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Medication Errors - Research Paper Example

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These problems do not only affect the nurses but also the patients, hospital administration and students pursuing nursing course in…
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Medication Errors
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Medication errors Introduction Just like any other profession, workers in the nursing profession are faced with different problems that hinder smooth operation (Cohen, 2007). These problems do not only affect the nurses but also the patients, hospital administration and students pursuing nursing course in school. This paper investigates one problem that practitioners encounter in the nursing profession.
One of the main duties that nurses have is administering of medication to patients, which is a pretty complex and multistep process. Administering of medication entails things such as transcribing, prescription, administering, dispensing and observing patient response. Nurses make errors when giving medications in any of these stages with most of the errors being done at the prescribing stage. Most errors that nurses do however are the administering errors that make up 26-32% of total medication errors (Unver et al, 2012). The most unfortunate thing about these errors is that they have not been intercepted by anyone but recent technological advancements focus on reducing them.
It can be argued that most nurses do not conduct these errors knowingly as there are many factors that contribute to the medication errors. One factor that makes nurses make errors in administering medication is having wrong patient details. It is essential for a nurse to have all the information about a patient as it determines things like the dosage he or he is given. A patient can conceal to a nurse that he or she is allergic to various medication and in the event the nurse prescribes to the patient a medicine that would trigger an allergic reaction, a case of medication errors arises (Lan et al, 2014). Environmental factors also make nurses make medication errors. A nurse is likely to make a mistake in administering medication in working environments that are not conducive. There are high chances that a nurse working in a cluttered environment will make a medication error when administering or preparing drugs. If a nurse is preparing a drug in a poorly lit place, he or she will certainly make a mistake.
The extensive learning that nursing students go through when learning does not make them be in a position where they can recognize and differentiate every drug in the market and this makes them confuse some drugs. There are incidents where nurses mistake certain drugs that have the same packaging and recommend them to innocent patient (Cheragi et al, 2013). To help reduce this confusion, the companies making these medicines should differentiate the drugs as much as possible to make sure that the nurses do not confuse them.
Cases of medication errors are taken seriously as they put the lives of the already sick patients in more danger. There are many reported cases of people because of wrong medication given or prescribed to them by nurses. The luckier patients who are prescribed the wrong medication by nurses get develop complications (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009). To reduce the incidents of nurses making medication errors, there are laws enacted to help deal with the situation. A nurse who has made a medication blunder may be subjected to disciplinary action, get dismissed from job or be taken to court and face a possible criminal or civil charges.
Conclusion
The various nursing schools have prioritized the teaching of problems that nurses face when they make medication errors. This helps nurture nurses that are keen in the process of giving medication, as they are aware of the dangers, which errors bring both to them and to the patient. Nurses are these days trying to be more keen while offering medication.
References
Cheragi, M., Manoocheri, H., Mohammadnejad, E., & Ehsani, S. R. (2013). Types and causes of medication errors from nurses viewpoint. Iranian Journal Of Nursing & Midwifery Research, 18(3), 228.
Cohen, M. R. (2007). Medication errors. Washington, D.C: American Pharmaceutical Association.
Lan, M., Zhu, L., & Zhou, Q. (2014). Medication administration errors made by nurses reflect the level of pharmacy administration and hospital information infrastructure. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, (5-6), 894.
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2009). Lippincotts nursing procedures. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Unver, V., Tastan, S., & Akbayrak, N. (2012). Medication errors: Perspectives of newly graduated and experienced nurses. International Journal Of Nursing Practice, 18(4), 317-324. doi:10.1111/j.1440-172X.2012.02052.x
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