med error - have not worked since

  1. DELETE Please
    Last edit by nurse1975_25 on Jul 9, '04
  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    So very sorry - I know this must shake your confidence. However, I think you now know to always, always double-check ALL meds but especially insulin. Don't be too hard on yourself.
  4. by   aimeee
    You've learned your lesson and the patient was not harmed. You'll always double check yourself (and maybe triple!) from now on. Yup, you're fallible. As we all are. Now pick yourself up and go back and do the best that you can.
  5. by   RNsweetie
    nurse1975_25, I am sure there is not a nurse out their that would fault you for an error if you followed through with honesty and were acountable!
    I think that we all can agree that the crime in making an error is if we do not learn from it.
    good luck
  6. by   c.wicks

    "You're not a nurse until you've made a medication error" teeituptom
    Imagine the healthcare crisis that would be created if we all threw in the towel because we made a medication error...
  7. by   canoehead
    As you get used to doses you'll know that 50units is a large amount, and it'll tip you off to go back and check on how much insulin this person is used to- then to call the doc. It's a big mistake, but we have all made big mistakes. You got yours over with without killing anyone, so take a deep breath and go right back in there.

    Lots of times I get a second person to look at a dose or a chart just to make sure we both read it the same way. When you get that uncertain feeling, just check stuff over with a partner. Making that a prctice on the floor is great for teamwork too.
  8. by   duckboy20
    Yep, I don't think there is a nurse out there who could say that they have never had a med error of some sort and be telling the truth. If we all quit because we made a mistake there would be no nurses working!
  9. by   nurse1975_25
    I would like to say thank you to those of you who have replied to my thread. I am truly having a really difficult time with this, GOD saw my patient and myself out of the corner of his eye. The terror, disgust, guilt and shame that I feel is so overwhelming. Once again thank you so much for you time and your kind words.
  10. by   Rustyhammer
    Well, I think you should get over it!
    You're not perfect. You are going to make mistakes.
    This may be the first time but probably won't be the last.
    You live and you learn and you won't do that insulin boo-boo again.
    Get back in that saddle and ride!
  11. by   aurora_borealis
    Whenever I worked with a nurse who made a med error, my first thought was "there but for the grace of God go I." I'll never forget one nurse I worked with whose patient was on double antibiotic therapy, Gent and Clindamycin, I believe. Only she hung two doses of Gent back to back. When she realized what she'd done, she said "I could have sworn that label said Clindamycin." She had a brain fart, as I call them. It happens. Forgive yourself. I don't know if you quit your place of employment or went on leave, but if they have an employee assistance program, maybe you could talk to someone. You seem to be paralyzed with fear, so maybe some professional support would help get you to understand what's at the root of your fear.
  12. by   Tweety
    Great advice here. Forgive yourself and move on.
  13. by   jnette
    Just to let you know (and hopefully make you feel somewhat better)...

    I had a coworker at our clinic make the same IDENTICAL med error you described here a couple years ago. She has been a marvelous, exemplary nurse for over 15 years and a preceptor to boot.

    It happens, my friend. It just happens.

    Like you, she was mortified and ashamed, her confidence deeply shaken.

    We never judged her, but supported her as we all knew only too well that it could happen to any of us at any time. Our NM took it in stride, doing what needed to be done for the patient (who suffered no lasting ill effects) then spent the next hours, days, and weeks encouraging and rebuilding the selfconfidence the nurse, helping her to overcome her selfhatred, shame, and selfdoubt.

    Take a deep breath and know that you are only human, and nothing more.
    Your patient is alive and well, and you will double and triple check dosages if neccessary.. or with insulin, have another nurse do the "buddy check"... as we now do.

    (((HUGS))) to you. :kiss
  14. by   Jay-Jay
    Yep, many institutions have a nurse 'buddy-check' insulin doses. Now, WHY would they do that, if other nurses never made mistakes on the dose??

    One of my worst mistakes was in reading the following doctors order:

    "2 units PRBC over 2-3 hours, with 40 mg. of Lasix in between"

    I looked at it, and decided, "Okay, 45 minutes per unit, no problem!" I was doing agency work on a medical floor, and was newly graduated, and not used to giving blood. If I'd had more experience, I would have known you NEVER GIVE BLOOD THAT FAST!! The order SHOULD have read "over 2-3 hours EACH unit"! Well, it wasn't the doctor who wound up wearing the goat horns for writing a lousy order, but li'l ol' me!

    Patient suffered no harm...that's the important part! And I learned an important lesson about double-checking dr's orders, and unit policy/procedure manuals, if I'm unfamiliar with a procedure.