Divine Errors


As a nurse, one of my ongoing nightmares is that of making a horrendous “medication error”, thus invoking the dreaded “incident report”, and the accompanying fire and brimstone of condemnation raining down from the god of Perfectionism. It hadn’t occurred to me that a dosage error could actually be serendipitous. Until today. Not that I will continue to dispense inaccurate medication, but somehow today’s “mistake” turned out to be more than beneficial for the patient- and that is what really counts. This experience reminded me of other historical errors that later proved to be the windows of opportunity for growth and discovery. The fact that we know chromosomes exist is due to the forgetfulness of a lab technician who left microscopic slides immersed in water while ‘out to lunch’- and thankfully he did not panic and throw them out afterwards. Swollen cells expanded, and then burst their membranes to reveal the hidden treasures within- and genetics has come a long way since. We have now mapped the entire human genome. To think that God can use our frail, imperfect judgements to bring good into this world. “He makes all things beautiful in His time” as the song says. My error did bring immense pain relief to one who had been otherwise “undermedicated”. To this I can only say “Deo gracias”. The guardian angels of noble intention have worked double duty and prevailed.

2 comments

  1. Matthew Francis · September 11, 2006

    My wife, Krista, is working on finishing her Nursing degree this year, and this is also perhaps her biggest fear… thanks for putting it into perspective!

  2. nehamashira · September 12, 2006

    I find that one of the hardest things to do as a nurse is to offer the same kindness to myself that I do to other frail members of the human race. I asked my doctor once if she had ever made any medication (or other) errors. Her response was “every day I practise I make mistakes…but my goal is not to harm anyone”. I pray for God’s blessing on Krista’s chosen profession. When she does make mistakes (and we all do), may she be able to forgive herself and let it go- a mistake is only a stepping stone to greater expertise.

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