numerous reasons my answer is yes.

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imintrouble has 16 years experience and works as a RN.

50,965 Visitors; 2,397 Posts

I'd report the error. It's an honor thing.

You lose your job, you retain your integrity.

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curiousauntie has 26 years experience and works as a RN Case Manager in hospice.

4,367 Visitors; 167 Posts

Wow. I have never heard of a nurse being fired for a med error unless they had been written up for errors in the past. Fired for one error? That would make me think about 20 times about reporting it. None of us is perfect and with the constant interruptions inherent in the workplace it just makes it that much more impossible to be perfect.

I would like to smile and day "Of course I would report myself" and damn the consequences, but as the sole support for my family (one who is in college and a disabled husband who relies on my insurance) I have to think about the ramifications of losing my job vs. being the perfect nurse that his hospital seems to expect.

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fiveofpeep has 2 years experience and works as a RN.

17,680 Visitors; 1,237 Posts

I would still report it. Most units don't seem to be like that. Meeting with such punishment is going to deter many from reporting. I hope you don't lose your job. Glad the patient was okay.

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4,834 Visitors; 140 Posts

I am sorry you are going through something like this.

Very recently there was an article in The Times?? regarding the same. The article said there were XX (number) of med errors a year.

Because nurses are so over taxed at work I am afraid it will happen more.

As far as reporting it, I would, myself. Because of the strong possibility of termination I can understand that there is probably a very high percentage of errors that are not reported.

Sorry I did not answer your question and just added my 2 cents.

Hope you keep your job and that sometime facilities see that stressing nurses more and more hurts nobody but the patients and themselves in the long run. Probabaly will never happen.

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merlee has 36 years experience and works as a nursing.

13,287 Visitors; 1,246 Posts

I have self-reported more than once in my 25+ years, been orally warned, and been 'written up', but never terminated. This should be viewed as a way to learn how 'not' to make this error again.

If every nurse who ever made an error was terminated, no one would eventually be working. Unless this is part of a pattern then there should not be any issue of termination.

I am sorry you are working with an administrator who believes in punishment instead of continual improvement.

Best wishes!!!

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