I saw something recently that made my alarms go off screaming "Med error! Med error!"

I was about to get medication for my patient when a nurse jumped in front of me. I didn't mind; I had enough time and figured that he must be in a hurry. I saw him get medication out for his patient. Then, I saw him get medication out for a second patient—medication for two patients at one time! My brain started screaming "Med error! Med error!" But I quietly stood there letting him do his job, and he left the med room.

You may be asking why I didn't say something because that is what I am asking myself now. I have many excuses, but none of them are very good. First, I am new here and didn't want to look like a know-it-all. Second, this was one of the nurses orienting me to the unit. But I should have said something, right? After all, patient safety is every nurse's responsibility—even if the patient was not mine and the nurse was one of my orienters. What would you do?

As I travel across the country for these assignments I am going to meet a lot of nurses who may view me as the new one. I'll need to decide how to handle situations like this in the future. What do you think?


Posted by Michelle Kopp … (not verified) 3 years 1 month ago

You're never too new to speak up for patient safety. How would you feel if this medication error seriously harmed the patient?

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