Medication Errors

If medication errors exist, then healthcare would be harmful to an individual. However, these mistakes may be stayed away from if nurses do their part. This paper entitled, “Medication Errors” intends to state the factors that may increase the risk for medication errors, as well as, present how to decrease the incidence of medication errors. Factors that may Increase the Risk for Medication Errors There are reasons that may contribute to the increase of risk for medication errors and some of these are the following:

The risk for medication errors may happen if the nurses’ knowledge and skills are inadequate (Wakefield et. al. , 1998). Furthermore, if the nurse is unable to follow instructions/protocols then the risk for medication errors may increase as well (Wakefield et. al. , 1998). In addition to that, if policies or procedures are inadequate then it may also lead to augmented risk for errors (Wakefield et. al. , 1998). Moreover, miscommunication between the doctor and the nurse may also contribute largely to the aforementioned dilemma (Wakefield et. al. , 1998).

Last but not least are personal issues, for instance, the nurse was too tired due to overwork or due to lack of nurses in the institution etc (Wakefield et. al.. , 1998). Decreasing the Incidence of Medication Errors There are several things that can be carried out to decrease the incidence of medication errors. Some of these are the following: First of all is that when treating your patients, always think that you will want to treat them the same way you want another nurse to treat your family and friends in case they would need to be taken cared of as well (Quan, 2007).

Second is to double check if it is indeed the right medication (Quan, 2007). Check the order and see if it matches with the label attached to the medication itself (Quan, 2007). If for instance, it is unreadable, then seek for someone’s assistance (Quan, 2007). Third is to make sure that the dose in the order is the right one for the patient being administered upon (Quan, 2007). Such information may be verified through the label off the medication in question (Quan, 2007). Fourth is to confirm that the time ordered by the doctor that the medicine be administered is strictly followed (Quan, 2007).

The doctor may say, for instance that, the medicine should be taken in every six hours, the label of the medication should somehow state such an instruction as well (Quan, 2007). Fifth is to ensure that the route instructed is possible (Quan, 2007). If, let’s say, the patient is unable to swallow, is it alright if the nurse simply crushes it and have it taken in by the patient? Or should the nurse try to administer it intravenously? (Quan, 2007). If so, then such instructions should be seen in the order of the doctor and should also appear in the label of the medication (Quan, 2007).

Sixth is to verify if the order and the medicine is assigned to the appropriate patient (Quan, 2007). Ask for the identity of the patient: ask for his or her then get his or her birthday and finally get the name of his or her physician instead of just depending on the room number or bed number alone (Quan, 2007). Seventh, it is always best to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer of the medication, as well as, the procedures given by the health institution you work for (Quan, 2007). Eighth, do not leave until the patient has taken the medicine in (Quan, 2007).

Ninth, if the medication has been injected, check for allergic or adverse reactions (Quan, 2007). Tenth, note everything down (Quan, 2007). Record the medicine, dose given, time administered, route assigned, as well as, how the patient’s body responded to it (Quan, 2007). Last but not least, if in case that negative reactions has exhibited by the patient after administering to him or her the medication prescribed by the doctor, then the superior of the one who administered such should be informed (Quan, 2007).

The same goes for errors in medication that may have transpired (Quan, 2007). References Quan, K. (2007). How to Avoid Medication Errors. Retrieved May 12, 2007 from http://nursing. about. com/od/pharmacology/ht/mederrors. htm Wakefield, B. J. , Wakefield, D. S. , Uden-Holman, T. , Blegen, M. A. (1998). Nurses’ Perceptions of Why Medication Administration Errors Occur. Retrieved May 12, 2007 from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m0FSS/is_n1_v7/ai_n18607697