Chronology of medication errors by nurses: accumulation of stresses and PTSD symptoms

Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2005 Oct;26(8):873-86. doi: 10.1080/01612840500184566.


The aim of this research was to examine the influence of medication errors on the mental state of the erring caregiver. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 erring nurses. The data were analyzed using content analysis. The following categories were identified: "stress, pressure, and inattention," "responsibility," "the double fear," "I might get fired," "he who works, errs," waiting for the inquiry--"every day is like eternity," "absurdly, it got worse with time," and "following the event I learned my lessons." The emotional distress of several subjects was, across time, reminiscent of PTSD symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Medication Errors / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Time Factors