We've always been told that in nursing, you can't afford to make mistakes; that perfection is the name of the game because we're dealing with the most priceless commodity on the planet: HUMAN LIFE.

Nurses, however, are simply human beings, no matter how rational they can think or behave. They are human, and they are capable of making mistakes now and then.

Here are several helpful tips to help prepare nurses with the skills they need to stop making nursing mistakes:

1. Medication Mistakes

Any of the mistakes in this group include dispensing the wrong drug, dispensing the wrong dosage of medication, providing medication to the wrong patient, and failing to track the patient's condition. Keep in mind that it can put patients' lives in jeopardy.

This is a pitfall that no one is immune to; you can be a brand-new nurse or a seasoned staff nurse and yet make this terrible error.

Lack of "presence of mind," extreme pressure, and fear of their clinical instructors are all common causes for student nurses. These factors create a barrier that prevents open communication and learning between them.

Experienced nurses, on the other hand, often make errors because of exhaustion. One of the most common causes of medication errors among nurses is burnout.

How to tackle:

You must leave your ego at the door as soon as you reach the hospital grounds. Put aside any personal or family issues you might be having and deal with them after your turn. Always be aware of your surroundings. Treat your patients as if they were a member of your family.

More specifically, remember the ten golden rules for safe drug administration. Remember that forgetting this critical information as a nurse is a felony and a possible cause of negligence.

2. If the Patient Collapses 

When patients try to get up on their own to use the restroom or pick up something out of reach, they often fall. This is popular among patients who have no family nearby to help or attend to their needs. If preventative measures are not strictly taken, patients can suffer injuries or even death.

How to tackle:

Make hourly or every two-hourly nursing rounds to patients, particularly those who are at high risk of falling. Determine that the patient's personal belongings and important items are within easy reach. Follow safety protocols (e.g., raising side rails) and inform patients you are always available to assist them.

3. Infectious Disease

It would never be an acceptable reason to say that infections are common in hospitals. We're expected to help avoid it as health officers. At all times, we must strive to improve the condition of our patients.

How to tackle:

Never underestimate the importance of good hand hygiene and infection-prevention strategies. Nurses should keep in mind that the majority of iatrogenic infections are caused by nurse negligence.

4. Errors in Documentation and Charting

Your nursing experience will never determine whether you will make reporting mistakes during the course of your career. As a nurse, it's crucial to keep track of details on your patient's chart.

Charting errors can occur in a variety of ways. By becoming more conscious of these eight common pitfalls, you will avoid making these errors and any lawsuits that can result from them.

a. Failure to record pertinent health or drug information 

b. Failure to record nursing actions 

c. Failure to record that medications have been given 

d. Failure to record on the correct chart 

e. Failure to document a discontinued medication

f. Failing to keep track of drug interactions or changes in a patient's condition.

g. Incorrectly transcribing orders or transcribing incorrect orders

h. Making records that are illegible or incomplete

How to tackle:

Never stop learning new things. When in doubt, always consult your superiors or other staff nurses with more experience. Always note the basic rule: "A nursing procedure that is not charted is a nursing procedure that is not performed."

5. Considering Nursing to be a “JOB”

Many nursing graduates were either compelled to enter the field or chose to do so because of the possibility of a better life in another country. These are the same people who consider nursing to be a profession rather than a calling.

These people can make fatal mistakes in the long run because they aren't attentive to information, don't care about what they do, and are always eager to get home. Every second they spend caring for their patients is a source of frustration for them.

Human life is something that should never joke about, being prone to mistakes and errors is something we should avoid at all costs.

May 12, 2023

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person
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