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Stupid mistakes!!!!

Specializes in Med-Surge.

I feel so bad today. The past two nights I have worked in the ED and have been so nervous! On Monday night we had a lady to come in with an acute MI. The doctor ordered 50mg of Demerol with 25mg of Phenergan. Of course I always know to dilute Phenergan, but what do you think I did? I gave them both together and didn't dilute it whatsoever. I didn't realize what I had done until after the fact. The patient must have been in so much pain with the MI she didn't feel the Phenergan. Good thing is she's okay now... Boy I feel so STUPID!!!!!

On Tuesday night we had a manic patient who the doctor ordered Haldol and Vistiril for. I drew both up in seperate syringes, and then Dr. decides to only give Vistiril. Do you think that I knew which was which??? Of course not. Had to start all over wasting the Vistiril and Haldol. The doctor just looked at me like I was an incompetent idiot. I feel that way 2. This is not getting any better.

Hey!!! Stop being so hard on yourself... You will do these things once and will probably never repeat it again.... you will make it!!! The phenergan thing is unfortunate because it really hurts, but you'll probably never do it again. in time you will work the bugs out... You will be your worst critic... you will learn from the mistakes.....

kit3375

Specializes in Med-Surge.

Thanks so much! I just feel like I'm always so nervous and unsure of myself. When will confidence come? When I start to feel as though I'm making it pretty good something else happens to make me feel inadequate. Again thanks for the reply. You're right I am my worst critic.

When I was in clinicals my instructor taught me to tape the empty vials to the syringes so I would not get them mixed up. I'm not sure you would have time for that in the ER but it sure would beat having to draw it up twice! I know you didn't ask for advice or anything but I'm in the same boat as you....I'm new to all of this too.

It seems like I constantly feel that way too. I just graduated in May w/ my LPN, and started working in a Dr. office. I chose that because of my children, I am going thru bridge program, and it's about 2 minutes from my home. Anyway, I feel like what I learned in school is not helping me at all. I learned information and how to take tests, but the everyday stuff I feel completely ignorant about. Especially when giving shots (what size needle do I use?), meds, and especially when pt's call and ask me stuff on the phone, sometimes I don't know the answer and I feel so stupid. Sometimes I feel like there should be some sort of nursing for dummies book that I need!

RNKay31

Specializes in Clinical exp in OB, psy, med-surg, peds.

We all Make mistakes, and that is the part I do not like at all, but we will get through this, all the best to you.

all4schwa

Specializes in Neuro ICU, Neuro/Trauma stepdown.

When I was in clinicals my instructor taught me to tape the empty vials to the syringes so I would not get them mixed up.

Good tip, i cant think of a better or quicker label.

Hoozdo, ADN

Specializes in ICU, Research, Corrections.

When I was in clinicals my instructor taught me to tape the empty vials to the syringes so I would not get them mixed up. I'm not sure you would have time for that in the ER but it sure would beat having to draw it up twice! I know you didn't ask for advice or anything but I'm in the same boat as you....I'm new to all of this too.

I do this, but some of the drugs I give in a hurry come in ampules. In that case I just put some tape around the syringe and label it....in a fast pinch I just put the first letter of the drug - like E for Etomidate, or F for Fentanyl.

cardiacRN2006, ADN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac.

I do this, but some of the drugs I give in a hurry come in ampules. In that case I just put some tape around the syringe and label it....in a fast pinch I just put the first letter of the drug - like E for Etomidate, or F for Fentanyl.

I do this also-putting the first letter down on a piece of tape. If I'm doing something that will require math (like conscious sedations) then I will write the ratios on it. Like for Fentanly, I will put 50=1 for 50mcgs= 1mL.

I really identify with this post. I just got my license a month ago, I am so hard on myself when I make a mistake like not writing a order down in the TAR which I do before I really screw anything up or talking to a Dr and why I do this I don't know, I forget to grab the MAR. Thank goodness the facility Dr is nice & understanding most of the time. When I ask this one nurse on my shift a question she looks at me like an idiot. Mostly all the nurses I work with are very helpful. I was going end the shift last week & never come back, because I feel like an incompetent fool, my ADON threatened me with a fleets. She told me to get over this it's going to take a least a year before I feel comfortable in these new nurse shoes. She tells me I expect perfection from myself, and I'm not going to get it so knock it off. I know my stuff but in clinicals there was always an instructor there, I did my first foley & this is stupid but I kinda freaked when I had to set it all up, it doesn't come together like the one in the lab supplies we bought. Man I feel like a loser, & most people reading this will think so too.

I really identify with this post. I just got my license a month ago, I am so hard on myself when I make a mistake like not writing a order down in the TAR which I do before I really screw anything up or talking to a Dr and why I do this I don't know, I forget to grab the MAR. Thank goodness the facility Dr is nice & understanding most of the time. When I ask this one nurse on my shift a question she looks at me like an idiot. Mostly all the nurses I work with are very helpful. I was going end the shift last week & never come back, because I feel like an incompetent fool, my ADON threatened me with a fleets. She told me to get over this it's going to take a least a year before I feel comfortable in these new nurse shoes. She tells me I expect perfection from myself, and I'm not going to get it so knock it off. I know my stuff but in clinicals there was always an instructor there, I did my first foley & this is stupid but I kinda freaked when I had to set it all up, it doesn't come together like the one in the lab supplies we bought. Man I feel like a loser, & most people reading this will think so too.

