We can consider nurses as our everyday superheroes but they are also humans who can make mistakes sometimes mostly when they are just new to the nursing job. 

As a nurse, the job requires you to juggle several tasks at a time. It’s quite tough to manage and balance accuracy and speed mostly when you are tired from the long hours of your shift. 

So it’s not surprising that seasoned or newbies nurses make mistakes occasionally. However, knowing these mistakes will assist you in making such mistakes during your work shift. This is important because as a nurse your performance is very relevant to the safety and health of your patients. 


Below are 10 mistakes new nurses make. Read these tips on how you can avoid these mistakes because of your patient's health and well-being:


  1. Medication Errors

Among nurses, medication is a major problem, according to research published by the U.S National Library of Medicine. Medication is a common mistake that occurs among healthcare professionals and nurses to administer wrong medication or dosages that are inaccurate to patients.


This error can cause serious harm to patients especially since the intake affects their health directly. More reasons, you shouldn't risk this kind of error. 


Tips 

To avoid medication errors, you should focus on your medicated-related tasks and pay attention to details for you to differentiate the medications that are in similar packaging. 


  1. Infection issues

Within the hospital, infections have been a common problem. As a nurse, there is an opportunity for you to lower the risk of infection within the hospital wall by making use of the skills you learned during your training. You have the responsibility to help your patient to his or her recovery while also minimizing complications that can bring about future infections. 


Tips to avoid such mistakes


For infection issues, the best way to avoid it is by making sure that your co-workers don't underestimate the importance of good hygiene. Keep in mind Aseptic techniques, Disinfection, and cleaning. 


  1. Charting errors

Documentation and charting errors are very significant because they can lead to health blunders for your patients. These can cause serious harm to the well-being of the patients, the nurse who made the mistake, and also the medical professionals who have to refer to the information on the chart.


Documentation is very important as it serves as a source of information between the patients and physicians. The reason why as a nurse you should diligently carry out your documentation well. 


Tips

When you are recording patients. Information is meticulous. Your nursing records quality is the healthcare service you give to your patients. Make use of standardized form, write concisely and legibly, and be focused as you are detailing important data of the patient such as vital signs, scheduled surgeries, medication history, and so on. 



  1. Risk management errors

Another mistake new nurses make in the nursing career is the failure of not following risk management procedures. Most healthcare facilities and hospitals have a health care risk management system that is organized to prevent and detect risky situations


New nurses sometimes are tempted to skip this learning process which is necessary for risk management.


Tips:

Memorize and learn. You have to put in more time for you to get familiarized with the risk management procedures. 


  1. Being unprepared

As a new nurse about to step up and begin working in a healthcare facility or hospital, then you should know you will be around people that are educated and have worked hard compared to you. Also, many of these people you will surround yourself with will have more experience that you can’t learn from books you have read while in nursing school. 


You need to prepare as a new nurse when you are working with this set of people. When you talk about something incorrect or irrelevant your colleagues will pick on that which will question your incompetence. 


Tips

Try to learn from your co-workers that are more experienced than you. Don’t be shy to ask questions when it’s needed. 


  1. Falling accidents

One nurse is typically assigned to several patients which is more reason why keeping track of all the patients assigned to you might be challenging. Patients who are not physically prepared to walk on their own might attempt to stand. This action might lead to falling accidents which could result in severe injuries. 

According to the HHS Public Access article, it says in the U.S. patient falling leading to complications is approximately 2% of patients in the hospital. 


Tips

Connect with your patients and monitor them. Although it's not possible to know beforehand if all patients fall, however, proactive measures can still be put in place to avoid such accidents. Try to monitor them at regular intervals. 


  1. No self-care

Most new nurses make the mistake of not looking after themselves in their quest to provide health care to patients. Sometimes, they tire themselves out because they took on too many tasks and they mistakenly injure themselves. 


Tip

Get your emotional, physical, and mental health nourished by getting enough rest, sleep, and exercise. Medication, nutritious food, and healthy socialization. Let your well-being been nurtured.


  1. Asking for help without preparing the necessary information

Most often new nurses call for help without preparing the necessary information about the patient‘s case. Think about what you want to discuss with the physician beforehand. 


Tip

Before calling on the physician make sure you have the patient's allergies, their diagnosis, and what other medications the patient is also taking like the vitals and latest lab results. 


  1. Time mismanagement.

Lack of time to care properly for your patients is part of the major stress in nursing. The skill of time management is learned while on the job, and you can also ask veteran nurses about time –managing tips. 


Tips

One way for you to combat this issue is to learn quickly how you manage your time effectively. 


  1. Social media mistakes

Social media mistakes are one of the mistakes new nurses make because they tend to post sensitive information about their patients’ wellbeing on apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok. Privacy laws and HIPAA prohibit medical professionals from sharing patient information and because of this several nurses have been fired for revealing information that is sensitive such as posting statements that are controversial, taking selfies with patients, and so on. 


Tip

You have to think twice before posting on social media or taking a selfie with your patient. It’s best to avoid social media while on shift. 


Conclusion

A nursing career is a noble job and kindhearted career. It doesn't just allow you to help people who are sick but also provides you the opportunity to meet families of people you work with. 

However, your career can be short-lived if you don't learn from your mistakes. Watch out for the mistakes listed above and try as much as possible to never let them happen.


April 18, 2021

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person

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