Nurses’ Responsibility in Prevention of Medication Errors

Abstract

Administration of medication is a composite process. Administration of a medication to an individual prevents health alterations. Nurses do face a lot of challenges during administering medication to patients; however, it is their responsibility to familiarize themselves with the errors related to medication of patients. (Rogers & Hwang 2008).Despite the writing of many books by a diversity of authors addressing the issues that lead to medication errors, a few or none of the institutions tend to employ their ideas in their daily works.

For this reason, the nurses will continue being the proficient causes of the errors that crop up in health centers. It is necessary to explore features that will eradicate errors with ease of the work of nurses in the administering drugs. Some of the steps that may lead to error eradication as per my research include double checking the doses before administering to patient, serving one patient at a time and having the patient awareness when giving medications. (Greenberg & Bowden 2011).

Introduction

All nurses have the responsibility of providing direct care to the patients they administer. In their daily activity, nurses have a role of ensuring that they have prevented illness and restored health of patients, this is because they are held responsible and accountable for their own nursing acts and rulings, as well as for the individuals under their supervision. However, the nursing activity is prone to many errors that may lead to death of patients. Some of the errors include lack of amicable medication process and safety rules, unfamiliarity of key terms used in health centers, and exhaustion or disruption of nurses while attending patients. Confusion of patients’ records also has been found as one of the elements that lead to errors in nursing. These errors can be controlled if nurses devote themselves wholeheartedly to their work.

Medication process and safety rules

Safety matters are the key elements of nursing as a profession. It is the responsibility of the nurses to ensure they have not harmed the patients in any way during the administering of the medication. For the nurses to avoid harming patient, they have the responsibility of administering correct drug, in the right dose, in an accurate way, to the right patient and at the precise time into practice in their daily activities. The nurses should use the five rights as the key goals of their nursing activity. (Abernethy & Pickar, 2012).

Comprehension of key factors

It is also beneficial for the nurses to comprehend the key factors leading to errors for efficient prevention. A proficient nurse, should be knowledgeable, and follow the established procedures to the latter for him or her to prevent causing errors. The nurse should also be conversant with the use of current technology in carrying out the administration of patients. Through the use of technology, many errors such as blood transfusion errors and other related problems should be curtailed. (Denpew & Duncan, 2010).

Patient safety solutions

For nurses to eradicate the errors encountered in the health centers, they have to look for patient safety solutions. Double checking of the prescribed document and medicine to be administered plays a prominent role in reducing the chances of making medication errors. However, the best way to do it is by having two nurses administering one patient at a time, in that one nurse reads the medication dose whereas the other nurse checks the reading alongside the order, and afterward reverse the procedure. (JoNel, 2011)

Exhaustion and Disruption

Drug errors have been found to be the key cause of medication errors in hospitals. Nurses indulge in making errors due to exhaustion. To prevent this, in addition to the nursing administration, rearranging the working hours of nurses, they should also reduce the working hours of nurses. Drug errors are also caused by the nurses when they are disrupted from their work by other coworkers, patients or other events within the units. It is the responsibility of the nurses to ensure they have attended one patient at a time regardless of the situation of other patients. Nurses should also learn to work without disrupting others, in doing this they will cleanse their titles. (Theresa, 2011).

Patient records

Drug errors also occur when nurses fail in administering the right rule of checking the name of the patient before administering drugs. It is the responsibility of the nurse to check the names of the patients on the band before administering any medication. The nurses also ought to check on the administration records of a patient before administering any drug, in doing do, they will prevent the common errors encountered in the hospitals. (Pamela & Terri, 2010).

Prescription errors have been found also to contribute greatly to the medication errors encountered in hospitals. Many a time practitioners do use poor handwriting or abbreviations not well known to the nurses. (Robert & Osman, 2008). It is the responsibility of the nurses to seek clarifications from the practitioners when in doubt of what is prescribed for the patient before administering any medication. (Joint Commission Resources, 2011).

Time frequency

For effective medication to take place, time frequency should be observed. Computerize hospitals many a time, are prone to errors in medication due to miscalculations made by the computers when it comes to time frequency. It is the role of the nurse to ensure that there is clarity between the prescribed information by the doctor and that offered by the computer before administering any medication to a patient. (Jansen & Jansen, M. 2009).

Conclusion

In conclusion, administration of medication is a serious nursing expertise that can result to steep errors, morbidity, and loss of life if not held correctly. It is the responsibility of the nurse to ensure that he or she have given the right patient the precise drug, in the correct amount, in the right way, at the precise time, and under the right documents. The nurse involved in administering a medication to a patient is officially accountable for medication errors regardless of the primary cause of the problem.

References

Abernethy, A. & Pickar, G. (2012). Dosage Calculations. New York: Cengage Learning.

Denpew, R. & Duncan, G. (2010). Transitioning from LPN/VN to RN: Moving Ahead in Your Career. New York: Cengage Learning.

Greenberg, C. & Bowden, V. (2011). Pediatric Nursing Procedures. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Jansen, P. & Jansen, M. (2009). Advanced Practice Nursing: Core Concepts for Professional Role Development. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Joint Commission Resources. (2011). The Nurse’s Role in Medication Safety. Redwood City: Joint Commission Resources.

JoNel, A. (2011). Nurse’s suicide highlights twin tragedies of medical errors. Web.

Pamela, A. & Terri, T. (2010). Medication errors: Don’t let them happen to you. Web.

Robert, G. & Osman, R. (2008). The Nature and Occurrence of Registration Errors in the Emergency Department. International Journal of Medical Informatics.77(3); 169-175.

Rogers, E. & Hwang, T. (2008). Role of Registered Nurses in Error Prevention, Discovery and Correction. Qual Saf Health Care. 17(2); 117-121.

Theresa, B. (2011). When Nurses Make Mistakes. Web.