Patient Safety

Health Worker Stories

Health Workers Are Affected by Medical Harm Too

Health workers go to work each day to help and heal patients; they don’t go to work with the intention of harming them. So when harm occurs they too are affected – mentally and emotionally.

You can be brave and speak out and share your story. There is too much shame and blame and there’s a real opportunity to normalize and support health workers when they’ve been affected.

You’ll see here the story of Gwen Cox, a nurse who made a mistake that led to tragedy. What happened was human, everyone makes mistakes. We need better systems and processes in place to prevent human errors from becoming fatal. We hope that Gwen’s story inspires others to share their stories.

You Have the Public’s Support

We polled the general public across 5 English-speaking countries and the public said that “ensuring that health workers can report errors without blame or fear of losing their jobs or going to jail in order to make the system safer” was a top concern they want policymakers to address today.

Stories Like Gwen's Are Impacting Health Workers

Read comments on the video you just viewed above

Crystal Evans

You’re not a real RN until you have a med error. I hate that I even have to say it. We’re all human and it happens. It’s a gut check. What everybody in a safety / supervisor role should do is to not shame those who make them. Make adjustments for the patients safety, but so not shame them. Shaming RNs only creates a culture of fear and the likelihood of covering med errors up.

Walter White

Thank you for sharing this. That takes courage.

Allison Nichol

As nurses, we all make mistakes, we just hope and pray and that it won’t be one that hurts a patient. I double check everything, but I triple check and cross check high risk medications. But you can never let down your guard, a couple weeks ago, a bad shift handoff caused me to double dose my patient on melatonin. I didn’t double check the previous administration because melatonin is so low risk – but it was still a med error!

Dani Marie

Thank God for that patient compassion and understanding…. And even though it put her in a compromising situation… I felt like it needed to happen and she was the perfect example… And it resulted for this Nurse to take this experience and use it to teach future Nurses to avoid this situation…. God bless both of them.

Songs Songs

Thank you so much for sharing I needed this tonight.

Riley Wolf

In simulation today I overlooked an order that said 40mg furosemide i thought it was 40ml of furosemide ivp thats why im here watching. I will never do this again, I am not dumb I was just overwhelmed. Never again!


You Can Be Part of the Solution

Share Your Story

We need people like Gwen and like YOU to share your story. If you prefer, you can share your story anonymously and still make an impact.

Get Involved in Our Network

You Can Help

  • Participate as a workgroup member to revise and disseminate our Actionable Patient Safety Solutions.
  • Write a guest article for us to publish on our blog.
  • Speak on one of our webinars.
  • Submit an op-ed to a leading media publication, they always need more stories like yours!