Medication Error

Topics: Nursing, Patient safety, Medical error Pages: 28 (5695 words) Published: October 12, 2012


Providing care for the patient is the responsibility of nurses. Nurses are the one who are close with patients. They are responsible and accountable to make sure that the treatments and needs of patient are fulfilled. Medication administration is a part of the nurses’ responsibility in order to make sure clients get the correct medication as supposed. Medication administration error is a universal health care concern.Thus the strategy in improving medication administration system is important to enhance safety. The administration of medication by nurses is the final step in a process that involves multiple steps carried out by a number of health professionals (medical practitioners, pharmacists and registered nurses). The accuracy, efficiency and safety of administration of medications rest primarily with nurses. Administer medication is the most common activities that cause errors, in part because of the finding of new medical devices and new drug products that available to fulfill the demand in health care setting. Thus to prevent medication administration error, six rights should be main concern for the nurses in giving medication. There are many type of medical error that leads to injury and may jeopardize patient’s safety. According to Hughes and Ortiz (2005) the most common type of medical error that happen universally is medication error. Senior citizens are at the highest risk of being affected by this type of errors, since they are the largest consumers of medication (New Tech Media, 2006). However, this is especially true in regards to medication errors. A proper understanding of the contributing factors that increase medication errors is the first step toward preventing them. There are many factors, such as training deficiencies, undue time pressure, and nursing shortages that may have contribute to medication errors. The amount of nursing education and the years of nursing experience are two factors that may have relationship to medication errors. Due to the fact that nursing staff is a large cost to hospitals, these organizations are constantly trying to manage expenses. This is supported by Yang (2003) who states “nursing professionals typically represent the largest employee group in hospitals, and have become a primary target for redesign measures”. Consequently, medication errors are costly and seem to be proportional to the staffing of nurses. Since nurses make up such a large portion of the staff population, it is important to understand the incidents that influence behind these medication errors. These issues of medication errors were present even at the time when Benjamin Franklin founded America’s first hospital and he stated that patients ultimately suffer and die without good nursing care (Clarke, 2003).


Health care professional’s work is hectic and stressful. All the heavy workload had causes the nurses to pay much less attention in giving proper medication administration to patients.I discovered during my clinical posting that sometimes the nurses tend to take for granted so as whether the patient did consume the medications given or not after leaving the medication on the patient’s bedside . Occasionally proper procedure was not followed by nurses for medication administration. It happens when the nurses just copy down the name of patient in a piece of paper during pass over the report , without rechecking in the patient’s medication administration record. This unintentional act sometimes will lead to medication administration error when bed of the patient is exchange with another patient or the patient has been transferred to the other ward or may be discharged from the hospital . There is also happen an error due to some of the nurses borrowing medication from another patient’s cart and administering an...
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