Jump to content

Was told to consider not being a nurse?

Students   (7,513 Views 40 Comments)
by rainbow09 rainbow09 (New) New

214 Profile Views; 1 Post

I'm a nursing student in my first semester and I'm at a LTC facility for clinical. About two weeks ago I was following a nurse by myself and I offered to help her as much as I possibly could. Later that day she let me do accuchecks and one patient needed insulin. We were told that we would have to be checked off by our instructor first and then we could give insulin with a nurse observing. This was my second time giving insulin. What happened was that I accidentally pricked myself with the needle when I was getting ready to inject it while I pinched the skin with my other hand. Before, I gave insulin in the back of the arm and I was told not to pinch the skin but this time I was giving it in the abdomen. I froze when it happened - I honestly didn't know what to do in that moment because I was so in shock. The nurse must not have been observant because she urged me to give it when I hesitated and in that moment I did. To only freak out right after. I immediately told the nurse what happened but I had already given it and I felt so stupid and was so mad at myself. Then my finger started bleeding a bit too which it didn't before right when I must have pricked it. I was devastated but the nurse told me to not tell anyone because she didn't want to file an incident report and she said the patient would be just fine. I immediately told my clinical instructor what happened and she was very sweet and said mistakes happen and we're just human but that she would have to tell my nursing instructor too (of my first semester of nursing school).

My instructor asked me what happened a few days later and I explained everything and told her that I was really sorry and felt incredibly stupid. She was extremely disappointed and said that they teach us to think critically for a reason and if I'm not confident and able enough to make decisions for myself and think critically then I should consider dropping out of nursing school. I have cried so many times after this happened and I really do feel incredibly stupid because it's common sense and I shouldn't have panicked and still given the injection but I never found myself in a situation like this before. I really thought my patient would die but he will be just fine. After what my instructor said to me though and the tone in which she said it makes me believe that I will never be a good nurse and now I'm at a point where I am doubting myself even more. I don't know what to do because I really want to help people but I don't want to endanger their lives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BSNbeDONE specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health.

2,317 Posts; 24,606 Profile Views

First off, I will not make light of the situation. Once you pricked yourself, the insulin syringe should have been discarded....end of story. Then you should have washed your hands, put a bandaid on it, and then returned to treat the patient. The incident report could have waited until afterwards, but it definitely should have been done. You not only injured yourself, but at that point, you used a contaminated syringe on a patient. I know you do feel "stupid"...your word, not mine.

Now, as a student, I would expect you to panic somewhat with your first needlestick. But if your instructor said exactly what you said she did, then it's your choice as to whether or not you drop out of the program. I'd suggest that you do not!

Students do not become nurses by making mistakes and quitting. If they did, we really would have a nursing shortage. I'm not going to tell you not to cry or feel bad about the incident because injuries should always be taken seriously. But when you're done crying, treat the hangover headache, gather yourself, and go back to class with this well-learned lesson.

Finally, the nurse that instructed you to keep quiet about it SHOULD HAVE HER A** FIRED!!!! She does not know your medical history. Accidentally sharing a needle poses the same threat as the deliberate practice.

Edited by BSNbeDONE
Removed wording and added a couple

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3,726 Posts; 23,730 Profile Views

Can this be a pivotal moment where you beat a path to becoming strong and decisive under pressure?

Without knowing your age or usual nature, it's impossible to know how this incident will affect your movement forward. If it shook you just enough to shore up your ability to make the right decisions despite feeling anxious but not enough to shatter your confidence, this can be your last error in judgement of this type. It can make you better but it will take fortitude to bust past the doubt.

Edited by Libby1987

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

15 Followers; 1 Article; 6,341 Posts; 78,791 Profile Views

What BSNbeDONE said. And Libby.

We've all freaked out and made errors and then made bad decisions in order to deal with the error.

Or least, I have. Thank goodness I gave myself a second chance. And a third. And so on.

Dust yourself off and keep on keeping on, rainbow.

It's like a mechanic I was learning from once told me: "Everything's difficult before it becomes easy".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3,726 Posts; 23,730 Profile Views

Also, for what it's worth, I made a serious error in my residency program. It was an error from not being diligent in referring to P&P. I also had maturity problems initially and received a suggestion that nursing, at least in the acute setting, was not a good fit for me.

