Nursing Voices

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Shoot Me, I'm Not Perfect

It’s hard being the perfect woman, the perfect mother, and most importantly, the perfect nurse. I need to re-read this book and take a refresher course on how to be flawless because I screwed up at work.

I went to bed last night after working my usual Sunday evening shift and I went right to sleep. I was exhausted when I arrived back home, and I was well on my way to falling into a deep, peaceful sleep when I woke up around 2 A.M. I sat straight up in bed and screamed a succession of naughty words when I remembered that I hadn’t documented that my patients had received their 10 PM meds. Now I promise you, my patients got their medications, and I know that I can document those medications when I return to work, but crap, I hate it when I make mistakes. I’m the charge nurse, I’m the old pro, I’m suppose to be perfect! I tossed and turned in bed, and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Some people would say that I had a senior moment, while others might suggest that I had a mind fart, but whatever you call this phenomenon, it SUCKS.

Hospitals require perfection from their nurses, and God help you if you fail to meet their employer’s expectations. Perhaps Fujitsu’s new service robot will replace me if I make any more mistakes at work. I guess my boss will have something else to throw in my face during my next evaluation.


Anonymous may said...

we have something in common. i end up calling work or even going back on my days off if i remember i forgot one little thing. it is terrible to be like this, and we need help!


11:14 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Road Nurse... said...

Bless your heart, I totally understand. It's that nurse personality of wanting to be perfect---and you're right when you say our profession demands it. And of course, it's impossible to be perfect---but I sure wish I could be. When I was a Head Nurse on a neuro-psych unit, I used to wake up at 4 am in a cold sweat and call the unit to ask if I'd remember'd to have done "such and such". They used to get mad at me for that, thinking I was micro-managing. But it was pure fear. And I definitely remember when I was a rookie nurse, praying before each shift at the CCU that I would "not kill anybody". And what's worse, besides what I feel are "nursing flaws", I have personal flaws that I hate to even think about....

11:47 PM  
Blogger deespoohbear said...

I hate when I do stuff like that too. Of course when you have JCAHO, HFAP, state, and TPTB and other "think tanks" requiring you to document every time the patient passes gas, it can get a bit overwhelming. Of course, also having adequate nursing staff to make the patient assignments more reasonable and safe would help considerably. Nurses are expected to manage completely unsafe patient assignments, and to do more with less.

I too, have called the next shift in my unit and said "OMG, did I "do, document, tell" you this?

2:59 AM  
Blogger FetchingGal said...

Thanks MJ. You are still perfect to me! You just let me know that the world really does not end when it happens to me. Thanks for letting us know we are not alone. One more shift as the lowly student... too bad my tiara is a little too small. One would think a tiara could be made for an ADULT head and sold at the dollar store. Hmph. Maybe you can just wear a tiara into work the next shift and all will be forgotten! ;)

4:50 AM  
Blogger jaz said...

Yes, the Fugitsu robot can flawlessly replicate the required nursing motions, but can it emote?

6:49 AM  
Blogger poody said...

LOL When I worked in the hospital I would wake up with the same thoughts. Always something like the IRS you think you covered al bases but no!!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Lea said...

Better to have given the meds and not written it down than the other way around, don't you think?

Take it easy Mother Jones.

11:20 AM  
Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

You have to have a minor gaffe every blue moon just to prove you're still human. Otherwise, we'd worry....

3:29 PM  
Blogger Nurse M said...

I have remembered things on the ride home or will remember as I am laying in bed. I debate calling, but usually decide against it. I hate that feeling!

6:17 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Hey! Being interested in artificial intelligence, I WANT one of those robots!


Does it give back rubs?

6:11 PM  
Blogger Runs With Scissors said...

I think we all experience this at one time or another - some of us more than others. I have a bonafide case of OCD, which is usually a great asset to have if you're a nurse. However, in these kinds of instances it can drive a person crazier than usual!! Don't be so hard on yourself!

11:22 AM  
Blogger shrimplate said...

Been there, done that, will do it again sometime probably.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Student Nurse Jack said...

If patients are leery of having student nurses in their rooms, just think what their reactions to robots will be?

12:03 PM  
Blogger Forgotten Blue Line said...

Yea, I have a feeling that tommorrow I will be called in to write a report I forgot to write. Someone in the ER locked up patient meds somewhere they should not have, then when I went looking for them with our psych counslor the staff in the ER with the clinical coord. got angry. They tried and tried to get rid of me to cover up their screw up, but what they didn't knowis that I had a signed document by an ER RN stating where they put the meds. Well lets say they stopped insulting me and the counslor, oh and stopped calling the patient a psychotic lyer! I wrote a little report and sent an email to the bosses, but I know they will call me in on my day off to write a full report. I feel your pain :)

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have looked for nurses,who feel like me and found you guys...some individuals who could perhaps feel the same as I do, wanting to do a great job but tied into so many various blocks, for your professional life and personal life, such as, on call schedules, understaffing, shift changes,always late leaving due to understaffing andcircumstances that occur regurarly, customer satisfaction scores, meetings, continual changes ... what ever makes it easier for us nurses ? I seem to always call back to the next tell them I what forgot.. I keep waking up at night remembering things I should have done but did not, or had not time to document properly... because I was on a break, oh no! breaks? lunch ? dinner? not even a glimpse of those.... I just was pulled in so many different directions, attempting to do my best which honestly sucks.... I am so wasted with this scene of nursing I can not keep up......

12:53 AM  

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