It’s never a fun topic to talk about, but mistakes in the pharmacy can and do happen. Whether it was a mistake made by a new pharmacist overwhelmed with the scope of the job or a mistake made by a veteran at the end of a long shift, every pharmacist can’t be perfect all the time.
The good news is that often, making a mistake makes for a better pharmacist, allowing him or her to set up better systems. The bad news is that mistakes are hard to admit, and not admitting them can be just as disastrous as making them.
One pharmacist wrote in and put it this way:
"In the punitive environment denominated healthcare, why would anyone acknowledge an egregious error, negligent or otherwise? So many providers fear for their licenses that they would rather not reveal errors of themselves or their peers.
"In the state I practice, a pharmacist was sentenced to prison, lost his license, paid a monetary fine, and was compelled to do community service. The State indicted and convicted him for negligent homicide and involuntary manslaughter, for an error of mere negligence. Civil, criminal, and regulatory systems are increasingly obscuring the differences between intentional, risky choices and inadvertent human fallibility.
"Until we create a culture that encourages improvement of the system that fosters the errors that are committed, we cannot expect candor and transparency in error reporting."
In an effort to provide more transparency to the field, and to help you learn from the mistakes of others, we asked you to send in your worst mistakes from your career. We also asked how those mistakes affect how you do your job now.