I was beyond devastated. I was a good but otherwise immature 22 yr old. Being a maturity issue versus an embedded personality one, I was able to turn it around after what I call a come to Jesus moment and became disciplined in my practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Davey Do has 35 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

15 Followers; 1 Article; 6,341 Posts; 78,791 Profile Views

I was able to turn it around after what I call a come to Jesus moment and became disciplined in my practice.

No disrespect intended, for I hold the tenets of Christianity in the highest of regards.

A 70 year old nurse I work with sometimes has what she calls "a come to Jesus meeting" with some unruly psych patients.

I take it to mean that she does an intervention in reality orientation and shows the individual the truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3,726 Posts; 23,730 Profile Views

No disrespect intended, for I hold the tenets of Christianity in the highest of regards.

A 70 year old nurse I work with sometimes has what she calls "a come to Jesus meeting" with some unruly psych patients.

I take it to mean that she does an intervention in reality orientation and shows the individual the truth.

I'm sorry if the phrase is offensive, my Christian coworkers have used it and I thought it's intended meaning was understood and accepted. For me it meant a tremendous enlightenment.

If you delete it from your quoted portion, I will be happy to delete it from my post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8 Posts; 304 Profile Views

I don't think that making one mistake is cause to just drop out of nursing school. You made a mistake, mistakes happen. Take responsibility for your actions and always do the right thing. Stop and think about what you are doing. Maybe try reflecting on the situation openly, and decide if nursing is for you but do not let one small thing stop you from having a great career. In my first year of nursing school, a had the director of the program tell me "that maybe nursing wasn't for me" because I was doing poorly in a class. Today, I am a Registered Nurse! Use it to motivate yourself to improve and work on critical thinking! I hope everything works out for you!

Cheers,

Hope

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1,381 Posts; 10,537 Profile Views

I understand your panic. Most students are so very nervous about injections at first, and then to add a needlestick injury to it. Its still a pretty bad mistake but just about any new nurse would have been flustered enough to make it. That's why the nurse should have been watching you closely during the whole procedure.

I would encourage you to stick with it and use the experience to find your voice. Speaking up after errors... speaking up for safety... can be difficult in the moment but does not compare to the feeling of not speaking up. Now you know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

1 Follower; 228 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 318,017 Profile Views

Nearly 12 years ago I was told by an instructor that, "Maybe nursing isn't for you."

Do you think his words had enough sway over me to abandon my career aspirations? Nope. I ruminated over his statement for a day or two before placing it at the curbside for garbage collection.

If you said to your instructor, "You shouldn't be a nursing instructor," how do you think she would react? Would she cry? Would she be devastated by your opinion? Probably not. My point is that you should not allow yourself to become dispirited by the opinions of people who will not be losing any sleep over you.

Last of all, never stick a patient with a contaminated sharp. Good luck to you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MrNurse(x2) has 28 years experience as a ADN and specializes in IMC, school nursing.

3 Followers; 1 Article; 2,492 Posts; 9,865 Profile Views

In light of how young people across this country are responding to adversity, I need you to hear this loud and clear. Mistakes happen, you made a wrong decision and you spoke up. Assuming you are under 30, you have integrity that few that age possess. All learning involves mistakes, your instructor is there to make sure you understand the mistake and what can be done to make sure it doesn't happen again. Her comment was a challenge to you to follow through with what you knew to be the right thing to do. Lots of nursing is done without supervision and the only thing protecting your patient is your integrity, case in point, the LTC nurse who ignored the incident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

llg has 42 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

6 Followers; 13,213 Posts; 59,095 Profile Views

I was advised to switch majors during the first month or so of my junior year (1st year of actual nursing classes) -- many years ago. The instructor who gave me that advice made my life a living H*** for my whole junior year. A few years later, after her physician-husband finished his fellowship, she retired to be a stay-at-home mom. I'm the one who has been a nurse for almost 40 years.

It's time for you to decide what you really want to do with your life ... and if it's nursing, you'll need to strengthen your backbone (resolve) and get on with in. Learn from this and move forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×