What do you all think about this? (SkepticalOB blog)

Nurses General Nursing

Published

http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2009/06/i-couldnt-figure-out-correct-dose-so-i.html

If what she is saying is true, that is one scary nurse...but reading around her posts, it seems she exaggerates a lot of things, so I'm slightly "skeptical" of her retelling.

What I really don't like is how she kind of fobs off the majority of medical/medication errors as being solely a nursing problem...

Specializes in OB, NICU, Nursing Education (academic).

I hate to say it.....but, I think she has a point. I teach a dosage calculation module in an RN nursing program. Students in the 1st year have to make a 92% to pass the exam (they have to make 100% in the 2nd year). They have 3 tries. In a typical class of 30, half will need a 2nd try and usually 2 or 3 will need a 3rd (even in the 2nd year). I have clinical students that frequently cannot calculate a piggyback rate. Even on the exit HESI's some students will continue to make calculation errors.

Nursing is the last link in the safety chain...if you will. While docs certainly do make errors (and hopefully we as nurses catch those errors), I fear it is the nurse who makes the majority of dosage errors.

LifelongDream

190 Posts

I agree also. I did well on our last calculations test before graduation, but about a third of our class did not! It's very scary to think that these students will be out taking care of patients shortly! :idea:

Cherybaby

385 Posts

Specializes in Derm/Wound Care/OP Surgery/LTC.

I agree that she does make some valid points...but, sadly, she also seems like the type of person that needs affirmation that she is doing a good job. She seems to be begging for the proverbial pat on the back from her readers. Some commenters called her out on that, which is fair. Medical mistakes are made by everyone.

It's just a little...disheartening that we are still playing the blame game...doctors versus nurses, when we are really all playing on the same team. The patients team.

VICEDRN, BSN, RN

1,078 Posts

Specializes in ER.

If it gives you any hope, the students in my program do pretty well on the med calc tests. You have to pass at 90% and we usually lose about 10 out of 80 people the first semester. I think those folks didn't take it seriously enough.

For those that I know that do med calc wrong but them subsequently pass on their second try, they mostly make the "rules" errors. Rounding Kg prematurely, reporting answers in .01 instead of 0.01 format.

I live in fear of a med error.

VICEDRN, BSN, RN

1,078 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Don't you need two nurses to sign off on heparin? (kind of like insulin, morphine (at least to waste). I thought JCAHO says you need two nurses for that?! that's how I have seen it done.

I really can't imagine anyone actually saying that out loud...

y'all school me if I am wrong here.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

4 Articles; 5,259 Posts

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

I think she does have a point, but she is making this sound like it happens every day in her world, and it most likely doesn't. Most med errors are not nearly that serious and most do not cause harm to the patient. I'm not saying we shouldn't be concerned and working to improve the numbers; I'm just saying that pushing the blame onto someone else and implying that all nurses are like this one is not the best way to go about it.

Plus, I was put off by her attitude toward homebirth, and that turned me off to the whole blog, but that's just my personal bias showing. Not really germane to the discussion at hand.

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