Nurses are play a vital role in reporting and preventing medication errors, as the nurses are the last person in the medication administration process. The Institute of Medicine reports 44,000 to 98,000 people die in hospitals annually as a result of medication errors that could have been prevented (Stetina, Groves & Pafford, 2005). Deaths caused by medication errors more than doubled in ten years from 2,876 in 1983 to 7,391 in 1993 (Stetina, Groves & Pafford, 2005).
Medication errors and the complications due to them increase patient stays, costs, and patient disabilities. Medication administration is a complex process and an error can occur at any point within the process. Prescription, transcription, dispensing and lastly administration are all part of the process. The last process of administration is provided by the nurse who must be vigilant and ensure there were no errors within the whole process before administering the medication. Purpose and Research Questions
The purpose of this study was to focus on how nurses experience making a medication error, and being involved in the process in which an error occurred, what constitutes a medication error, and what steps need to be taken after an error occur Questions sought to be answered by this study are: What constitutes a medication error? How are medication errors reported? Are the five rights of medication administration used consistently? The answers sought to these questions, and the purpose of this study was relevant to the clinical problem.
The Heideggerian phenomenological method was used in this qualitative research, by conducting an eleven question interview. Literature Review The other used several quantitative studies research. The author also used a survey, and journal articles. The references are not current some of them are actually almost thirty years old. The study itself was conducted seven years ago; however current research was used to support this study. The author did not state any specific weakness, but suggests further research of a more diverse geographical population.
Additionally research could be done specifically how nurses vary in their practice according to patient load, acuity, and day to day circumstances in the practice environment (Stetina, Groves & Pafford, 2005). The study did find adequate information regarding how and why medication errors occur. Unfortunately with medication errors being such a problem in practice there are many causes, and new systems in place for reducing them that are constantly being updated. There is an abundance of literature on this topic all researching different aspects.
This study did find that though all the nurses surveyed identified the “five rights” as the process of medication administration and prevention of errors (Stetina, Groves & Pafford, 2005). Many nurses acknowledged not always adhering to the five rights of medication administration; this was especially evident when it came to right time. Many nurses admitted to not always giving medications at the right time, and felt this was not considered to be a medication error. Conceptual / Theoretical Framework The author did not identify a specific perspective in this study.
The framework for this study was finding answers to questions regarding medication administration and how errors occur. Nurses in different practice settings were interviewed to find the answers to the questions. The study set out to explore the understanding and management of medication errors by nurses (Stetina, Groves & Pafford, 2005). Conclusion Since nurses administer medications they are the last ones in the medication administration process to intercept a possible error, or they can be the ones making the error.
It is imperative to be diligent when passing medications. Many advances have been made with the use of bar code medication administration programs, and electronic medical records with electronic ordering. With the advances in technology many nurses have come to be dependent on these systems. Pharmacy has also become a larger part in inpatient settings and nurses in this study have also come to rely more on them to prevent incompatibility complications. Nurses must always keep their clinical reasoning skills sharp, when administering medication we must consider everything.
Medications should always be reviewed with patients prior to administration; since patients know what they take and can alert the nurses to a possible error. Lab work, dosage, patient’s weight, allergies, treatments, and compatibility of intravenous medications all need to be considered during the time of administration. Although all of these tools are valuable it is imperative that we do not become dependent upon them, we must use clinical reasoning and judgment to ensure patient safety. References: Clinical reasoning can prevent mediation errors. 2012, August 22). Retrieved from http://confidenceconnected. com/connect/article/clinical_reasoning_can_prevent_medication_errors/ Hartnell, N. , Mackinnon, N. , Sketris, I. , & Fleming, M. (n. d. ). Identifying, understanding and overcoming barriers to medication error reporting in hospitals: A focus group study. (2012). BMJ Quality and Safety, 21(5), 361-368. Stetina, P. , Groves, M. , & Pafford, L. (n. d. ). Managing medication errors: A qualitative study. (2005). Medsurg Nursing, 14(3), 174-178.