One of the scariest moments in a nurse’s career is being reported for an error or an incident. It may feel like you are being called on the carpet for your work as a nurse.
Nurses try very hard to be perfect, but it is important to realize that you can’t be. No matter how much you try, you are going to eventually get reported or written up.
You need to take this upsetting experience and turn it into a positive. You need to learn from your mistake and find ways to never let it happen again.
No matter what you were reported for – med error, a fall, or some other lapse in judgement – you should not beat yourself up over it. It will only undermine your confidence and keep you from being the best nurse you can be.
Review your actions
Take some time to reflect on what you did to get the write up. Did you actually have a lapse in judgement that caused you to make the mistake?
Maybe you were overwhelmed with the stress of the shift. With ratios being a problem, it is easy to get overwhelmed and that can lead to errors.
You could also have brought in stress from outside the facility. When you are having problems in your family life, it is similarly stressful and can also lead to mistakes.
Whatever caused the problem, you need to pinpoint exactly where it went wrong. Only by finding the root cause can you ensure that your error will not happen again.
Talk to your manager
Since your manager is the one that received your report, you should talk to them, too. Find out what exactly you were reported for.
Depending on your manager, you can discuss things with them that may have led to your error. For instance, if you were overwhelmed with too many patients, you can bring this to their attention.
In the end, your manager is the one who knows the most about why you were reported and can help you to find ways to overcome your mistake. By working with them, you can help to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Strategies to avoid future errors
It is so important to examine your error and talk to your manager, because these are the only ways that you can prevent it in the future. You also need to take steps to modify your behavior to avoid future reporting.
For instance, if you had a med error, examine how you give meds. Are you following the six rights?
Are you paying attention or have you gone on autopilot? You need to know what you were thinking and doing before the error occurred so that you can fix the problem.
You need to fix the problem for good, and in depth study of the incident in question is the best strategy for preventing them in the future. When you take steps to prevent your error, then you can be relatively sure you won’t make the same mistake twice.