Even the best nurse in the world gets so busy occasionally that mistakes happen. Luckily, most common mistakes do not endanger patient health. There are five very common mistakes, however, that can cause you a great deal of stress and extra work if you are not careful. Watch out for these common nursing mistakes:
- Not rechecking each patient’s armband. Nurses deal with a large number of patients on each shift. During the course of the day, it is very easy to confuse two patients and to give the wrong medications to the wrong patient. To avoid this dangerous and potentially deadly mistake, make sure to take the medication sheet into the room with you and double check the patient’s armband before doing anything.
- Forgetting to log out of computer charts. When charts were still done on paper, it was fairly difficult to pick up someone else’s chart mistakenly. Now that records are kept electronically, it is fairly easy to forget to log off. This will cause others to mistakenly chart under your name. To avoid this issue, make sure you are logged out and
check the name on each chart before making any entries.
- Relying on the word of others. When the going gets tough and you are pressed for time, it is too easy to depend upon the word of others regarding supplies, location of medications, and more. Doing this can lead to anything from a mild inconvenience to a highly dangerous situation for your patients. Take the time to check everything yourself because everyone, no matter how well intentioned, can make mistakes.
- Never questioning a doctor’s orders. Now that order sets are pre-written, it is easy for mistakes to happen. Many medications come in a variety of order sets. If an order seems to be off for you, do not hesitate to get clarification or ask questions. This is an important part of the job and can mean all the difference in a patient’s health.
- Don’t skimp on assessments. Regardless of how harried you are, never skimp on patient assessments. Nurse assessments are vital to the well being of patients, so it is vital that you take the time, every time, to do the best possible job. This can save the lives of your patients as well as your career.
Nurses are overworked and underappreciated. It can be very difficult to remember that little mistakes can have big consequences. There is no doubt that you will make mistakes throughout your career. Avoiding these common errors will help you avoid a great deal of disaster and be the best nurse you can be.