Monday, May 18, 2009

Medication Error ... ggrrrhh!

I left my brain at home during clincals the week before last.

I picked an interesting pt even though she didn't have any IV meds. My pt was a 31yr old female injured in a MVA accident. Car vs. logging-truck. Her 8mnth old was in the car and ended up without any injuries at all. She had a C6-C7 fx, T4 fx, 2 pelvic fx, multiple lacerations to her legs and L wrist. She was such a trooper; she took her first 20 steps just 2 days after the accident. I made sure to "spoil" her today since she was the only pt I picked. She kept me busy since she needed help with transferring to her bedside commode, positioning in the bed and basic hygiene care.

I left my brain at home because I gave her 2 Percocets ... which were prescribed for her but I gave them to her 2hrs too early. (The RN & I completely overlooked the last dose given on the computer system they use at the hospital.) I reported it to the RN right away, contacted my instructor, helped write myself up on an incident report with the RN & explained to the pt what occurred. I made sure to reassess the pts vitals, which were stable and charted that her respirations were normal. It is very discouraging to make a mistake. I lost my confidence for the evening. I am glad that the pt did not suffer from my mistake. She had, had only 1 other dose of Percocet and the since she had not exceeded the daily dose of Tylenol she was ok. The doctor told the RN to give Oxycodone for any remainder brake through pain for the rest of the evening so that she would not receive any more Tylenol. I made sure to pay close attention to my pt for the remainder of the evening.

I ended my evening by helping my RN (I owed her one) by preparing a gentleman who had expired. We had to remove all of his lines, place a toe tag and put him in a body bag. We closed the door & were as respectful as possible of course. I have helped in the past with 2 other pt who had expired but this was different, the pt had been expired for longer this time and the smells were much stronger this time. It was a sad way to end the evening but I did learn a lot.

All in all I am learning and getting experience during my clinicals. Since I am a hands on learner it is really nice to be in a hospital setting using the skills I was taught in a classroom. It is still hard to make the nurses slow down enough to let me actually do all the steps myself but the speed will come as I gain experience. :oI