You are SO NOT a loser!! I feel bad saying this, but I take comfort reading these posts. Because it proves to me that I am NOT alone in this. I did very well in school, always got good comments from my clinical instructors, had many of them say I was going to make a good nurse. But, I just feel like I don't know much. I feel like I totally lost 1/2 or more of what I learned in school. If I were to take the NCLEX today, I'd fail it!! What is that? I know the old addage "if you don't use it, you lose it". And I believe that. The majority of my patients lately have been Pneumonia or C-diff. I know all about those diseases and treatments. LOL

Oh Lisa..LOL

I am SO glad to see that I am not the only one up late at night (well, I do work nights..or did) looking around to see if anyone else out there is making mistakes.

I made a dumb one this past weekend, which basically involved a situation that I didn't even know enough about to know that I needed to ask a question (hard to ask questions when you don't know what you don't know). Got called into the boss' office today, and though she was very kind, supportive and understanding, I am beating the hell out of myself right now, and will likely continue to do so for days.

I think I get a little comfort out of the fact that I am indeed not a complete failure because I make mistakes. What the heck did I think..I would come out of nursing school knowing everything? I feel like nursing school was an exercise in jumping hoops and learning testing skills. I'm one heck of a great test taker..but there are countless nursing things I wouldn't know if they jumped up and bit me on the tookus. Yep, there are times I feel like an absolute fraud..

"I'm not a real nurse, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night"..

Deana

greatshakes

Specializes in aged -adolescent.

One of the grad nurses told me when I was still a student that when you go into the hospital as a new grad you realise that you only know half, if that, of what you need to. You come out of uni feeling you've accomplished a lot and we do but nothing prepares for the responsibility. If you were a loser, you wouldn't still there now would you? Take heart.:heartbeat

glea1022

Specializes in Cardiology.

From someone who has been a nurse for a long time:

Don't be so hard on yourself--as long as you learn from your mistakes.

It WILL get better, I PROMISE! You are not stupid, just inexperienced (and that's not a crime). As you go along, you will learn to avoid most mistakes. I've been a nurse for over 9 years and I still make mistakes on occasion. I just try to learn from them and not make the same ones over and over.

Hang in there and try not to let others get you down. ;)

Liddle Noodnik

Specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep..

I do this, but some of the drugs I give in a hurry come in ampules. In that case I just put some tape around the syringe and label it....in a fast pinch I just put the first letter of the drug - like E for Etomidate, or F for Fentanyl.

re: liver transplant, WHOOO HOOO! that is awesome! :balloons: :Melody: :heartbeat

Liddle Noodnik

Specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep..

.... my ADON threatened me with a fleets..

ha ha ha! she sounds GREAT! You are blessed!

Once after about 10 years of practice I gave the wrong doses of the wrong kind of insulin to two patients (I stupidly drew up both at the same time, labeled the syringes, then failed to check the labels... was against policy to do that!). Fortunately the patients were not hurt by this and the doc ordered appropriate follow-up and did not have me killed. The nurse manager was more than reasonable about it too. Me? oh my gosh - talk about hard on myself... was banging my head on the wall and wanting to quit - so my NM said that was enough "punishment" and that I had learned from my error.

Hang in there - k?

Liddle Noodnik

Specializes in Alzheimer's, Geriatrics, Chem. Dep..

... which basically involved a situation that I didn't even know enough about to know that I needed to ask a question (hard to ask questions when you don't know what you don't know)[/Quote]

Yeah, that's the hard part, sigh... there IS a lot to know!

"I'm not a real nurse, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night"..

HILARIOUS!

I'm a new RN and i keep making mistakes. everyday i'm coming home fretting, thinking "i should have done..." or "i forgot to tell someone about..." I did ok in school but even when i was in school i could tell that the way we were being taught would not be the most beneficial to actual practice. I feel like my program brushed off all the practical useful things and we were told "you'll learn that once you get a job" and instead school focussed on books, not actually what to do in situations that come up. now that i have a job, and theoretically should be able to understand and know what to do in simple situations, i feel completely incompetent and feel like i'm making all these stupid mistakes. i just don't know how long i can keep doing this either before i get fired for stupid little mistakes, or before i quit because i can't handle the stress which never leaves, because i come home worrying about the things i should have done. :( this sucks. i wish nursing schools were more like they used to be where you learned more hands on practical knowledge.

NATmicuRN

Specializes in MICU.

dont worry it all gets better...once you start getting the hang of it im sure youll be looking back saying oh when i was a baby nurse and making light of it....just stick to it try not to get so stressed out that will only make it worse

suanna

Specializes in Post Anesthesia.

I can't be sure from your posts how long you have been in practice but one thing for sure you have to learn to give yourself a break. Mistakes??- sure, you could have done things a little more efficiently, but you never gave the wrong drug to someone, or to the wrong patient, or caused harm doing something you should have known better. Dilute the phenergan and it will still burn like heck, take time to lable the syringes and they will complain that you are taking too long getting the meds. You get more efficient and deveolp you own "tips & tricks" as you gain experience but I wonder if what you are feeling isn't a symptom of a bigger problem. Are you comfortable in ER at all? It is a very specialized type of care- after 20+ years in nursing I still hate going there. One task after another after another. I never feel I accomplished anything to be proud of when I work there. I you love ER- stick it out- I don't see anything much wrong with your care. If you find you are feeling unsure and ill-at-ease after a few more mos maybe it isn't you, but rather the place that is causing the problem- I'd look around and see if another position- critical care, L&D, nursery, tele, may be a more satisfying match to your skills. The secret to happiness is find a job you love and do it the the best of your ability- not learning to love a job you just tollerate. Nursing has way too many paths to ever feel unhappy in a position for long.

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