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The Horror of a Nursing Error

Posted Jan 22 2009 5:15pm
I see daily the intense anguish nurses go through when they have made an error or are accused of making an error. The error may be a medication error, a documentation error, an assessment error etc.; it does not matter which type, the emotional trial is the same. Nurses, even those that have done nothing wrong, begin to question their skills and knowledge. Insight is a good thing, but too frequently, the nurse experiences deep emotional impact from someone questioning their nursing practice.

RN magazine has an article in the December 2008 issue, " Sharing the load of a nurse "second victim 'Rescuing the healer after trauma'", that discusses this problem. It is helpful for nurses to be familiar with the issue because if you have been lucky enough to never have had scrutiny of your practice, you need to know what your colleague may be going through in order to be supportive.

How nurses treat each other is crucial to a good work environment and to the progression forward of the nursing career. All nurses must treat each other with respect, even if you do not always agree. This is being a professional and to elevate the profession, nurses must be seen by all as professionals.
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