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Yes, Virginia. Nurses do make mistakes.
Nurses have consistently been ranked the most trustworthy profession year after year, which leads people to ask “Do nurses make mistakes?” Some would tell you that “Nurses are angels in comfortable shoes. However, nurses are still very much human and come in all types. Nurses make mistakes and unfortunately, sometimes the nurses make mistakes it can pretty damaging.
This podcast will lean into the topic of nurse mistakes and the type of mistakes nurses make in an effort to help you avoid the worst nursing mistakes.
Who You’ll Hear
Kati Kleber, MSN RN – Nurse educator, former cardiac med-surg/stepdown and neurocritical care nurse, author, and speaker.
Melissa Stafford, BSN RN CCRN SCRN – highly experienced and currently practicing nationally certified neurocritical care nurse.
Elizabeth Mills, BSN RN CCRN – highly experienced neurocritical care nurse, current Stroke Navigator for a Primary Stroke Center.
What You’ll Learn
- Know your tasks
- Incident Reports
Contrary to popular belief, nurses as not perfect. Nurses make mistakes. In this episode, we discuss the mistakes we’ll never forget, as well as a few others. We also discuss some tips on how to deal with mistakes as a new nurse.
Nurses Make Mistakes
“The potential for harm in the absence of diligence is profound” – Kati Kleber
- Respect the fact that you can make an error at any turn – do not take this lightly
- Stay up to date on policy – be familiar with them for yourself
- Policies change and it is your responsibility to be aware of these
Know your tasks
- It’s your responsibility to know the safest way to do the tasks you need to complete
Be assertive when you need to focus
- This may need to be done when passing meds, adjusting IV pumps, adjusting monitors, or assessing patients
- Talking point: “I would love to finish this convo – if you could give me just a few minutes to focus on (blank; these medications/programming this pump/programming this monitor) then let’s chat.”
Safety is always the priority
Be unapologetic about patient safety to everyone
- From physicians to fellow nurses to patients and families
Subjective vs. Objective Data – helpful resources
Subjective Data Vs. Objective Data in Nursing – the Nerdy Nurse
The process for each place is different – know how to do thisFill these out whenever necessary – they are not a way to penalize you
- Maybe there is a process that needs to be changed – this documentation enables this change
- We have all filled these out multiple times… for ourselves, for larger situations, and other times
Avoid new nurse mistakes
Mistakes as a new nurse are common. However, you must learn from them and attempt to avoid ones that could be dangerous to your patients. The New Nurse Masterclass is a great program that can help new nurses learn critical time management and critical thinking skills to help avoid the worst nurse mistakes.
Looking to prepare for your first nursing job?
The FreshRN® New Nurse Master Class is the first-ever self-guided holistic nurse residency program. This comprehensive program was specifically created for the ambitious newly licensed acute care nurses who want to get ahead of them and build both their confidence and their clinical skills - all while learning how to adjust to the unique lifestyle of a nurse.
More resources on nurses making mistakes
- Anatomy of a Super Nurse: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming Nursey – all of chapter 11
- Becoming Nursey: From Code Blues to Code Browns, How to Care for Patients and Yourself – all of chapter 9