Health care professionals' experiences after making errors in practice: an integrative review of the literature




Mants, Tara

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There is a common expectation among health care professionals to "do no harm" and, while this is the ideal, it is not the reality. Despite the best intentions of health care professionals, errors do occur. The objectives of this review were to explore how health care professionals were affected by their involvement in adverse events and to determine the types of support health care professionals required after making an error. An integrative literature review of eleven research articles was conducted to explore common themes. These eleven studies included four quantitative studies, six qualitative studies, and one mixed-methods study. The results of this literature review indicate that following an error, health care professionals experience emotional distress on both a personal and a professional level. Health care professionals require individual as well as organizational support to help them cope with the error. The findings of the integrative literature review have important implications for nursing practice, nursing leaders and advanced practice nursing.



medical error, adverse event, medication error, nursing error, second victim, coping