Don’t Leave a Hungry Patient Without Their Food
Dealing with her first patient who was connected to feeding tubes, a new nurse disconnected them in order to administer medications. She remembered to turn the food pump back on before leaving, but not to reconnect it. That day’s lunch ended up all over the patient’s bed.
Are You Sure You Have the Right Patient?
Calling for “Barry” in a medical office, the nurse neglected to verify the last name as the patient left the waiting area to receive treatment. The blood pressure was taken, with results that were significantly higher than what was recorded on the chart the week before. Luckily the blooper was discovered and the right “Barry” called back before any unnecessary medications were ordered.
The same type of mistake was made in an emergency room, where a nurse asked the patient if he was Mr. so and so rather than check his identification. Confused, the patient responded yes, and received an ID bracelet with the information for another patient. Again, the mistake was discovered before any harm was done to the patient.
Whoops, That Shouldn’t Be There
A nurse was distracted after starting an IV in a patient and left immediately after it was in place. A short time later she was called back to the room when the patient started to complain about severe pain and numbness in the arm. Turns out that in her haste to leave, she forgot to take the tourniquet off after the IV was safely in place.
Uhh, I Think You Have the Wrong Results
Running several lab test for various patients at the same time can be tricky, and resulted in one nurse informing a patient that she was pregnant. Impossible since that patient had a hysterectomy a few years earlier.
Making mistakes or bloopers is how we learn, and what usually facilitates better protocols and procedures being put into place to avoid them happening again. Luckily most nursing mistakes can be easily fixed, but it is important that we remind ourselves that they can be dangerous to the patient. Be a wise nurse and learn from the mistakes of others who have come before you, and you won’t end up topping the list of nursing bloopers.