Nurses might be the medical field equivalent of superheroes, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to mistakes. Nursing is a difficult profession. You have to juggle multiple duties at any given moment and keep track of a wide range of elements. Humans are fallible and the occasional mistake is inevitable. Here are some mistakes to avoid as a new nurse, so you can start your career on the right foot.
Wrong Medication (or Wrong Dose)
Nurses have to maintain their patients’ medical profiles, read through complicated instructions, prepare the right medicine, and administer it correctly. This is crucial to the health and safety of your patient. The wrong medication or dosage can lead to disastrous consequences. Usually, this results from reading prescriptions incorrectly. Doctors are notorious for their illegible handwriting, and it doesn’t help that many medications possess similar names or confusing abbreviations. The best way to avoid medication errors is to familiarize yourself with these names, and when in doubt, ask for clarification.
Keeping Things Clean
We often associate the word “hospital” with images of white, sterile-looking buildings. But hospitals aren’t naturally spotless. A lot of care and effort goes into keeping these environments clean. Forgetting to sterilize your equipment between each use is another mistake to avoid as a new nurse. Most nurses use equipment such as stethoscopes, otoscopes, and thermometers. To mitigate the risk of infection, you must disinfect these pieces of equipment between patients. However, many new nurses may not know the proper way to sterilize their equipment. Learning how to do so is the key to staving off germs, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms.
Mistakes made on a patient’s charts or other vital documentation can impede the work of every future medical professional. If the information is incorrect, they can’t suitably communicate with and care for the patient. To avoid making these kinds of blunders, exercise caution when recording patient information. Pay close attention to what you jot down and always double-check the information.