Sunday, December 15, 2013

Suddenly caring about medication errors?

Medication errors are common where I work at every possible step.  Wrong chart, indecipherable handwriting, order written wrong in the first place, transcribed wrong, filled incorrectly by the pharmacy, and so on.  I pick up a lot of errors because I'm detailed and I like to do things correctly.  This is not the sentiment shared by most of my coworkers.  The only time they get excited about a medication error is when it can be blamed, rightfully or not, on someone they don't like.

So I'm working my usual floor, trying to discharge a patient home with his mother.  The facility provides a month of medication to take home, along with an appointment within the week with whatever doctor or outpatient clinic is going to follow the patient after discharge.  As usual, medications were missing because the doctor left off some medications on the order form and the pharmacy did not send half the medications that were actually ordered.  Nothing unusual.  And nobody checked the orders when made or received, so here I was, left holding the mostly empty bag.

I've learned to let it go.  The mistakes were made by many, not me, and are so commonplace that it's not worth raising my blood pressure.  I called the doctor to fix his orders and then called the pharmacy to deliver the remaining medications to the patient's home.  I don't know if this will happen, but the doctor and pharmacy tech seemed placated.

Evil Supervisor appeared at change of shift, which seems to be her favorite time to surface.  She started trying to lecture me on mistakes and that they cost the hospital time and money.  What?  Since when does the hospital care about wasting time and money, other than conserving money by not giving the staff a pay raise?  In the past, I have raised issues about mistakes, only to be told that I was being mean and that I was the only one who cared about such little details.

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