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Common Vocational Nursing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

More than 1 in 10 patients are harmed during their medical care, and half are preventable. An experienced nurse, doctor, or someone entering vocational nursing is at risk of making mistakes. So, what are the best ways to reduce errors?

When entering vocational nursing, it is important to understand common mistakes that can be made so you avoid them. It can also help inform your work to become a more confident vocational nurse.

Here are some of the most common vocational nursing errors to avoid.

Documentation Errors

For many people, paperwork is not the reason they enter vocational nursing. However, it is an essential part of any vocational nursing role, helping maintain communication between healthcare professionals, monitor patients, and note nurse actions.

If you make errors with documentation or fail to document adequately, problems can escalate and cause patient harm. You can also be liable for legal issues.

How to Avoid

If you have any questions about paperwork, ask your supervisor. Allow enough time during your shift to update documentation. You should always check patient information carefully too, so there are no mix-ups with identity.

Infection Control Errors

Infection control is essential in every work setting, but when working with patients, it is critical. In hospitals alone, around 1 in 31 patients have a healthcare-associated infection. A simple act such as skipping washing your hands can lead to patient harm.

How to Avoid

Follow all infection control protocols at your workplace. Pick a reputable training course that covers safety as a vocational nurse. If you are ever in doubt, do not be afraid to ask for support.

Task Overload

Many vocational nursing mistakes can be avoided by slowing down. It can be challenging to pause when caring for people, but it is essential to stay focused and present.

Taking on too many tasks can lead to task overload, which can cause exhaustion, chronic stress, errors, and burnout. This does not only impact you but patients too.

How to Avoid

It is essential to care for yourself to care for others. Practice time management and begin to prioritize tasks. During your vocational nurse training, you will also get the opportunity to practice time management skills to juggle workplace tasks confidently.


When under pressure, it can be easy to lose your center and go against protocol. For example, an experienced nurse may make a medication error and fail to document it. It is essential to speak up and ask if you are unsure about something so there is no miscommunication.

How to Avoid

Reduce errors by sticking to procedures. If you are unsure about a senior colleague’s advice, seek further assistance. Do not be afraid to ask questions to maintain open communication.

The Right Vocational Nursing Training

When entering vocational nursing, it is important to pick the right training course to equip you with the skills you need to be a qualified nursing professional.

Healthcare Career College offers courses that include hands-on clinical experience, a flexible schedule, and access to many job opportunities. Our courses are led by experienced and qualified instructors ready to help you thrive in your new career.

Contact us today to learn more.