As a new nurse, you will be asked to witness a waste, verify a medication or co-sign blood administration documents. Sometimes when nurses are busy, they may feel compelled to skip the actual witnessing (as with an opioid waste) or verifying (as with blood transfusion orders) to save time, especially if they trust each other. However, witnessing or verifying without actually confirming not only has a negative impact on your job, but can also harm patients.
Once, I was asked to co-sign a blood transfusion documentation record. I asked to see the chart first to confirm the order. The nurse discouraged me from looking for it by saying that she already checked it. I insisted on confirming the order before I would co-sign. Thank goodness I did because she was about to give blood to the wrong patient.
These are what I call, “never events.”
Never co-sign/witness without verifying all data on the following:
· Opioid waste
· Blood administration
· PCA set-up
· Heparin changes
· Others as per your hospital policy
And, it works both ways. Don’t ever ask a co-worker to co-sign/witness or verify without making sure he/she actually does.
Thanks so much for choosing to become a nurse. I am cheering for your success!!
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