Medication Errors

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During medication administration, the primary role of the nurse is to ensure that prescribed medications are delivered in a safe manner. As medication administration is an important component of providing comprehensive nursing care, doing harm to a patient is every nurse’s biggest fear. Even though nurses greatly value proficiency and make every effort for 100% accuracy in giving medication, med errors continue to take place. These errors can result in serious illness, death, or increase the patient’s length of hospital stay. For that reason, medication errors not only represent a serious issue for the patient, but for the healthcare community as a whole. As a result, healthcare professionals must be careful to prevent medication errors and…show more content…
According to Aronson (2009), medication error can be defined as “a failure in the treatment process that leads to, or has the potential to lead to, harm to the patient.” In the study conducted by Jones & Treiber (2010), there are numerous factors that contribute to medication errors; for example, failing to follow the seven rights of medication administration, failing to follow hospital procedures and system check, giving medications based on verbal or phone orders, not confirming orders that are incomplete, and working under stressful conditions. The additional system issues that can also lead to medication errors include organizational miscommunication, illegible orders, transcription errors, and inappropriate use of abbreviations (American Academy of Pediatrics,…show more content…
Nurses can prevent medication errors by assessing the patient for any medication allergies, also ensuring that the patient is receiving the right dose, at the right time, and by the right route (Starkey & Walden, 2010). In addition, healthcare professionals can avoid using abbreviations that can be misunderstood, question unclear orders, refuse to accept verbal orders, and follow organizational system policies and procedures related to medication administration. Nurses must also carefully avoid distractions during medications; noise, such as a talking co-worker, can distract the nurse’s attention, which can result in medication error (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2003). When engaged in a medication related task, nurse must focus completely on that specific task. Nurses must also be acquainted with medication ordering and dispensing systems, and remain familiar with the medication administration devices operation, and the potential for errors with such devices. Lastly, through proper communication channels, healthcare professionals must ensure that drug orders are clear and complete; if needed, utilize pharmacist consultation. Prevention of medication administration errors is crucial for patient safety and

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