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The Nurse' Responsability in the Prevention of Medical Errors - Essay Example

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The Nurse' Responsability in the Prevention of Medical Errors

Errors can happen at any part of the healthcare organization. Understanding that errors take place, learning from such mistakes, and putting an effort to avoid potential or future errors embodies an important development in the healthcare system, a transition from a culture of sanctions and ‘pointing fingers’ to examination of the underlying reasons for errors and techniques to enhance procedures and mechanisms. All healthcare providers have a part in guaranteeing a safe environment for staffs and patients. This essay specifies four strategies on how nurses can prevent medication errors, namely, (1) knowing their patients, (2) knowing the medications, (3) communicating, (4) dealing carefully with medications that look and sound the same. Introduction Nurses carry out several of the major chores in medical or clinical settings; they are usually assigned to most patient services. Due to their substantial interaction with patients, nurses have the opportunity to serve a major function in the discovery of medical errors and the growth of a safe medical environment. This essay discusses four measures that nurses can take in order to prevent medical errors, namely, (1) knowing their patients, (2) knowing the medications, (3) communicating, (4) dealing carefully with medications that look and sound the same. Four Strategies to Prevent Medical Errors Researchers have reported that avoidable harmful medical errors take place because the nurse does not sufficiently know the patient (e.g. knowledge of a patient’s adverse reaction to several drugs) before prescribing and administering medications. Thoroughly and accurately knowing details about the patient allows nurses to identify needed and correct medications and procedures. Details like medical history, allergies, vital signs, and others are crucial in the process of monitoring the results of medications and the causal health condition (Yarbro, Wujcik, & Gobel, 2010). The nurse should properly inform the pharmacist so that s/he can correctly identify and prepare all the prescribed medications. However, solely knowing the patient is not sufficient to avoid a medical error. The nurse should make sure of the identity of the patient before administering a medication. According to Yarbro and colleagues (2010), this can be done by making use of two patient markers, in addition to the room number of the patient. Staying up to date with new medications is vital. Being ignorant or uninformed about new medications can be as dangerous as not adequately knowing the patient. Almost all major medical errors take place because the patient obtains the incorrect medication or dosage. Mistakes in administering medication dosage often happen because of inaccuracy or miscommunication (Garber, Gross, & Slonim, 2009). In order for a nurse to acquire the latest details about medications, s/he should make use of a variety of sources (e.g. medication administration documents, dosing guidelines, drug procedures, textbooks, and constant communication with the pharmacists (Garber et al., 2009). Nurses should also regularly inform their patients about changes or new developments in their medications. Miscommunication is identified as a primary root of medical errors. It may be caused by the following. First is the lack of ...Show more

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Running Head: Nursing The Nurses’ Responsibility in the Prevention of Medical Errors Essay Name Name of Professor Abstract The satisfaction and safety of the patients are the major aspects of nursing. Because nurses are closely concerned and engaged in healthcare services and are decisively involved in severe stages of the illness, it is vital for nurses to identify the underlying factors facilitating medical errors for successful preventative measures…
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