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Devastatingly Human - An Analysis of Registered Nurses' Medication Error Accounts--NURSING - Essay Example

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Medication Errors: Devastatingly Human Dispensing medicines is a risky task and medication errors are common in nursing profession. Camire et al (2009) opined that medication errors are the most common errors in nursing profession and they account for 78 percent of serious medical errors in the critical care unit…
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Devastatingly Human - An Analysis of Registered Nurses Medication Error Accounts--NURSING
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Download file to see previous pages According to Camire et al (2009), "given the large body of literature about patient safety, the limited evidence available to guide clinicians in selecting strategies to prevent and disclose medication errors in critically ill patients is surprising. Nevertheless, patient safety is a first step in providing high-quality health care, and ensuring the safety of patients is everyone’s responsibility and challenge." Since administration of accurate medication is the most embedded principle of nursing; any event of medication error jeopardizes the livelihood and identity of the professional self. Trieber and Jones (2010) analysed the medication error accounts of registered nurses through direct interview with them in order to facilitate better understanding of the perceives error of medication administration errors and to understand strategies employed by the nurses to deal with them. It is often difficult to quantify medication administration errors which are the most common medical errors in the United States. However, only less than 5 percent are reported (Trieber and Jones, 2010). The Institute of Medicine or IOM has recognized medication administration error as an important target task and has attempted to study and analyze various aspects of environment of the nurses which contribute to errors. This included work design, organizational management and organizational culture. However, the institute failed to include certain aspects of nursing profession like perfectionism, self-sacrifice and duty and also issues related to gender and recent technologies. The institute also did not include the perceptions of nurses who are the frontliners in administration of medication to hospitalized people. This is important because; it is these nurses who are involved in both preventing medication errors and committing medication errors and nurses are emotionally affected when they commit a medication error. The main strategy to prevent medication error is by following the basic principle of "five rights"; right patient, right time, right route, right medication and right dose (Bates, 2007). There is no consensus on the definition of medication error and as to when the error must notified. While most nurses opine that giving wrong medication to a patient is wrong, only a few agree that giving the medication late is also wrong. Thus, discrepancies exist in the definition. Thus, if the rights definition is applied, the number of medication errors would actually escalate more than the estimated number (Trieber and Jones, 2010). Several error reduction technologies have come up which are said to help in decreasing medication errors. These include patient charting through computers, arm-bands that are bar coded, and dispensing cabinets that are automated (Bates, 2007). Other strategies to reduce medication errors include decrease in the number of medicine which look alike or sound alike and application of read back and confirm strategy for orders that were delivered verbally (Trieber and Jones, 2010). There is still controversy as to whether these strategies and procedures introduced to reduce medication errors actually help in reduction or errors or complicated the problem. Some researchers like Koppel et al (2008; cited in Trieber and Jones, 2010) are of the opinion that these recent gadgets actually confuse the nurses and worsen medication errors. Infact, in their study, they found that computerized ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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