Error kills 2 infants in Ind. hospital – Health – MSNBC.com
This scares the shit out of me on a daily basis. This could happen to absolutely every one of us. Unfortunately, we, as nurses, are the last in what is supposed to be a long line of defense. This quote from one of the mothers both pisses me off and breaks my heart simultaneously:
But apologies did not satisfy Whitney Alexander, mother of one of the infants who died.
â€œThey may apologize but it didnâ€™t help,â€ she told WTHR-TV in Indianapolis. â€œIt didnâ€™t help, because I feel like whoever the nurse was on call, they should know what they were doing and how much my baby should have.â€
My other concern is the quote from the executive director of the hospital who stated, “This was human error â€” thatâ€™s all…â€ To me, that is passing the buck when all of us in health care KNOW that errors occur due to a severe break down in the system which should protect our patients. Errors occur for a myriad of reasons, not just because something slipped by one person. The alarms are going off in my head due to this happening to not one baby but SIX.
Although I grieve with the parents for their loss, I grieve more for the Nurses involved as they will be the ones most likely to blame solely themselves for “causing” the deaths.
Every day I hope this is never me. No matter how careful I am and no matter how educated I become the chance still exists. It just takes a few seconds.
*rant begins after the jump*
As members of a respected profession, we must support safety initiatives, and DEMAND safe nurse to patient ratios. The vast majority of the public still believes we are there to scrub the floors, change the bed pans and do whatever the doctor tells us to do. Do our patients know how much we protect them? Do they realize the extent of knowledge we must have to do our jobs? Nurses have always been well educated, and the argument exists that the quality of nursing education is degrading rather than keeping up with the advanced knowledge base necessary for practice. Our patients are sicker than they were just a decade ago. What we find on a general medical-surgical floor used to be in the intensive care unit.
Quality patient care should be focused on building a nursing staff that is dedicated, well educated and the cream of the crop. Taking care of the nurses is taking care of the patients.
A good friend of mine was a clinical instructor for a local University which is putting out BSN prepared nurses. She had a 3rd year student who could not figure out how to get a does of 12.5 mg from a 25 mg vial. This same student was unable to maintain sterile technique or place a foley catheter into a patient’s bladder. This clinical instructor went to the nursing faculty attempting to fail this student.
Their answer? “We can’t fail her, she is too far along in her program. We will just hope the NCLEX (the test for licensing) will weed her out.”
We are doing it to ourselves. Maybe we need to go back and take some lessons from the good ol’ days and start scrubbing floors again.