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What should you do if you make a medical mistake?

When you're a nurse, you know that your actions affect others. Even if you're doing your best and think you've done everything right, there is a potential for things to go wrong. A patient could have a bad reaction to a medication, or someone could die before a diagnosis is there to give you a better treatment plan.

No matter what happens, it's your responsibility to make sure that patients are as safe or as comfortable as possible for the time they're with you. If you make a mistake, then that could be the end of your career. However, it shouldn't be. Making medical mistakes is how people learn, and it's how better nurses and doctors are made.

What should you do if you make a mistake on the job?

Statistics have shown that apologizing for mistakes does help reduce the likelihood of lawsuits, but it also helps humanize you. Often, people think of nurses and doctors as those who know everything and who do everything right every time. The reality couldn't be further from that idea. Nurses and doctors are people, too, and mistakes are bound to be made. Apologizing, if it's in line with your hospital or organization's regulations, could help you avoid patients turning to the law for help.

It's also important to make sure you understand what went wrong. Learning from your mistakes is a vital part of the medical field. There could be a threat to your license but if you can show that you're doing all you can to prevent mistakes in the future and to correct the mistakes you've made, then it could help you and your attorney protect your license.

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