5 Mistakes New Nurses Make

As a nurse, it’s vital that you are as perfect as you can be at your job. Nurses are only human, and when they start a new job, they’re bound to make mistakes. You’re likely to be nervous and weighted down with the pressure of performing perfectly, which can lead to certain blunders. There are 5 of the most common mistakes made by new nurses.

Chart Errors

As a new nurse, you might be surprised by how much paperwork you’ll have to complete. As you get the hang of the whole process, you’ll find that you make some mistakes due to the sheer mountain of paperwork you have to tackle. Patients need drug and health information recorded, medications they’ve been given, the actions taken on their behalf by nurses, changes in condition, medications that have been discontinued and orders given by the doctors. The sheer amount of paperwork for an inexperienced nurse can be overwhelming, which leads to errors. Every nurse has made those errors in charting or documentation.

Related resource: Top RN to BSN Programs in Illinois

Lack of Information

When you need to call a doctor for help for a patient, you need all the information readily available. Many new nurses don’t have all the information relevant to the patient when they call a doctor for help. This makes them look inexperienced in front of the doctor as well as the patient, which doesn’t lead the patient to feel confident in the nurse’s skills. It also undermines the nurse’s authority with the patient. The doctor won’t be thrilled to be called in without all the relevant information either.

Infection Precautions

During your training period, you’ll have received numerous reminders about the risk of infection in the hospital. According to the CDC, at least 1 in 25 patients has a hospital-related infection. It’s vital that you maintain good infection protocols even if you don’t see others doing the same. Good hygiene techniques are vital for fighting hospital-associated infections. New nurses are not always vigilant about cleaning, disinfection or aseptic techniques.

Medication Error

Every nurse has made an error with a patient’s medication at some point in their career. The nurse might not even know it. You might give a patient the wrong dosage, the wrong medicine or a double dosage. If you’re lucky, you won’t hurt a patient too badly by making a medication error, but it pays to double check medications before giving it to the patient. Always be mentally present when it’s time to give out medications too.

Falling Accidents

Many patients will try to walk after a procedure or when they’re sick without asking for help. It’s important that you are constantly checking on your patients to ensure that they are not trying to increase mobility before they’re ready. As a new nurse, you might not know the signs to watch for with patients who are at higher risk to try to walk. It’s vital that you’re there to help when a patient tries to get out of bed. Make sure they feel comfortable asking for your help when it’s time to move around.

New nurses are bound to make mistakes. When you’re aware of the common ones, you’re more likely to avoid them. Always double check orders to be sure you understand. Always ask another nurse if you’re unsure about an order. Be vigilant about your hygiene to avoid spreading infections in the hospital too.