Nursing - Medication Errors - Research Paper Example

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Medication errors - from the nursing perspective Introduction and Purposes “Medication errors are typically defined as the deviations from a physician order.” (Mayo and Ducan, 2004). There are many sources which are identified as the major triggers of medication errors…
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Download file to see previous pages To compress in a nut shell, it can be described as the wrong medication to the patients. This is where the role of nurses comes under scrutiny, as nurses could act as a major contributing factor for the occurrence of medication errors. Generally diagnoses of the diseases are carried out by the physicians with the aid of other medical personnel, including lab technicians. Monitoring the status of the patients and providing them with the right medicine as prescribed by the physicians at the right time frames is the basic and the essential task of the nurses. Moreover the medication errors are nurse-oriented, as they attend to each and every need of the patients, and are in direct contact with the patients, everyday. Hence they need to have accurate details about the medication given as well as the timings of drug delivery and perfect monitoring of the patients. When they fail to perform their duties in relation to drug delivery, it could end up in medication errors. Some of the major medication errors that will be focused in this paper include the following, Over dosage of the medicine, or the route of administration Failure to prescribe or administer the exact drug to the patients Lack of observation – failure to observe the correct time of administration, this may be due to the difficulties in understanding the prescription and confusion about the different drugs which has similar names. These are some of the errors which can cause lethal effects to the patients such as drastic physical complications affecting various parts of the body, and in extreme cases coma or even death in some patients. Recent studies reveal that “Ten to 18 percent of all reported hospital injuries have been attributed to medication errors.” (Mayo and Duncan, 2004). “Of the approximately 44,000 –98,000 patient deaths reported each year because of medical errors, 7,000 were attributed to medication” errors. (Stratton et al., 2004). These statistical data would back up the fact of the lethal effects caused by medication errors caused by the nurses. Hence, this paper will discuss the issues related to the medication errors, which are issues related to nursing, direct and indirect impacts on the health care policy, statistical data to support the issue and other implications for future nursing practices. Medication errors related to nursing A patient who comes to a healthcare facility can be treated optimally only if proper diagnosis is made, and importantly correct drug therapy is prescribed and carried out. However, “drug therapy cannot be successful unless, and until, both the prescribing and medication delivery processes are conducted correctly.” (Flynn et al., 2002). During this prescribing and delivery process, there are many chances of error creeping in, with all the healthcare personnel including physicians, technicians, nurses, etc., liable for it. They could do some minor or even major error, and that could contribute to major problems for the patient, themselves and to the healthcare facility. However, the issue with these medication errors is that many errors go undocumented and unreported. This perspective was validated by Flynn et al. (2002), who stated “errors resulting in serious harm are reported because they are easy to identify and hard to conceal, yet they represent the "tip of the iceberg",” with many errors intentionally or unintentionally concealed by various players. Among the various players or healthcare person ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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