Tonight I made a grievous medication error.
I work at a group home for “severe & persistent mental illness” clients. There are more than a dozen clients, residents, whatever you want to call them. The term changes regularly what with varying forms of political correctness; at one point we called them “consumers,” as in “consumers of mental health services” but I never liked that term. It makes them sound all take and no give.
At any rate, I used to run such a house. I found it to be super stressful and was happy to give it up. Ironically, the part I liked the best about working in these types of facilities was giving medications and dealing with doctors’ offices, medical appointments, etc. Now I’m back here working a regular weekend swing shift gig, back in the trenches. I am generally well-thought-of in this agency, after a long association with it, and even got this job without having to come in for an interview.
Yeah, maybe not so much after tonight.
This client receives three types of insulin, and I gave the first of them correctly. Then I gave the second one incorrectly. Then I caught the mistake and called it in without giving the third dose.
The client will be fine. I was told, as I figured I would be, to hold the third type of insulin altogether, give him a slightly larger dinner, extra juice, and monitor his blood sugars about hourly. Fortunately his blood sugar was a bit high to begin with.
I feel like such a jerk. This poor guy. I’m so glad I caught it right away, at least. It could have been a disaster.
I hate making mistakes in general, and I especially hate that my mistake could have really hurt – possibly even killed – this client.
You can bet it will never happen again.