Thursday, January 21, 2010

*No Necks* and No Mistakes

Tuesday was my first day back at school and man did my break fly by!! I only have 2 classes on campus right now, but I do have 2 days of clinicals too.

The first day of my peds rotation yesterday was a 180 compared to med-surg. It was organized and informative. The clinical site was so neat, warm and colorful. My floor has carpeting and looks kind of like a big playhouse!! We even have a Wii and Guitar Hero and since we are only assigned one patient a shift our instructor has mandated we "play" with them and really get to know them once assessments, testing and medication passes are completed. I love kids. Currently, I am on a floor with adolescents, so we will see how trusting and open they are when I kick their ass at pool and guitar hero (just kidding).

I am not overly concerened about getting to know them and building a trusting rapport as I love kids and have worked with them at all ages (except infant, but that is later in the semester in OB). I am worried about the nursing side of this rotation.

It breaks my heart to see little kids hurting and ill. My brain doesn't register a "child" can be sick and die. It isn't right. I am afraid I will fail miserably to be supportive to the child and their families because I, myself will be a hot mess and unable to treat the patient.

The other thing that scares me with any patients is medicaiton passing. There are so many precautions in place when passing meds, but errors still happen! Just one incorrect dosage calculation or grabbing the wrong med and can result in a deadly mistake. I know, I know many people wonder.."how can a healthcare professional make such a terrible mistake?" Unfortunately, it does happen.

We were told this story in a previous class...

Heparin is a great blood thinner and a nurse stocking the medication cart accidently put the blue Heparin bottle (10,000 Units) in the place where the lighter blue heparin bottle (1,000 Units)should have been. Nurses needing the 1,000 Unit Heparin pulled the incorrect dose and killed 7 infants in Indiana! Precautions are now taken by wrapping big orange tape around the 10,000 Units of Heparin, but it is too late for those children.

This story above scared the shit out of me!! I am great at math and had a med-math test yesterday for dosage calculaiton that I flew through a little too fast. I received a perfect score, but I am a bit ashamed of myself. Instead of thinking "you need to score perfect, every error you make in the calculations is a patient you hurt," I thought "sweet math test, only need 73% to pass, this will be easy." It seems unfathomable that errors like these can happen in the healthcare field. I mean it is our job as healthcare professionals to HELP the patient, not hurt them, but after just one rotation of clinicals it is very possible. My intent is to stay terrified and extremely cognizant whenever I am administering medicaitons, to always remember that is someone's loved one.

*No Necks are a term used for children in the movie "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof." I used to watch old movies all the time.*

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