As a nurse, my largest fear has always been a fatal medication error. Like the nurse in this article who accidently killed a baby. And then died for it. After she was blackballed and fired.
I have known nurses who have made a fatal or near fatal medication error. Have you? What did you do? Did you ostracize that nurse and tell them how wrong they were? Did you think that saying that would make them feel worse, as you deemed was appropriate?
Of course you didn’t. For God’s sake you comforted them, and hugged them. You may have participated in the Root Cause Analysis. You told them we would figure out what we could have done differently.
You did not call them names.
So why, dear reader do you think it is ok to abuse a fellow nurse on social media who made an honest, albeit tragic mistake? A mistake they will never, ever get over.
A mistake that has transformed the vibrant, caring, competent nurse they were into a shriveled up ball of self-doubt, grief, and humiliation. A nurse who killed a human. BY ACCIDENT.
Now, there are some really awful nurses who have killed patients on purpose, like this real gem of a nurse from Italy.
However, a fatal medication error is something that requires a policy change, almost always. In this case, the hospital is changing their policy about color coding on dangerous medications.
And some nurses have decided to put on their Judgey McJudgeypants. Do you not even realize that your opinion on this subject was drilled into you in nursing school? You were instructed to blame your coworkers for mistakes. Because you were instructed to blame yourself for your mistakes.
I have news for you, pal. That could be you. By this time tomorrow.
Of course we must be extremely careful and follow all policies when giving medications. That is a given. And then things happen. Someone interrupts you, an emergency happens, you have to go to the bathroom. Something. And you take your eye off the ball for one second and it happens. And maybe you live through it, and maybe you don’t. It will most likely depend on how the powers-that-be treat you after you kill someone’s grandmother.
How does blaming other nurses and talking about them as if they were baby-killers promote unity among healthcare professionals? Do you think you are immune?
Think again, Nurse.
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