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Medication error - Speech or Presentation Example

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Medication error

I had overstayed in the hospital several times before and had done my duties perfectly, and I expected to do the same this time. There was a patient who had been recently diagnosed with cancer. She was being moved into the operating room for a permanent placement of intravenous line inside her chest. The medical team had resolved to postpone the chemotherapy for a day or two in the morning rounds, but the doctor in charge decided to do the chemotherapy the very night. I was already taking care of three patients and nothing new was in my plan till then. The patient was soon to arrive from the operating room while I had several orders of chemotherapy to check on my part, not just once, but double-check before forwarding them to the pharmacy so that administration could be commenced. After completing the checks, I went to see the patient who had by the time come out of the operating room. The patient was feeling very hungry, but the hospital kitchen was closed. So I took jam and bread from the pantry to make a sandwich for her. I noticed an unusual leak in the IV line of the patient as she tried it. We had not encountered such a problem before. Even the surgeon had come back from his home to check if everything was alright. After the checkup, everything was found to be fine so I provided the patient with the chemotherapy that was scheduled for her. I was feeling very exhausted but deep inside, I was satisfied that I had made it. I felt like a Superman who could do it all. The next morning, I was awakened by a phone call that was too early for the regular calling time. Actually that there was still a chemo dose in the table in the hospital as I had provided the patient with just one dose instead of two that were supposed to be given. I could feel electric shocks run down my spine. In chemotherapy, the drugs’ timing can alter the treatment’s quality and effectiveness. I was very worried to have put the patient into such a compromising situation and she might even die because of lack of proper treatment in time just because of the mistake I had made. It felt as if I had breached my contract with myself as a nurse. As a nurse, nothing is more important for me than the safety and security of the patients. Any danger caused to my patient because of my mistake could have a life-long impact on my career as well as my perception of myself as a nurse. However, I was fortunate as my mistake had not caused any clinical consequences to the patient. There was a certain time frame within which the second drug was supposed to be given after the first dose, and there were some hours still left for the second dose to be provided. So everything was fine thus far. When I saw the doctor at the hospital the next day, I was very ashamed of my mistake and I apologized for it. The doctor reassured me that the treatment had gone fine. What should I have done differently? I should not have opted to stay in the hospital for any time beyond my regular shift of duty hours based on 12 hours. Although I was feeling active enough to continue, yet I was deceiving myself because the reality had shown itself in terms of my mistake. I might not be tired physically, but I was exhausted mentally. This was the fundamental reason why I had forgotten the time when ...Show more


22 September 2012. Medication Error How did I allow this to happen? Medication errors are a very serious issue in nursing. “Approximately 1.3 million people are injured annually in the United States following so-called "medication errors"” (Stoppler)…
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