Mistakes to Avoid as a New Nurse 

Treyvon Kurr
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nurses may be considered everyday superheroes, but like humans, they’re bound to make mistakes. Making mistakes is inevitable for all of us, but for nurses, it can be especially costly as their mistakes have the potential to harm a patient or put them in danger. 

That’s why it’s of great importance for nurses to avoid these mistakes to ensure patient safety. Here are some common mistakes nurses should strive to avoid: 

Medication Errors 

Medication mistakes are one of the most dangerous errors a nurse can make. When administering medication, it’s essential to double-check to ensure that you have the right patient, the right dose and route of administration, and even the right medication. As a registered nurse, you should be able to understand the causes of medication errors and what you can do to prevent them. 

Types of medication errors include: 

Prescribing mistakes 

A doctor may prescribe the wrong medication or the wrong dosage for a patient. They may prescribe a higher or lower dosage, or even the prescription may be contraindicated with other drugs the patient may already be taking. 

Administering errors 

This type of error occurs when a nurse gives the wrong dose or route of administration to their patient or even gives the wrong medication altogether. If these types of mistakes occur, it’s important to report them immediately and document them in the patient’s file. 

Documentation or Administration Mistakes 

Nurses should always be sure to accurately document their patients’ care and treatment in the medical record. This includes documenting not only the medication administered but also any reactions or side effects that resulted from taking it. In addition, nurses must be careful to administer medications correctly and on time. 

Dispensing Mistakes 

A nurse may dispense the incorrect medication or the wrong amount of medication to a patient. If this happens, it should be reported immediately and documented in the patient’s file. 

Charting Errors 

Nurses should always be sure to accurately document a patient’s care and treatment in the medical record. This includes documenting not only the medications administered but also any reactions or side effects that result from taking them. Documentation is very important because it serves as a vital communication between the nurse and other members of the healthcare team, plus the patients. 

To avoid this mistake, make sure you record your patient’s information meticulously, as this will represent the kind of healthcare services you provide to your patients. Use the standardized form, write legibly and concisely, and be factual to the best of your ability. 

Not Following Protocols and Procedures 

Nurses must always adhere to the protocols and procedures set forth by their healthcare facility or organization. Not following proper protocols can have serious consequences in terms of patient safety, such as medication errors. Make sure you’re up-to-date on all approved protocols and procedures for the healthcare facility and follow them to the best of your ability. 

The Error of Extreme Self Reliance 

Nurses tend to think they can handle everything on their own, but this is a mistake. Nursing involves the care of patients, and everyone involved in the patient’s care should be aware of what is going on. It’s important to communicate with other members of the healthcare team and to ask for help when needed. 

Too much self-reliance may not be sustainable in the long run as you could be overwhelmed with too many responsibilities and become unable to effectively provide patient care. This could lead to work stress and burnout, so it’s important to ask for help when needed. 

Risk Management Errors 

Risk management is an essential part of nursing. A registered nurse should be familiar with all the safety protocols and procedures in place. They should also be familiar with any risk factors associated with different medications, treatments, or procedures being performed on a patient. 

This knowledge can help prevent errors and protect both the patient and the nurse. 

By understanding and recognizing all the potential risks, nurses can be proactive in minimizing patient harm. Risk management should be part of a nurse’s daily routine and requires knowledge of the laws and regulations governing healthcare. 

Failing to Review Your State’s Nurse Practice Act 

Each state has its own Nurse Practice Act that outlines the legal scope of practice for nurses. It is important to be familiar with your state’s nurse practice act in order to ensure you are practicing within the legal boundaries. Failure to do so could result in serious consequences, including disciplinary action or even being charged with a crime. 

Taking Things Too Personal 

Providing healthcare services can be stressful at times. But let not those stressful moments take a toll on the quality of care you provide. Do not let your emotions get in the way of providing excellent patient care. 

It is important to remember that while there may be emotional moments, it is essential that nurses remain professional and put the needs of their patients first. Failing to do so could lead to poor decision-making and errors. 

Bottom Line

In summary, being a registered nurse requires dedication, compassion, and attention to detail. Nurses should always make sure they are following the protocols and procedures set by their healthcare facility. This will help them avoid making mistakes at work and give the best care possible. 

For more useful resources on nurse recruitment and nursing practices, visit MLee Healthcare

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